Well, here we are at last, ready to put all the pieces of the Stabat Mater together next Tuesday night with all of the participants. It promises to be an amazing experience, hearing the orchestra with all of its tonal colors, as planned by Dvorak.

I can't say enough about the difference these next two rehearsals will make toward the performance at the Elsinore. Being able to have our seated risers all set up for your use has made a massive difference in our effectiveness and enjoyment of the process. Most of you remember previous tutti rehearsals when you were all seated on the flat floor, trying to hear each other and the orchestra, right? It's so, so much better now.

But please know that having that improvement doesn't happen by itself: our own choir members have committed to the big job of setting up, and eventually taking down, that entire structure. We say it over and over that we are a self-presenting choir. That means our singers do it all, because we aren't owned or operated by some larger organization such as a symphony or university. We're audacious in that we are not beholden to anyone, and that has been true of FCO since the beginning. We ourselves are the shareholders, as it were, and that understanding assumes that our members will share the work as well as the rewards of presenting performances.


This is a highly unique way of doing things. I guess I've reiterated these facts too many times in the previous paragraph, so it's time to repeat the corollary to them. I'm going to say this in all caps, since it must go along with being proud of our unique, audacious style: BEING SELF-PRESENTING REQUIRES MEMBER PARTICIPATION! Since part of our unique character offers choir participation without audition, one way of showing gratitude for that is to offer time and energy in the running of things. That means sweat equity in helping with setup and takedown, but also offering time in volunteering to join the board. Our bylaws allow for a board of up to 13 people, all of whom fulfill many of the needs required in planning and presenting performances. It's wonderful to have two new board members, but there's room for more. Please consider that way of participating!

I think I'll be able to help you warm up just before the tutti rehearsal, if you can all be in place at the arrival time set for you. Instrumentalists will be setting up and warming up, so we'll need to make it quick, but I think, given the wide singing range of all the sections, that it would help.

Sopranos: one thing I need to add in regard to the self-selecting that helped that high descending chromatic line ( think you know which one): if you dropped out to let others handle that phrase's demands, please don't try to join back in in the middle of the phrase! Just skip the entire phrase, since trying to come in on the F or whatever really doesn't help, but instead throws the tuning off. I urge you to believe me about this.


OK, let's do this! See you on Tuesday,


Volunteers Needed for Tutti/Dress Rehearsals & Concert

As a self-presenting choir, we rely on members to volunteer to operate our organization. We need volunteers to help with transporting, setting up, and tearing down equipment for our tutti/dress rehearsals and concert. See what help is needed, then sign up to lend a hand

Ticket Money Due

Money and unsold tickets must be returned April 9. For any final ticket requests, contact Janet Rafalovich at janraf@comcast.net or 503-371-1039 (landline). Ticket sales continue online and at the box office until the concert.

Tell Us about Yourself 

In addition to ticket sales, FCO relies on grants and other funding to support our performances. When applying for grants, we often are asked to describe our members and audience-goers. You can help us better answer that question by completing this simple six-question survey. All responses are anonymous, and every response helps. 

Get Ready to Party

Celebrate the term at the concert after party hosted by soprano Cheryl Randall. All are welcome (including non-members) and please bring a bite or beverage to share. Cheryl's address is 460 Leslie St SE, Salem.

Rehearsal Resources

Check out these resources to help learn this term's music:

Rehearsal Rules

  • Regular rehearsals run 7:00–9:30pm
  • Stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Notify Bryan Gonzalez (503-851-5351) as soon as possible if you test positive for COVID-19

Member Roster & Key Contacts

You can now download the roster of this term's members. If you cannot open the file, download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free. Please use this information for choir business only such as arranging ride shares.

Solveig Holmquist




Bryan Gonzalez




Jessica Coons

Soprano Section Leader



Doris Clark

Alto Section Leader



Rebekah Wozniak-Gelzer

Tenor Section Leader



Phil Davis

Bass Section Leader



Stay Alert

FCO uses text message alerts to provide important reminders and to share last-minute information. If you haven't received alerts this term, sign up now.


FCO no longer requires vaccination against COVID-19 or the use of masks. To protect the health and safety of everyone who interacts with our organization, please stay home if you feel unwell. Any member that tests positive for COVID-19 must report their diagnosis to FCO as soon as possible and may not participate in any FCO event until determined safe to do so according to public health guidance or their healthcare provider. FCO will not disclose the identity of any member that tests positive but will notify all members of potential exposures.


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