Dear singers,

Now that we've seen and experienced all the movements that the chorus is involved in (let's refer to our first few weeks as a "Preview of Coming Attractions"), for the next two rehearsals we will focus on note accuracy and musicianship. Musicianship is defined as everything that can be quantified: intervals, rhythm, tempo, language, and diction. In short, we'll clean things up to prepare for the rewarding work on musicality. We could say that we're cleaning house before the big party!

I hope to complete this satisfying cleanup work on the first three of our choruses next Tuesday. Now I'm sure you've noticed that the different portions of the texts aren't called movements or given numbers, as they are in almost any other choral/orchestral work we're familiar with. It's clear that Dvorak wanted this piece to be considered one long poemyet he definitely sets various sections apart, doesn't he? So here are the first lines of the sections we'll be working on next week:

  • Stabat mater dolorosa p.1
  • Eiai mater p.38
  • Fac ut ardeat. p.46

While looking at those sections and preparing as best you can, you could advance our work immeasurably by underlining the next-to-last syllable of every word that has two or more syllables. Without fail, that syllable will be the one that we'll lean into! Instantly, if reading the text aloud to someone fluent in Latin (most of your friends, right?), that person will fully understand the text and its meaning. (By comparison, if you pick up a book and read every syllable of English with equal emphasis, the text will turn into a piece of wood.)

We're novices at Latin pronunciation and emphasis while simultaneously learning the notes and rhythms of a new piece; hopefully, after working on musicality, we'll feel much more prepared to make the message beautiful!

May I close by sharing this quote about our time together:

Singing in a choir is a transcendent experience—and there aren't many of those in life. It instills gratitude and bliss without the contortions of yoga or hangovers of alcohol. Singing doesn't just make us feel better—it makes us better people. By singing in a group, we choose to recede for a moment from selfish concerns and pursue harmony with those around us.

Thank all of you so much for pursuing harmony with me this term!


Travel to Portugal & Northern Spain in 2024 

Join us on an 11-day performance tour of Portugal and northern Spain in July 2024. An auditioned group of singers will present a program of American choral music while exploring Lisbon, Porto, León, and San Sebastian. Both singers and non-singers are welcome, so don't miss this unique travel opportunity! The estimated cost is between $5,299 and $5,699 (depending on the number of participants) and includes airfare from Portland, lodging, and select meals. View the tour flyer for more information, and contact Rebekah Wozniak-Gelzer at to save your seat.

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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