Dear wonderful singers/friends,

We accomplished so much last Tuesday night, largely due to your willingness to follow my plan of its being a check-up, cleanup time, not at all fun but quite necessary, doggedly examining those three movements, slowly checking for any leaks or weak places, so to speak. And it worked! We found quite a number of small sections that improved as we clarified them. We'll do the same thing next Tuesday, tackling the other three movements in which the full choir is involved:

  • Tui nati vulnerati p.53
  • Virgo virginum p.70
  • Quando corpus morietor p.88

We'll also check back on the movement involving the tenors and basses (Fac me vere tecum flere p.62) to be sure everything is in place. It should be, given the fact that we had a fully dedicated 45 minutes of work on it, but it's best to check, anyway. There seems never to be a time when absolutely everyone is there, so we might well find a few stray inaccuracies as we proceed through the term.

Let's all acknowledge that this week's rehearsal could not have happened without our dear Accompanist Emerita, Ann Snelling, stepping in with only a few hours' notice following the news that Brenda was so sick that her principal sent her home from school! Ann didn't miss a beat when I called her to inform her of our need; "Of course!" was her immediate answer. Yes, she was our accompanist when we last prepared this work, but how many of us would remember something from 13 years ago? After I thanked her for helping us at such a crucial time, she said it was great to be together with so many old friends! All I can say is, it's a good thing she liked you back then.

With the hard, rather thankless work we're doing in these two rehearsals, we'll have the luxury of polishing these choral moments through the month of March, finding the meaning in the text and bringing it out so that we can fully communicate it to the audience. Undoubtedly, in the course of the final rehearsals, we'll find yet more corrections to make in notes and rhythms, and certainly in the Latin diction. (After all, you're having to unlearn the Austro-German!) Please do take seriously the need to hear yourself in this process. Unlike in English, Latin vowels must be pure and unchanging: "a" is ALWAYS pronounced "ah", and "i" is ALWAYS "ee"! It's amazing how often I'm still hearing inconsistent "i" vowels, especially from the soprano section! Expect me to stop you over and over about that, so to avoid pain you might just pronounce all the texts slowly at home, to catch yourself in the act.

Our goal is for this performance to be as beautiful as possible, and we're well on the waybut I'm greedy for more!

See you next Tuesday,


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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.

Male Ensemble Northwest

Don't miss the Northwest's premiere male choral groups as Male Ensemble Northwest performs a free concert at 7:00pm this Saturday, February 24, at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in 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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