Dear singers,

I'm writing from my gate at PDX. Usually I write this column on Thursday evenings, but I'll be deeply into my conference then and might not get a chance. Anyway, I really want to strike while the iron is hot (the iron being last night's of the most thrilling first rehearsals in recent memory)!

We have a big, balanced group, which jumped right into this rich music like starving music lovers! As I kept reminding myself (out loud...sorry), embarking on a new work is meant to be just sight reading and noticing, yet your enthusiasm was so enticing that I went right to work exploring details! I'll bet you didn't expect to be thrown into the deep end like that. So, sorry/not sorry! We had some real moments of beauty as you caught Dvořák's musical language.

If you are new to FCO and felt more than a little overwhelmed, relax! Do things at your own pace, trust the process, and you'll be fine. Maybe you'll be most comfortable singing on a neutral syllable at first, adding text when you're ready: that's just fine. Austro-German Latin is unfamiliar to a lot of people, so we'll proceed carefully.

Everyone: What to do to prepare for next Tuesday's rehearsal? Keep your pronunciation guide handy and try speaking some of the texts we sang this week. We will all do our best to be faithful to it, in the knowledge that opinions vary on this topic, even in Germany!

Have a great week, and please stay healthy. I must report that, despite loathing masks, I'm here at PDX wearing my singer's mask, and will continue to use it through the conference, since singing is notorious for spreading things you don't want to pick up while simultaneously sharing what we all want to pick up: the joy of being together.

See you soon,


Volunteers Needed for Weekly Setup/Teardown 

As a self-presenting choir, we rely on members to volunteer to operate our organization. Right now, we are seeking a crew of volunteers to help set up and tear down our rehearsal space each week (starting February 6) for the entire term (having a dedicated crew enables them to become more familiar with the process). We need six people to help with setup (arriving at 6:30pm) and six people to help with teardown. Please consider your physical abilities and the commitment required, then sign up if you can lend a hand. Contact Rebecca Payne at with any questions.

Performance Dresses

Singers wear either a designated dress and jacket or a black tuxedo with black vest and bow tie. If you need to purchase a dress/jacket, samples sizes will be available to try on at the next two rehearsals. Order your dress/jacket as soon as possible to ensure they arrive in time for the concert. Singers are responsible for the cost of concert attire. Contact Emily Flanagan at with any questions.

Lead the Way with Board Service 

Get involved by joining FCO's board of directors. FCO is a nonprofit member organization with an annual budget close to $60,000. Board members oversee all aspects of FCO business, from grant writing and donor development to concert management and ticket sales. FCO's continued success depends on finding hard-working and passionate people to serve on the board. If you are interested in helping to lead FCO, contact Bryan Gonzalez at

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.

Choir for All 

FCO believes in making our music and our organization accessible to all. From financial assistance for participation costs to accommodating various physical needs, we want you to feel welcomed and supported. Contact Rebecca Payne at or your section leader to discuss particular needs or concerns.

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

Acting 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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