Hi everyone,

Last Tuesday was one of those recognizable turning points in concert preparation, a time when we had ample time to pay more attention to detail and to really solidify our familiarity with the chorus movements. Next Tuesday, we'll be doing the same with "Fac me vere," the men's chorus that accompanies the tenor solo, the chorus "Virgo virginum," and the huge concluding movement, "Quando corpus morietur." With luck and efficient work we will probably be able to include a checkup run of the opening movement, too.

All of this fun polishing will of course include cleaning up problem passages as reported by your section leaders. (I'll remember my list this time!) At this crucial turning point, as we near our first rehearsal with the orchestra and soloists, I must give you some very important work to do on your own.

The first assignment concerns diction, i.e., the correct pronunciation of Latin in singing. Some members of every section still have lingering mispronunciations, though the sopranos' vowel issues show more because of their placement in the harmony. Both vowels and consonants could use lots of refresher time from all of you, and guess what? You own a resource for that!

The pronunciation guide that you were given weeks ago has all of the tools you need, plus, as you know, the literal word-for-word meaning of all of the important words that will make our sung communication more meaningful. I need and want to be progressing with the work of making our singing more musical now. I don't want to be going over and over musicianship elements such as "VEER-jee-noom" or "croo-chee-FEEKS-oos"; that's now your remedial work, and the extent to which each singer takes this work seriously will show up in our performance. Please use the pronunciation guide to read our choral texts aloud to yourself, to be absolutely sure you're not the one whose vowels don't fit!

Secondly, know thyself. Specifically, if notes in a passage go outside of your range of effectiveness, don't sing them! Sopranos, if that string of high G's is not in your wheelhouse for great intonation, just wait until the phrase enters your sphere of excellence. Trust me, you will have performed 99.9% of all the notes in the piece. I do not want to have to go one by one through the section to select the voices for those notes!

Choir, if you haven't thought about this before, I adopted my philosophy of inclusion in FCO 45 years ago with the premise that I want anyone and everyone to have the opportunity to perform the world's finest choral/orchestral works. And while all are welcome you know that I work as fast as possible and with high standards. I don't hold auditions in FCO because I don't care for the atmosphere of groups that get their energy from excluding others. But that philosophy comes with the expectation that each of you will be very careful to know thyself! Simply put, if some notes aren't even close to your best, don't sing them! Others will be there. It's different with chamber ensembles that sing different literature. In such groups, auditions are necessary, and I've led many such groups. But in large choirs such as ours, we glory in the fact that we are a family of many levels of experience, loving the thrill of working on and bringing to the public masterworks that enrich our lives.

On we go toward April 14!



Ticket sales have now started and each member is asked to sell at least two tickets. Read the information on your ticket envelope closely so that you understand ticket prices, and remember that mezzanine seats are reserved and require specially printed tickets. For more tickets, contact Janet Rafalovich at janraf@comcast.net or 503-371-1039 (landline). Money and unsold tickets must be returned by April 9.

Advertisers Wanted 

Concert programs cost more than $1,000 per concert to design and print, and ad revenue is used to cover that cost. Please contact businesses you know that might support community arts, like your dentist or financial planner and others you have a relationship with. You can download the ad form or pick one up from Carol Chancellor at rehearsals. Forms are due by March 26.

Member Handbook 

The Member Handbook is now available and provides important information for this term. Learn what's expected of you at rehearsals, what you need to wear for concerts, how to get more involved with FCO, and track important dates.

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. Next season's board members will be elected at rehearsal on April 9. If you are interested in helping to lead FCO, contact Bryan Gonzalez at bcgonzalez@juno.com

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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