Festival Chorale Oregon in concert
Bringing Choral Masterworks to the Mid-Valley since 1979 


Festival Chorale Oregon is a chorus of professional and amateur singers presenting a wide variety of classical and popular music. Festival Chorale Oregon is honored to have been performing under the direction of our founding director, Dr. Solveig Holmquist, for over 35 seasons.  Formed in 1979 with eight members in Stayton, the Chorale has grown to an ensemble of 100 singers from the Mid-Willamette Valley.  


The founding purpose of the Chorale is to explore worthy choral literature, understand music history and promote proper choral singing technique for greater enjoyment of choral music for singers and listeners in our community.

FCO is honored to be included in the Oregon Encyclopedia of History and Culture, a project of the the Oregon Historical Society to provide definitive, authoritative information about all aspects of the State of Oregon, including significant individuals, places, cultures, institutions, events, and peoples.


Administered by a 13-member Board of Directors from within its membership, FCO singers purchase their own music and pay regular dues, thus freeing ticket revenues, along with grants and patron contributions, to be used to fund the instrumental accompaniment foundational to the group’s repertoire.


Membership in Festival Chorale Oregon is open to all good singers with previous singing experience. No auditions are required.  Learn more about learn about joining the chorale.



The Chorale has presented choral masterworks by composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, Bernstein, Schubert, Händel, Haydn, Distler, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schütz, Puccini, Britten, Poulenc, Vaughan Williams, Brahms, and Verdi, accompanied by musicians from Oregon’s symphonic community.


Although the emphasis is on sacred choral music, Festival Chorale Oregon has on occasion investigated show music, performing Gershwin, Porter, opera choruses, spirituals, folk songs, and popular music from the two World Wars, and has staged three Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.


See complete  list of works performed by Festival Chorale Oregon since the 1993-94 season, and listen to samples.  




In addition to performing three concerts a year in the Salem, Oregon area, the choir has toured Europe five times and has hosted several choirs when they tour the U.S. The choir toured England and Wales in summer of 2016, and plans are underway for a choir tour of Central Europe in the summer of 2018.


Festival Chorale Oregon has performed five times in Carnegie Hall in New York City through an invitation for Dr. Holmquist to conduct in Carnegie Hall.   In May 2013 the choir joined Dr. Holmquist in Lincoln Center in New York City, performing John Rutter’s  Magnifcat.  

Ann Snelling

Rehearsal Accompanist

Ann Snelling has been sitting behind a piano playing and accompanying since she was five years old.  The first opportunity to accompany occurred during her jr. high school years when she played for her mother’s high school church choir.  There followed many opportunities to accompany choirs and soloists while going through her high school years. Her love of the piano led her to major in piano performance while attending college at Cincinnati Bible College.  She graduated with a double major in piano performance and in English Bible.

Following college graduation and a move to Southern California, Ann had opportunity to use her music skills in a variety of venues.  For several years she had a large private studio teaching piano students of all ages and abilities.  She worked in the private vocal studios of two different teachers accompanying lessons and recitals. Ann was a faculty member of Palomar Junior College in San Marcos, CA, accompanying the student voice classes as well as the community choir.  One of her most interesting jobs was working as a carillonneur for Maas-Rowe Carillons in Escondido, CA.  In that job Ann performed custom recordings for clients who purchased carillons.  She also performed live carillon concerts at Balboa Park in San Diego and at the dedication of the Frank Sinatra hospital wing in Palm Springs.  

Ann moved to Oregon in 1992 and began accompanying in the Willamette Valley, collaborating with local teachers.  For seven years she was part of the music faculty at Willamette University in Salem, OR, as a staff accompanist.   In that capacity she worked with vocal and instrumental students in their lessons, rehearsals and accompanying their required performances and degree recitals. 

Ann has been the rehearsal accompanist for Festival Chorale Oregon since January 1993. The collaboration with Dr. Solveig Holmquist and Festival Chorale has been very rewarding.  With the choir Ann has toured Europe twice and performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall.  The ongoing friendships in the choir and with Solveig keep her coming back.

Ann’s home is in Silverton with her husband, Le who is a general contractor.  They have been married for 45 years and have two grown boys.

Dr. Solveig Holmquist

Founding Artistic Director

Dr.  Solveig Holmquist is the founder and artistic director of  Festival  Chorale Oregon. Under  her  leadership, the Chorale has developed a reputation for  musical  excellence throughout Western Oregon and in the  international  community. Festival Chorale Oregon has enjoyed performing  tours  through Germany, France, Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland, the  Czech  Republic and Spain. At home, FCO regularly performs major  choral/ orchestral works for Willamette Valley audiences. 

Dr. Holmquist, Western Oregon University Professor Emerita,  recently retired after 18 years as director of Choral Studies. Her duties included conducting both the Concert choir and Chamber singers,  and teaching conducting at both the undergraduate  and  graduate levels.  She continues to be involved in WOU's annual musicals.  

As a  certified adjudicator, she is in demand as a clinician at numerous  clinics, choral festivals and contests. She has conducted in Carnegie Hall with Festival Chorale Oregon and the WOU Chamber Singers as core ensembles five times since 1999. In 2013 she was guest conductor in New York City’s Lincoln Center.

In August, 2020, Dr. Holmquist was named to the Oregon ACDA Choral Hall of Fame, in recognition of Lifetime Achievement and Contributions to the Choral Art. In March 2021 she was among those featured by the National ACDA President as one of fifteen US and Canadian "Women Choral Conductors You Should Know."

From 1985 - 2013, Holmquist was  an auditioned member of the Grammy-award winning Oregon Bach  Festival Chorus, Helmuth Rilling, artistic director.

Her professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, in which she served as Oregon President from 2003-2005 and as President of the six-state Northwest Division from 2010 to 2012. She has also served as president of the Oregon Music Educators Association, and has provided educational seminars for the Oregon Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.


Dr. Holmquist majored in voice and organ at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, singing with the renowned St. Olaf Choir. She holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from Western Oregon University, and a DMA in Music Education and Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon.


Dr. Holmquist and her husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.


2018-2019 Season

  • BRAHMS: Requeim

  • MOZART: Great Mass in C minor

  • Special Performance with Salem Symphonic Winds: The Queen Symphony by Tolga Kashif 

2017-2018 Season

  • HANDEL: Messiah, Part 1

  • HANDEL: Messiah, Part 2 & 3

2016-2017 Season

  • VAUGAN WILLIAMS: Hodie / Fantasia on Christmas Carols

  • PUCCINI: Messa di Gloria

  • Mars & Venus, Music for Men's and Women's Choirs 

2015-2016 Season

  • HAYDN: The Creation

  • MOZART: Requiem and Solemn Vespers

  • Cole Porter Celebration 

2014-2015 Season

  • FAURÉ: Requiem and DISTLER Totentanz (semi-chorus)

  • PAULUS and BROWNE: To Be Certain of the Dawn

  • Celebrate the Light: Music of Berlin, Kern & Gershwin 


2013-2014 Season


2012-2013 Season

  • DWIGHT BIGLER: Glimpses

  • TWO MAGNIFICATS: by John Rutter and by Christoph Schönherr (Rutter Magnificat also performed in New York at Lincoln Center)

  • TWO MASSES: “Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Mass” by Tim Sharp and Wes Ramsey and “Eclectic Mass” with movements by Ola Gjeilo, Marc Hafso, Craig Courtney, Emile Paladihle and Eugene Butler  +Listen to Kyrie (Lord Have Mercy) - Sharp/Ramsey High Lonesome Mass


2011-2012 Season



  • BENJAMIN BRITTEN: Ceremony of Carols, with other Christmas selections


  • VERDI: Requiem


2009-2010 Season

  • NORMAN DELLO JOIO: To Saint Cecilia and STROOPE: We Beheld Once Again the Stars

  • FRINK: Songs for Travelers; and Hindemith “In Praise of Music”; selections by McKay High School Choir

  • ORFF: Carmina Burana


2008-2009 Season


2007-2008 Season

  • BRAHMS: Alto Rhapsody; Schicksalslied and  MENDELSSOHN: Lobegesang

  • BACH: Jesu, Meine Freude; Komm Jesu, Komm; chorales from St. Matthew Passion

  • HAL EASTBURN: Songs of the Earth; and American Traditional Music  + Listen to Listen to the Air - Eastburn Songs of the Earth

  • Tour to Germany - Eastburn “Songs of the Earth” and American music (under the direction of Hal Eastburn)


2006-2007 Season


2005-2006 Season


2004-2005 Season


2003-2004 Season


2002-2003 Season

  • EASTBURN: Songs of the Earth. 

  • POULENC: Stabat Mater. 

  • “Celebrating the Lewis & Clark Expedition”


2001-2002 Season

  • HANDEL: Israel in Egypt. 

  • MOZART: Requiem.

  • MAHLER: 8th Symphony (performed in Euguene with mass choir)


2000-2001 Season

  • RUTTER: Gloria. GABRIELI: Motets. 

  • MENDELSSOHN: Elijah. 

  • “Music of Africa” (performed at Oregon Garden)


1999-2000: 20th Anniversary Season

(Rehearsal location moved from Stayton to Salem)


1998-1999 Season

  • BACH: Christmas Oratorio. 

  • MOZART: Regina Coeli, Vesperae Confessore, Vesperae Dominica, Ave Verum. 

  • “Songs of 1899” - A panorama of music and songs from 100 years ago. (performed outside at Deepwood Estate)


1997-1998 Season

  • DELLO-JOIO: St. Cecelia. PURCELL: St. Cecilia. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Serenade to Music.

  • ORFF: Carmina Burana 

  • GILBERT & SULLIVAN: The Mikado.


1996-1997 Season

  • ELGAR: Dream of Gerontius. 

  • Settings of `Gloria’ by Vivaldi, Weelkes, Poulenc, Puccini, Renè Clauson. 

  • “Steppin’ Out” (tribute to Gershwin, Berlin)


1995-1996 Season

  • MOZART: Requiem. 

  • BERNSTEIN: Chichester Psalms BERGER: Brazilian Psalm. 

  • GILBERT & SULLIVAN: Pirates of Penzance 

  • Tour to Spain, France, Germany - music of American composers



  • VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Sancta Civitas 

  • BRAHMS: Liebeslieder Waltzes. PINKHAM: Wedding Cantata. 

  • “Songs We Took to War” (American music of the 1930/40’s)


1993-1994 Season

  • BRITTEN: Ceremony of Carols. CHARPENTIER: Midnight Mass 

  • BACH: Jesu Meine Freude. (Lenten and Easter Music of J.S. Bach). 

  • GILBERT & SULLIVAN: H.M.S.Pinafore (full stage production at the Elsinore Theatre)