FCO rehearsal
Current Singers




December 18, 2021

Dear Singers (past, present, and future),




Beginning on January 18, please start blocking out your Tuesday nights again, because we will be back in business! It's a good thing you can't see me, because I'm bouncing up and down.


You'll find plenty of details below, especially about the numerous safety protocols we're taking. My message is primarily about the music itself. But first I want to be sure that you know if you're fully vaccinated, you are welcome to come, whether you joined the Summer and Fall Sings or not, whether you have music or not, and whether you've sung in FCO before or not. Newcomers welcome!


We'll be preparing Schubert's Mass No. 6 for its long-delayed performance, and we have plenty of scores for newcomers to buy. Those of us who were rehearsing in March 2020 were getting a good handle on it then, so newcomers will find it easy to slip in and be swept along. There will be plenty of time to take things carefully and get used to singing again, and we'll have some sectionals just to be sure we're literally all on the same page!


I plan to shorten rehearsals just a bit, in part because it's winter and in part to keep our interaction on the safe side. Rehearsals will run from 7:00 to 9:00pm and—for this term at least—we won't take a break. What that means is that if you need to use the restroom or otherwise step out, just do it. We're all expected to be adults and to take care of ourselves. Taking individual breaks will minimize up-close socializing and will ease lines at the restrooms!


Here's an announcement about January 18: If you participated in the Summer and Fall Sings, you know that we learned three easy pieces, really getting into the weeds about each of them. Be sure to bring copies that first night. If you're new or didn't sing then, IT'S FINE. We'll have copies for you to use, and you'll find the pieces beautiful and easy.


And here's a reminder of what I promised about the first moments of our first rehearsal: there will be no announcements, no warming up, no checking on parts. WE WILL RETURN TO SINGING BY SINGING. Period. That's what we've missed. You haven't missed my nagging, so there won't be any! I will not care a bit about rusty voices. We're all in the same boat. Just sing!


I'll probably write to you again in early January, so for now I simply want to welcome you back with open arms. It promises to be one of our most rewarding terms ever.


Happy Holidays, and please do all that you can to keep yourself and others healthy.


Solveig Holmquist

FCO Founding Artistic Director


January 18, 2022

7:00 - 9:00 pm -  Rehearsals for Schubert Mass

COVID-19 Protocols

Choral singing is thought to be a higher-risk activity for the spread of COVID-19. To protect the health and safety of everyone who interacts with our organization, FCO has adopted the following protocols:



All members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a booster dose once eligible. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Currently, a person is eligible for a booster dose six months after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or two months after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Proof of vaccination will be required to participate in FCO events including rehearsals and concerts.



All members must be masked while participating in FCO events including rehearsals and concerts. Because standard masks/face coverings are poorly designed for singing, FCO will purchase and provide Resonance Singer Masks to all registered members who do not already own one. Members must use a Resonance Singer Mask while singing—other masks/face coverings may not be substituted for the required mask.


Notification & Isolation

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.

Regular rehearsals: at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1998 Lansing Ave NE, Salem, OR 97301. Each Tuesday 7:00 - 9:00 pm.  

Important Dates

Jan 18 & 25 Onsite Registration 6:15–6:45pm (online registration is strongly encouraged - see button below)

Jan 18 Rehearsals Begin (at Holy Cross)

Mar 29 Tutti Rehearsal (Holy Cross), call time 6:45pm

Apr 5 Dress Rehearsal (Elsinore), call time 6:45pm

Apr 9 Saturday Rehearsal (Holy Cross) 1:00–4:00pm

Apr 10 Concert, call time 2:00pm


We are using the Kalmus edition of the score—all singers must use this edition. If you rehearsed with us in the winter of 2020, you should already own the correct edition of the score.

Concert Attire

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, sample sizes are available starting at the second rehearsal. Dresses must be ordered early in the term to arrive in time for performance. Singers are responsible for the cost of concert attire.


45 + 15 = 60



1. If you rehearsed with us in the winter of 2020, there is no charge for this term

2. Full-time students with ID pay no dues

3. 2021-22 carolers pay no dues this term


If our fees present a hardship, contact Bryan Gonzalez at 503-851-5351 or to request a dues reduction.

Registration (Online registration closes January 17)

Online registration is strongly encouraged. 

Interested in Singing with Us?

Membership in Festival Chorale Oregon is open to all good singers with prior singing experience. No auditions are required.




Due to the current surge in COVID-19, January rehearsals will take place on Zoom on January 18 and January 25 for registered singers.  In-person rehearsals are tentatively scheduled to begin February 1.  To participate this term, you must register online.  Registration closes January 17.

Section Leaders


Section leaders are assigned each term to handle administrative tasks such as attendance, and helping new members as well as leading sectional rehearsals and bringing trouble spots to the attention of the director for additional practice.  Please contact your section leader if you need to miss a rehearsal. (Click on name to send them an email).


Soprano:  Sheila  Clausen  (503-302-4722)

Alto:  Doris Clark  (503-393-1609)

Tenor: Rebekah Wozniak-Gelzer  (503-585-5404)

Bass:   Phil Davis  (503-999-8200)

Join the Festival Carolers

A select group of singers from the larger Chorale is chosen by audition to sing with the Festival Carolers. [LEARN MORE]



How do I register?

We encourage you to complete your registration on-line prior to the start of the term.  If you choose not to use the on-line registration, you may register at the first two rehearsals (come early): registration is closed after that.  Credit cards, checks and cash are accepted forms of payment.


When does the next term begin?

Winter Term: Jan. 18, 2022

Fall Term: Sept. 2022


What time is rehearsal?

7:00 - 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays


Where are rehearsals?

Rehearsals are at Holy Cross Lutheran Church,1998 Lansing Ave NE, Salem, OR 97301.


How much are dues?

Dues are $45 each term, to be paid at the first rehearsal of the term (free dues for full-time students). 


How much does the music cost?

Music prices vary per term.  


Do I need to audition?

No. Festival Chorale Oregon is open to all good singers with some previous experience. It is self-auditioning in that you will be able to tell if you are not up to the music.


What do I wear for concerts?

Two options:

1. A tuxedo with white shirt, black vest and black bow tie, black shoes and black socks.

2. Purchase a standard concert dress and jacket, approximate cost is $90. [CLICK HERE] for information about ordering women's performance ensemble.


Occasionally the choir wears different clothing to fit the theme of a concert.


You must provide your own black folder for the music. Please do your part to help us maintain a professional stage presence. Neither men nor women may wear scent of any kind as scents cause physical distress to those with allergies.


What do I wear for dress rehearsal?

Anything you want to. It is called dress rehearsal because it is our chance to rehearse with the orchestra. It does not, however, require concert dress.



How to Join Festival Chorale

Membership in Festival Chorale Oregon is open to all good singers with prior singing experience. No auditions are required. We use what we call a self-auditioning process:  you come try it out and see if you are able to keep up with the pace and musical rigor.  Interested singers should arrive at the first rehearsal of a term about 45 minutes early in order to register, pay dues, and purchase music.  Singers may join only at the beginning of a term. (Generally beginning of September, beginning of January, and mid-March each year).


Rehearsals are each Tuesday from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. The season typically runs from September through May each year, with three concert performances each season - typically in November, March and May.   We have no rehearsals in the summer.


Weekly rehearsals are at Holy Cross Lutheran Church—1998 Lansing Ave NE, Salem. 

If you wish to join or have any questions about how to become a member of the Chorale contact the membership coordinator.


Singers are expected to pay dues, purchase their music, and purchase the specified performance attire.  


See FAQ's

Festival Chorale Oregon rehearsal
Festival Carolers at the Oregon Garden
How to Join the Festival Carolers

A select group of singers from the larger Chorale is chosen by audition to sing with the Festival Carolers.  Participation is very demanding in terms of volunteer time as well as vocal capability.  The Carolers typically perform 25-30 gigs during the short holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. Proceeds from these paid gigs serve as a major fund-raising source for the larger chorale. 


Individual carolers are assigned to gigs based on their availability as well as the need for singers on a specific gig.  No one sings every gig, but each caroler should expect to make a large time commitment and be able to memorize a large repertoire of Christmas carols both familiar and unfamiliar.  The Carolers are called upon to sing at a variety or retirement centers, office parties, malls and even private events in homes, as well as a few concert-type events such as at the Grotto in Portland.  Carolers provide their own Victorian costumes and drive to gigs as far away as Portland, Corvallis, Dallas, Lebanon, and Stayton.  A few power rehearsals are scheduled in the fall, including a full day workshop in October.  All carolers are required to attend all caroling rehearsals.


Auditions are held in September.  Contact Rebekah to arrange an audition time.

Resources for Singers

Choir Tour to Northern Italy in July 2022: 

FCO will have a performance tour to northern Italy June 29 to July 10 2022.  The 12-day tour includes Montecatini, Florence, Lake Garda, Venice and more.  See more details of proposed tour (subject to change).  The cost for the tour is estimated at approximately $4,800 including airfare from Portland, all hotels with breakfasts, two group dinners, ground transportation, and tour guides.

We welcome singers and non-singers alike. Auditions for singers can be arranged by contacting Rebekah (see below). COVID vaccinations are required, both for auditions and for the tour.

For more information, contact Rebekah at 503-585-5404 or


An  ensemble of approximately 40 singers traveled to Austria, Czech Republic and Germany in July of 2018 on choir tour. Stops on the tour included Salzburg, Halstaat, Vienna, Eisenstadt, Prague, and the village of Hahnheim in Germany.