Rehearsals are Cancelled for 2020-2021 Season
July 18, 2020
Over the past four months, we have all anxiously watched the progression of the pandemic and longed for a return to normalcy-especially a return to singing together. While we are used to taking a break from rehearsing over the summer, I'm sure many of us would gladly give up a warm evening at home if it meant being back together-shaking hands and exchanging hugs-and sharing our passion for music.
While we will stand together again in the future, it's clear that we must wait longer than we had first hoped. With cases of COVID-19 currently surging in Oregon and across the country, and the specific risks associated with group singing, the Board and Solveig have agreed that we must cancel FCO's 2020-21 season.
FCO has spread joy through music for 41 years, and the decision to cancel our upcoming season reflects the truly unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic. After carefully considering all aspects of this weighty decision, we remain determined to protect the health and well-being of you, our soloists, our orchestral musicians, and our audience.
I wish we could say with certainty when we will again be able to sing together in person. The Governor and public health experts have indicated that mass gatherings, such as concerts, will need to wait until a reliable treatment or vaccine are widely available. While I imagine all of us are encouraged by news reports touting the rapid pace of vaccine development and testing, many experts are still cautioning that it could be one to two years before a vaccine is widely available. It's hard to imagine waiting that long to return to something we all love, but we must face our new reality.
Part of that new reality is challenging ourselves to consider and explore new ways to engage with each other and with our audience. The Board has already identified several possible approaches to that end, and we welcome ideas and input from you, our members.
Lastly, rest assured that this is not the end of FCO. Over the past few years, the Board has taken important steps to strengthen our financial well-being and we are thankfully well positioned to weather this storm. And, we are busy planning for the future: from pursuing a commissioned work to organizing future tours and more.
Many of you joined Solveig last month in sharing quotes that inspire or touch you, and I recently recalled a favorite saying of my high school choir director that I think is especially fitting during these uncertain times. I hope you'll join me in taking comfort in its defiance of the present and its promise for the future: "the music never ends."
Bryan Gonzalez, President
FCO Board of Directors
Regular rehearsals: at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1998 Lansing Ave NE, Salem, OR 97301. Each Tuesday 7:00 - 9:30 pm. Consistent attendance is crucial.
7:00 - 9:30 pm - Rehearsals for Schubert Mass
Interested in Singing with Us?
Membership in Festival Chorale Oregon is open to all good singers with prior singing experience. No auditions are required.
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
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?
Fall Term: Sept. 2021
Winter Term: Jan., 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?
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.