Foris is a Portland area chamber choir established in 2018 to spotlight emerging local composers through beautiful concert performances and by creating a welcoming space for them to engage with one another and with experienced singers as they further develop their craft. Our goals include:
Creating a free, inclusive, and welcoming platform for emerging composers to hear their work publicly performed while building recognition and a portfolio
Creating a mutually supportive space for composers, conductors, and singers to develop their voice and skills
Broadening perception of who is and who can be a choral composer and engaging composers working across a variety of genres including those without formal and/or classical training
Fostering connections among diverse composers, singers, musicians, and activists, who share a passion for storytelling and social justice
Influencing programming among other choral ensembles to promote more inclusive musical selection and spotlight emerging local talent
Emerging choral composers have few opportunities to hear their work performed. Most choirs perform works by professional and/or established composers. Choral music tends to be a racially and economically exclusive medium. Emerging local composers must compete to hear their works performed through calls for submissions that often require: paying a submission fee, investing time to create an original work that fits within specific guidelines with no guarantee of performance, age limits and other restrictions on definitions of “emerging” artists, and favoring those who have a formal background and training in classical musical composition – something out of reach financially for many aspiring musicians.
Most choirs and choral concerts also tend to focus on a single genre such as classical, faith-based, or contemporary rather than creating choral music experiences inclusive of, marketed to, and accessible to everyone that amplify a diverse mix of original voices, perspectives, approaches, and sounds.
Foris also has a rotating conductor program, creating opportunities for newer conductors to gain experience taking a choir from rehearsals through performance, while being mentored and gaining feedback along the way.
Foris choir is composer of singers from well-established and widely-respected Oregon choirs, local independent musicians and performers, and people discovering the joys of singing in a choir for the first time. All have a wealth of insight to share about choral music from a performer’s perspective and foris creates that space for them to develop and share their expertise.
Connecting composers and singers is rare, but so mutually rewarding. Foris offers the opportunity for singers and composers to engage with one another and create lasting connections, building skills, confidence, and networks that allow individuals to pursue music and grow their craft.
Founder & Executive Director - Kate Sattler
Kate Sattler is a musician, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and creative producer with roots in Minneapolis and Portland. Kate records music under the name Sweet Freeze in which she writes, performs, and records all of her songs. Kate runs a creative agency for social justice organizations and has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit strategy, program design, advocacy, fundraising, communications, and cause marketing. She loves collaborating with other artists, producing music and film projects, and promoting storytelling and social justice through the arts.
Artistic Director - Marisa Wildeman
Marisa earned her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Composition from Portland State University in 2016. She has since studied privately with internationally-acclaimed composer Eriks Ešenvalds in Riga, Latvia, and debuted original works at recitals in the Portland area. Marisa blends her passion for music with humanitarian concerns. Past vocal performances include a 9/11 tribute concert at Lincoln Center, a concert on Portland’s Waterfront to benefit people experiencing homelessness, concerts with the Portland State Choir and Oregon Symphony, and international tours and competitions. Marisa is a section leader in multiple ensembles and teaches private voice and piano lessons to students of all ages. Marisa seeks to make composing a priority and to find niches in the community that inspire her and lead to lasting connections with other composers and singers.