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 systemically 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, favoring those who have a formal background and training in classical musical composition, and requiring use of expensive composition software – 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.