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 take artistic risks and 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
Foris believes choral music is an exciting, limitless art form that should be accessible to everyone. Yet emerging composers have few opportunities to hear their work performed. U.S. choirs primarily perform music by established composers (and most frequently those who are cis, white, male, and deceased). To hear their music sung, composers must compete through calls for submissions which typically require hefty fees; investment of time and labor to create original work that fits narrow guidelines (with no guarantee of performance); meeting definitions of "emerging" that apply only to youth; classical music training; and use of expensive composition software. These barriers exclude so many artists – not only from sharing their original compositions, but from pursuing choral music in general. The community in turn misses out on imaginative local voices.
Foris Choir includes singers from well-known Oregon choirs, local indie musicians, and people discovering the joys of singing in a choir for the first time. All have a wealth of musical insights to share. Foris also has a conductor-in-residency program for conductors early in their careers. Foris is excited to create an open platform for composers, conductors, and singers alike to grow their skills, voices, and confidence together. Singers love performing new works and engaging directly with the composers and audiences have enjoyed the warmth and variety of our performances.