Founder, Artistic Director & Principal Oboe
Mike Stude Chair
When you meet Alecia, ask her…What is ROCO on Buffalo Bayou: A Musical Scavenger Hunt? Did she enjoy living in Paris? Who is her favorite band director in the whole wide world?
Daring, inventive, and called a trailblazer for 18 seasons, Alecia Lawyer, Founder, Artistic Director, and Juilliard-trained Oboist of ROCO, the Houston-based 40-piece professional classical music ensemble, has been on the leading edge of how classical music is created and experienced. She has championed accessibility and inclusion in the field with endeavors such as Braille programs, QR codes, and the signature ROCOrooters music education/childcare program during and after concerts.
Focusing on relationships rather than transactions, she has built an orchestra model that leans into “pay what you wish” and is supported by a vast portfolio of supporters to achieve 90% revenue from donated dollars. With 132 world premiere commissions in 18 seasons, ROCO’s debut album was recognized with a GRAMMY® for Producer of the Year, Blanton Alspaugh.
Performing dozens of concerts in multiple venues throughout Houston, TX, ROCO concerts are regularly broadcast nationally on APM’s Performance Today and have been livestreamed to the world for free since 2013 with 250,000 concert views during Covid.
ROCO’s unique and industry-changing initiative, ROCO on the Go, has placed QR codes throughout Houston’s parks, hospitals, and schools that link to ROCO’s free streaming music. With 35,000 scans and counting, ROCO weaves music through Houston’s community in this fully accessible way.
Calling her business model “Wildcatting in the Arts”, Ms. Lawyer was one of Musical America’s Top 30 Influencers in 2015, named a finalist for Texas Musician of the Year (along with Willie Nelson – who won), was faculty for the League of American Orchestras’ Catalyst Fund Incubator, and was listed as one of Houston’s Top 50 Most Influential Women. She regularly presents her innovative and entrepreneurial ideas throughout the US, using ROCO as a case study for community-specific orchestra building.
Ms. Lawyer has spoken at such diverse places as the Center for Anticipatory Intelligence at Utah State, and tech radio shows discussing use of technology in the concert halls. She is a proud senior fellow of American Leadership Forum, serves on the board of Houston Youth Symphony, on the Advisory Board for Texas Music Festival, and is an artistic advisor for the St. Barth Music Festival. She and her husband, Larry, love their Harley rides on weekends and have two wonderful sons, Jacob and Zachary.
These are some of my favorite ROCO performances:
Martinu Toccata e Due Canzoni: I. Toccata: Allegro moderato
Martinu Toccata e Due Canzoni: II. Canzone No. 1: Andante moderato
Martinu Toccata e Due Canzoni: III. Canzone No. 2: Allegro (Poco) – Adagio
Ligeti Concerto Romanesc