Following the orchestra’s opening concert, “Time for Hope,” more than 260 guests moseyed to the country club ballroom where members of the orchestra were seated at each table, making for musically-inspired dinner conversation.
In an age when advocacy has revolutionized female empowerment, ROCO travels back in time to give voice to the voiceless — generations of women who lived largely unheard and largely unknown.
The month of September heralds the start of a new arts season, speckled with fresh interpretations of older shows as well as never before seen or heard new works.
Visions Take Flight is one of those rarest of accomplishments: a contemporary music album that’s a sheer joy to listen to, from start to finish. Nordic Affect’s concept album manages to make and leave a strong emotional impact
STEVEN BROWN, APRIL 30, 2019 Photo: ROCO in Concert: Queen of Hearts, Nov. 2018; Mei-Ann Chen, conducting. Photo by Blueprint Film Co. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Houston’s River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) to anoint a conductor as its music director. Being player-driven is in ROCO’s DNA. But founder-oboist Alecia Lawyer wants to bring in…
A game player has three responsibilities: Gobble up the dots. Travel through the maze. Avoid the ghosts…Although the arcade game, released in 1980, wasn’t the inspiration for Chicago-based composer James Stephenson when creating “Chase Sequence,” it’s certainly a fitting analogy, particularly when Houston’s River Oaks Chamber Orchestra will perform the piece Saturday in a concert that closes its “Unchambered” series in a season titled “Games People Play.”
COMPOSER JAMES STEPHENSON wrote “Chase Sequence” for the United States Marine Band’s brass quintet about eight years ago. He had the idea that the piece would start out with an energetic start from a trumpet, with the other instruments following each other quickly through the music. River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s brass quintet presents the piece to cap off its Unchambered series. With “Chase Sequence,” they’re highlighting a contemporary work, as well as classical jazz pieces.
“I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could,” says Brett Mitchell, quoting a favorite bumper sticker of his. “That’s kind of like me. Any excuse to come back to Texas is great.” On Saturday, Mitchell will return to Houston to make his debut with… the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in “Ticket to Ride” at the Church of St. John the Divine.
LAST YEAR’S ROCO PERFORMANCE OF PETER AND THE WOLF was such a hit at the Houston Zoo, the show is coming back—this time with a twist.
“There are no more wolves at the Zoo,” explains ROCO’s founder and artistic director Alecia Lawyer, “but there is a new black bear exhibit.”
Imagine listening to Liszt in your living room. Whether it’s Mozart or Brahms or more contemporary offerings, house concerts have become so popular in Texas that you can find one happening most weekends throughout the state.
Recordings of new music rooted in tradition that still is uncompromisingly contemporary — and sometimes unsettling. Debates about new music have always focused mainly on styles that have caught listeners off guard.
There’s one reason in particular why Visions Take Flight, the double-CD debut release by ROCO, the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, nabbed the number nine slot in textura’s 2018 list of top classical releases…it’s because when ROCO selected works to include on the release, the musicians selected their favourite pieces from the group’s repertoire and the five chosen from the then fifty-eight available (the total now seventy-five) constitute an incredible sampling of material by living American composers.