ROCO isn’t playing around — and they’ve got the street cred to prove it. Fresh off releasing its debut album, Visions Take Flight, ROCO’s recording producer Blanton Alspaugh earned a nomination from Grammy voters in the “Producer of the Year, Classical” category. The album was conducted by the Houston-based chamber orchestra’s artistic partner Mei-Ann Chen, and the gratitude marks Alspaugh’s ninth nomination in the category and his 22nd nomination overall.
History isn’t always so rosy, but it tends to bend toward hope…The Holocaust is no exception to this record, and it provided the backdrop for ROCO’s upcoming concert Hope for Beauty.
Alecia Lawyer is the Founder, Artistic Director and Principal Oboe at Roco, a professional music ensemble with players across the US and Canada. Alecia joins us for this discussion to walk us through her inspiring journey of graduating from Julliard, owning a studio of 8 students to finally becoming the founder of a professional music ensemble.
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.”