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.
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…
“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.
A Houston punk rock legend front and center at a classical concert, a virtuoso concertmaster, a stellar bass-baritone singing nursery rhymes and tombstone epitaphs, and three world premieres. Throw in a couple of Dvořák’s Legends and the rarely heard Wood Notes by William Grant Still, and we have a strange brew of a program that surprised and engaged.
Like a ringmaster leads a circus, conductors direct classical music concerts, presenting various acts or compositions while serving as an intermediary between the audience and the performers.
But the show must go on, with or without, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra is here to prove it’s possible to have a concert without a conductor, with the return of its annual conductorless concert this weekend at the Church of St. John the Divine.
The numbers are in: 76 world premieres (33 for the full chamber orchestra and 43 for its flexible chamber ensembles), 36 composers commissioned—these are astounding numbers from the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), now in its perpetually forward-looking 13th season.
Catch this one while you can, because chances are, a show like this doesn’t come around too often. On February 10 at The Church of St. John the Divine, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) premieres Legendary Love, taking its title from a groundbreaking, genre-crossing world-premiere commission by Dan Visconti, which honors local Houston punk rock legend Christian Kidd, lead singer of The Hates…the band that’s gone unsigned by a major label since 1978, but wildly popular nonetheless.