Capping off ROCO’s 14th season of “Games People Play,” our final world premiere commission pays tribute to a game blending skill, strength, and artistic expression – the sport of traditional Turkish wrestling! We sat down with composer Erberk Eryılmaz to learn more about the inspiration for his new work, and his unique journey as a musician, taking him cross-continent from his native Turkey, all the way to Texas.
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…
Meet the artist of ROCO’s new interactive Mini Mural, Jessica Padilla, as we explore all that went into the process of making our musical vision come to life, and discover what she loves about being an artist and art teacher.
Curated by ROCO trumpeter George Chase, discover how the program of ROCO Unchambered: Chase Sequence came together, why it’s such a challenge for the musicians, and what George finds most rewarding about arranging for the quintet – in this edition of ROCOInsider!
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.
From orchestras, to bands, to choirs, plus soloists of almost every instrument – the music of composer Jim Stephenson has been performed by musicians of all ages, across America and the world. We are thrilled to welcome him to Houston for the world premiere of his newest work celebrating the fun hobby of model railroading – ROCOmotive!
“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.
In this ROCOInsider, learn how co-principal violist Suzanne LeFevre crafted the program of ROCO Unchambered: Terzetto, hear why the viola is like a secret sauce, and discover why this performance is truly “music among friends!”
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.”
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.
Houston’s River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, unlike many larger ensembles, gives its musicians the opportunity to play chamber music.