ROCO’s (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra) Concert Series
Photo: Photo courtesy of Blueprint Film Co.
On September 24, ROCO will celebrate a full moment by kicking off its 17th season with a Revelry Gala at the city’s newest downtown location.
While the evening will mark the first public event at POST Houston, it is not the first order of the day the professional chamber orchestra has conducted in the historic space. Indeed, when the artistic director and
His organization, formerly known as the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, has made incredible strides over the years, and more recently, so has the building. Lovett Commercial has almost completed the transformation of the 16-acre property into a mixed-use cultural destination featuring a rooftop park with an urban farmhouse and stunning skyline views. Both have experienced great growth, but the memories remain, and amid the nostalgia, ROCO will salute their continued success in building authentic bonds between musicians and audiences.
The ensemble’s ninth annual gala, sponsored by SheSpace, will begin with a preview performance in the vibrant “Z” Atrium, a three-story space with a translucent roof made of ETFE, a lightweight plastic developed for the aerospace industry. . Against its zigzag staircase design, the musicians will perform clips from the next season’s opening concert, “Bursting at the Seams”, after which they will join the guests – including Gala Presidents Shawn Stephens and Jim Jordan , winner Mike Stude and Rick Lowe, 2021 ROCO Wildcatting in the Arts Award winner – on the rooftop for cocktails and sit-down dinner provided by Hometown Chef Catering Co.
“It will be just a big party, a gathering to make people feel connected again,” Lawyer said, while checking the site’s progress in early September alongside ROCO’s director of development, Paige Myrick. The duo, clad in hard hats and neon yellow vests, talked about the awkward construction noises while setting out the most effective course of action for the event. “ROCO pushes the boundaries, but always in a way that keeps us connected. This is our goal.
Drawing on technology, exploration and innovation, the ensemble weaves together in Houston with a belief in access at its core. The group has been offering free live concerts worldwide since 2013 and earlier this month announced a statewide extension of “ROCO on the Go”. With the immersive and interactive listening project, launched a year ago in collaboration with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the organization has become more anchored in the fabric of the city.
Reflecting on his interconnectedness within the community, Lawyer recalls a favorite childhood activity, in which thick strands of yarn are neatly woven in homemade cardboard looms. She later learned to crochet from her great-grandmother, and as she entered adulthood, the concept of threading pieces together to form a unified whole became a defining feature of her professional career.
When: September 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Or: POST, 401, rue Franklin
Tickets: $ 500- $ 50,000
When: Sep 25 at 5 p.m.
Or: The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Blvd.
Tickets: Pay what you want, Suggested ticket price of $ 35
When: Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.
Or: POST, 401, rue Franklin
Tickets: $ 45-100, plus fees
“I still consider myself a quilt master. I’m a quilter, ”she said. “People make their own squares – the composers, the musicians who put on their own concerts, the conductors who come in – and I just bring everyone’s creativity together.”
The evening following the gala, the full orchestra of 40 musicians will perform in one of its usual venues, Saint-Jean-le-Dieu Church, to present “Bursting at the Seams”. Led by ROCO’s artistic partner, Mei-Ann Chen, the program will present two world premieres focusing on climate change – the first movement of Maxime Goulet’s “Ice Storm Symphony”, as well as “OK, Goodbye” by Marcus Maroney, who draw inspiration from the music of Canada’s historic 1998 ice storm and the melting of the Okjökull glacier in Iceland, respectively – among other works.
Then, in early October, ROCO will return to POST Houston to open its Connections series with “Mixed Messages,” a multidisciplinary performance in collaboration with the Houston Contemporary Dance Company and poet laureate Outspoken Bean of Houston. Taking place in the atrium “X”, the concert will feature string quartet ROCO and baritone Eduardo Tercero in selections from “The Juliet Letters” by Elvis Costello, linking the theme to the history of space at the true ROCO way by honoring the art of the letter on the occasion of World Post Day.
Lawrence Elizabeth Knox is a Houston-based writer.