Best of Houston® 2021

Best Of Houston® 2021: Chamber Orchestra

ROCO is the most fun someone can have with chamber music.
ROCO is the most fun someone can have with chamber music. Photo by Ray Kuglar, Courtesy of Blueprint Film Co
Not only is ROCO one of Houston's hardest working orchestras...they're also the most fun you can have with classical music. The group runs three seasons concurrently: "In Concert" is more traditional programming with the full orchestra, "Connections" features small chamber appearances in various locations like museums and cultural event centers, and "Unchambered" allows for small performance groups to introduce their own programming.

The fun keeps rolling. For kicks last year, ROCO introduced a brass band that conducted pop-up appearances throughout the pandemic.

The organization does more than just play great takes music beyond the stage and puts it out to the community. For example, ROCO is in partnership with places like Buffalo Bayou, Texas Children's Hospital, the Menninger Clinic, Texas Southern University and the Holocaust Museum Houston to provide free music to any and all. That's just the short list of who all ROCO works with.

If that isn't enough, in a recent study from the Institute for Composer Diversity — an organization that advocates for diversity and inclusion in music — ROCO placed No. 1 in the country for performing the works of women and No. 2 for the works of composers of color. Founder Alecia Lawyer says this type of dynamic programming is not by design. Rather, it is simply the natural result when in conversation with living composers who are producing quality music.

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Sam Byrd is a freelance contributor to the Houston Press who loves to take in all of Houston’s sights, sounds, food and fun. He also loves helping others to discover Houston’s rich culture.
Contact: Sam Byrd