|ROCO is a dynamic, innovative professional chamber orchestra that flexes from 1 to 40 players from all over the US and Canada, with guest conductors from around the world. Performing intimate concerts in dozens of venues, ROCO’s musicians do not just give concerts — they challenge pre-conceptions, create extraordinary experiences and foster new relationships with audiences through the language of music.
With over 128 world premieres to date, ROCO is one of the most prolific commissioning organizations in the US. A study in 2019 by the Institute for Composer Diversity found that ROCO was the #1 ensemble in the US performing works by women and #2 for composers of color. ROCO’s debut album, Visions Take Flight, was recognized with a GRAMMY® Award for Producer of the Year, Blanton Alspaugh.
A modern, 21st century ensemble, ROCO embraces technology for the purpose of connection, offering free worldwide concert livestreams and real-time artist commentary via the ROCO Houston app, as well as on-demand audio and video recordings of past concerts via popular music streaming services and our own Listening Room. This spring it presents a new use of technology with its latest book project, combining music, human interaction, reading and technology for multi-generational audiences. ROCO’s innovative QR Code project, ROCO on the Go, enabling instant connection to music in non-traditional spaces, continues to expand throughout Houston and beyond. Locations include Harris County Precinct 2’s parks, Houston Public Library, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, and the 5th Ward Cultural Arts District. Reaching 27,000 scans of 250 codes placed in and around Houston, ROCO’s efforts emphasize the connection between music and every aspect of life, with playlists of music from past seasons available for free listening in every possible community. A vital part of the community, ROCO performances are shared with nursing homes and hospitals through concert DVDs to bring music to those immobile communities. The unique ROCOrooters music education and childcare program attracts multi-generational audiences.
Empowering ROCO musicians with the ability to curate their own concerts and connecting them personally to composers and donors is one of ROCO’s unique approaches to the human side of music. It is also just one of the many reasons ROCO is known as an “arts disruptor” and “trailblazer.”
Known as “the most fun you can have with serious music,” ROCO was founded in 2005 by oboist and Juilliard graduate, Alecia Lawyer, who, after multiple experiences in other musical start-ups, recognized the need for a sustainable and thriving model that would focus on authentic connections between musicians and audiences. Her work of “Wildcatting in the Arts” has expanded through a vibrant and multi-talented team that has made ROCO known for its dedication to living and diverse composers, multigenerational audiences, and free access to classical music for all. https://roco.org