The beginning of this second part of the interview with Alecia Lawyer begins with a brief discussion about Piano City Milano before going back to all that is involved with ROCO. Alicia shares how ROCO has grown from just a few large concerts a year with everyone in the orchestra to numerous smaller performances with only parts of the orchestra playing.
Alecia shares how each member of the orchestra is chosen for the role that they play and what they need to be capable of before they are asked to join. They have not had any openings for quite some time, but she says that you never know when they may have an opportunity available.
As for keeping everything moving forward with ROCO, Alecia states that she is always working on future seasons and is currently creating what will be happening within the next two seasons. She also shares how there is no way that she could do this on her own. She has a wonderful team that all does specific tasks and she knows that she can count on them.
Alecia doesn’t have much spare time, but she shares what she does musically when she is not busy working. It basically revolves around practicing the oboe and making her own reeds.
Towards the end of this part of the interview, Alecia shares what her two sons are currently doing, as well as the interactive artwork that is on display across from the Apple Store. The last part of this interview has Alecia talking about how anyone can easily turn their dreams into a reality.
How ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra) Journey Began
Alecia Lawyer has quite the fascinating story and she shares some of it in this first part of her interview. Her father was a band director and her mom wanted her to play an instrument that was a little out of the norm. That was how she began playing the oboe and it has turned her into the professional that she is today.
While Alecia’s journey began as a physics and oboe major, she managed to graduate from Juilliard with a Master’s Degree by chance. In fact, she shares the story of how she managed to audition for Juilliard when she was actually supposed to audition somewhere else!
Once she graduated from Juilliard, she moved to France with her husband and enjoyed playing music after eating dinners with friends. She was happy to not go on the one or two auditions that were available each year, as it was normal for musicians to need to wait for someone to retire before they could start working.
She was not thrilled with the audition route when she moved back to the United States for her husband’s job, so she chose to work at a radio station instead. She was known as the midnight to dawn girl and she loved every minute of it. It was at that time that she considered quitting the oboe for good, but then her church was renovated, and she shares how the next part of her journey went.
ROCO, or River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, was created by Alecia and she was determined to make it a family-friendly option that people of all ages would love. She hired musicians that could act authentically on stage and even make mistakes and be vulnerable when they were performing. Alecia wanted people to see how musicians were human as well and that they were not perfect all the time.
Every performance is like a family picnic and the orchestra members go out to the audience to visit and chat during intermissions. They even have a large audience from around the world, as the performances are streamed live.
The last thing that Alecia talks about is how she is bringing back date nights for parents by offering thrilling new music options for kids.
How ROCO Gives Back and What is Coming in the Future
Alecia and ROCO spend quite a bit of time giving back to the community, which is only possible through networking. Alecia spends multiple days forming relationships with others, as they meet for coffee, lunch, or dinner. Many recordings of performances go to nursing homes and hospitals, so patients can listen to it as they recover, but the giving doesn’t stop there.
ROCCO just released an album, although it is coming out much later than planned. Alecia shares the story of when the album was supposed to be recorded, what happened to delay everything, and how everything came back together for success.
Alecia talks about how diverse Houston is, whether it is music or languages, as well as how entrepreneurialism is huge there.
She loves investing in the future and can’t wait for ROCO’s 15th season. They are going to be partnering with the Houston Holocaust Museum, which just opened. Alecia shares what music was composed for this upcoming season and what has been dubbed Project 15. The music will focus on the 70s from numerous centuries and the story of Peter and the Wolf is included too.
ROCO is quite versatile and they can set up almost anywhere, although Alecia warns everyone to stay out of her way as she is driving it all to the next location!
Alicia gets quite passionate as she gets more and more inspired with her work and loves how music is a language between two people.
The end of this interview includes a story of how Aeicia met her husband and how their paths have changed from what they were all those years ago.
Learn more about ROCO: https://roco.org/
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