My Top 5: Alecia Lawyer of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

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Photo: Julie Soefer

Each week, our My Top 5 series highlights a Houstonian who is shaping the culture of the city and making an out-sized impact on its character. In turn, each shares their own favorite things to do in Houston when not hard at work. This week, we’re very pleased to feature Alecia Lawyer, founder, artistic director and Principal Oboist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. Catch the close of ROCO’s 12th season of In Concert performances at Double Trouble, led by Conductor Steven Jarvi, in The Woodlands on Friday, March 31, and River Oaks on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston

by Alecia Lawyer

  1. Houston Zoo The Houston Zoo made me jealous as a mom. Our youngest son, Zachary, spoke his first word at the Zoo, but it wasn’t “Mama” It was “Okapi.” Seriously. David Brady and Rick Barongi at the Zoo have such passion for their animals and the organization and make it personal. Our family loves every aspect of it, except I still give Zachary trouble for that.
  2. Araya Chocolates Locally-owned and made, this is the best chocolate. Again, I think it comes down to how personal they are. At their Katy shop with the small factory in it, you can even make your own chocolate on specific dates. I won’t mention the rather questionable combinations of flavors our kids put together.
  3. Japanese Garden at Hermann Park Our oldest son, Jacob, has a passion for Asian studies, having learned Mandarin these past four years, and in particular, Japan. One of the most beautiful places to stroll and contemplate life or meditate is in the Hermann Park Japanese Gardens. Even though the park is so much larger than a traditional garden would be (it’s Texas, y’all), the style and elegance make for a great spot during our Houston ‘winters.’
  4. Beckrew Wine House Great and unusual wines, great people who have worked there from the beginning, comfy couches and spots to sit for an extended ‘meeting’ or ‘drinking and working alone.’ I have heard of and seen many strategic plans and business decisions that were hashed out and solidified in that lovely back cellar.
  5. Holocaust Museum Houston One of the most meaningful things I have ever done has been giving tours as a docent at the HMH. Imagine taking 7th graders, in all of their awkwardness and new-found awareness around them, through the personal, desperately tragic and poignantly told story of individuals from Houston who perished through systematic extermination. They begin in cliques and self-selected groups of goofy humor and judgmental deflection. By the end, they are one mass of humanity, ready to say “Never again!”

About Alecia Lawyer

Named by Musical America as one of classical music’s Top 30 Influencers for 2015, Juilliard graduate, Alecia Lawyer, is the founder, artistic director and Principal Oboist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. ROCO, with its 40 dynamic, engaging and virtuosic professional musicians from around the nation and guest conductors from around the world, weave musicians and audience together with the language of music through innovative programming and creative collaborations. Ms. Lawyer was named a finalist for Texas Musician of the Year (along with Willie Nelson) and was listed as one of Houston’s Top 50 Most Influential Women.