Kick off River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s 2016-17 concert season with 2 nights of stunning music

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor | Photo courtesy of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

Dance like no one’s watching at the launch of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s 2016-17 Concert Series on Friday, September 23, at Miller Outdoor Theatre and Saturday, September 24, 2016, at The Church of St. John the Divine.

Join the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra as they return for two nights of remarkable musicianship in anticipation of this year’s concert series. The 40-piece orchestra made up of all-star musicians will jump-start the weekend of festivities with a free performance Friday night in the Museum District at Miller Outdoor Theatre and a more intimate performance in River Oaks at The Church of St. John the Divine.

Featuring the Texas premiere of “Dance Card” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, the program entitled Dance Like No One’s Watching finds Houston’s beloved chamber orchestra musing on the baroque dance suite form in what’s sure to be yet another stunning start to the ROCO concert year.

In Higdon’s words, “‘Dance Card’ is a celebration of the joy, lyricism, and passion of a group of strings playing together!”

Dance Like No One’s Watching

The work, which is written for string orchestra and modeled loosely on the baroque dance suite form, was co­-commissioned by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and the San Francisco­-based New Century Chamber Orchestra.

The two evenings of concerts will feature the likes of stellar musicians such as Mei-Ann Chen who conducts, Scott St. John who returns as concertmaster, and Chester Englander who solos on cimbalom in the “Intermezzo” from Kodály’s “Háry János Suite”. The program also features Dmitri Shostakovich’s Ballet Suite No. 2 for Orchestra, Fanny Mendelssohn’s Overture in C Major, and Mikhail Glinka’s Kamarinskaya.

If the musicianship and stunning suite aren’t enough ROCO will also be introducing new smartphone technology during Saturday’s performance at the Church of St. John the Divine. Saturday evening attendees will be offered a whole new way to experience ROCO concerts during two of the pieces (including the Higdon) throughout the entire performance space with the introduction of Octava.

A New Level of Concert Engagement

ROCO is the first professional orchestra to premiere Octava, a brand new smartphone app that’s changing the concert-going experience. Developed by Linda Dusman, composer, and Eric Smallwood, artist, from the University of Maryland, it delivers real-time
 program commentary from musicians and
 guest artists.

It’s not just another way to deliver program notes, think of it like a director’s commentary or VH1’s Pop-Up Videos. ROCO has found a way to talk and play at the same time as guest enjoy a musical and literary conversation packed into one unforgettable experience.

Photo courtesy of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

About River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO)

The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) is a forty-piece professional chamber orchestra that was founded in 2005 by Alecia Lawyer. A Juilliard-trained musician with an eclectic background as a performer, recording artist, adjunct professor and radio host, Ms. Lawyer had a vision to reimagine the orchestral experience for both audience and musicians. The result is ROCO: an orchestra of all-star musicians, distinguished conductors and contemporary composers who come together from all over the world to present unexpected classics, original compositions, and delightful performances that dissolve the barriers between audience and orchestra.

Dance Like No One’s Watching Performance by River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

  • Dates: Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 2016
  • Times: Friday 8pm performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre; Saturday 4:15pm composer talk and 5pm performance at The Church of St. John the Divine
  • Locations: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030 & The Church of St. John The Divine, 2450 River Oaks Blvd, Houston, TX 77019
  • Parking: Free lot and street parking is available in the surrounding area for both performance venues. Valet parking is available at St. John the Divine.
  • Admission: Free to attend Friday, September 23 at Miller Outdoor Theatre; tickets for the covered seating area are available at the Miller Theatre Box Office on a first-come first-served basis while supplies last between 10:30am and 1:00pm on the day of the performance; only four tickets per person. Tickets are $35  not including ticket fees for Saturday, September 24 at The Church of St. John the Divine; $25 for seniors; $15 for students.
Jennifer Higdon, composer | Photo courtesy of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

This post was sponsored by River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. Per our advertising and sponsorship policy, we only accept sponsored content from organizations that meet our editorial standards and truly present a valuable activity, event, resource or destination for residents and visitors across the greater Houston area. Advertising revenue helps support 365 Things to Do in Houston, and our contributors, allowing us to expand our coverage of activities and events around the Houston area. Click here to learn about promoting your event or business.