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Houston’s Classical Music Gala Takes Over St. John’s and a Top Museum — ROCO Makes Its Doubleheader Sing

Honoring Generations of Support

BY // 10.09.23
photography Daniel Ortiz

From the chancel of the Church of St. John the Divine where the music was as heavenly as the surroundings to the stunning environs of Weiss Energy Hall in the Houston Museum of Natural Science, ROCO’s 11th annual Revelry gala offered supporters an extraordinary evening.

As is tradition, the annual fundraiser began with a concert at St. John’s, as it is affectionately known, where the ROCO chamber orchestra introduced the world premiere of Anthony DiLorenzo‘s commissioned work Tectonal. The music is based on acclaimed book The Telling Image by renowned documentary filmmaker and Houstonian Lois Stark, who on this evening received ROCO’s Wildcatting in the Arts awards. DiLorenzo also attended.

10. Andrew and Jaena Coit with Kevin Lau, Composer of The Nightingale (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Andrew & Jean Coit, composer Kevin Lau at ROCO’s 11th annual Revelry Gala (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

As a chamber orchestra, ROCO is committed to shaping the future of classical music. Its website describes it as “energizing, modernizing and personalizing the concert experience.” Thus, the world premiere featured AI text-informed animation from musical artist Cynthia Wong, who joined both the concert and the following dinner.

The program included Kevin Lau‘s The Nightingale presented with full orchestra and projections of the accompanying narration by Alicia Lawyer, ROCO founder, artistic director and principal oboe. The concert concluded with an expanded 52-piece ensemble performing Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. All conducted by ROCO’s artistic partner Mei-Ann Chen.

Attendees then moved on to the museum for cocktails with background music provided by ROCO’s curated “Joyful” playlist of past concert recordings while they explored the Weiss Energy Hall.

13. Louis and Gail Adler, Veronika and Marc Adler (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Louis & Gail Adler, Veronike & Marc Adler at ROCO’s 11th annual Revelry Gala (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

“ROCO has always forged a trailblazing path in our field. The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Weiss Energy Hall is a place that celebrates energy and momentum in our city with which ROCO aligns,” Lawyer told the gathering. “We are celebrating the multi-generational approach we bring to classical music that creates ripple effects for years to come.

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“Thanks to the incredible philanthropic support of many, we are honored with the opportunity to be innovators and energizers within our community while bringing people together through the power of classical music locally and beyond.”

The evening honored three generations of the Coit family for their multi-generational support of ROCO, Greenwood King Properties received the Pillar of the Arts award, accepted by Rachel Morris Rosson, George Sutherland and Jeremy Fain.

16. Alecia Lawyer, ROCO Founder, Awarding Lois Stark with the Wildcatting in the Arts Award (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
ROCO founder Alecia Lawyer, Wildcatting in the Arts Award recipient Lois Stark at ROCO’s 11th annual Revelry Gala (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

PC Seen: Gala chair Liliana Soltero, Michael Hawkins, Beverly and Bill Coit, Jeana and Andrew Coit, Liz Coit, George Stark, Ali and Frank Donnelly, Rachel and John Rosson, Anne Bean, Susan Binney, Kevin Lau and Alexa Wilks Lau, Gail and Dr.Louis Adler, Ellen Susman, Cyvia Wolff, Veronica and Mark Adler, Taylor Davis, and Dr. Gregory Scott Brown.

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