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HIDDEN GEM: ROCO on the Go

When COVID hit, ROCO put its music library to use by developing playlists for Houston experiences.

HOUSTON — Music can help us focus. It can help us connect. It can help us experience. That makes it a powerful tool in the right hands.

"We place-make with music," said Alecia Lawyer, founder, artistic director and oboist of ROCO, a professional, 40-piece chamber orchestra based in Houston. "We have recorded all of our music all of these years for 17 seasons to be able to leave up our music for free listening."

When COVID hit, ROCO put that music to use by developing playlists for Houston experiences. The art and trails in Buffalo Bayou Park were the first to get QR codes that linked back to those playlists.

"ROCO on the Go is now all over Houston in about 20 different places: hospitals, parks and schools," Lawyer said.

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Those places include Memorial Park, Houston Botanic Garden and Houston Arboretum.

"At the Arboretum, it was really fun," Lawyer said. "They wanted a playlist for each of their five walks, so we grabbed onto something you see on the trail." 

Listening is easy, even if there isn’t a QR code. Just click here, choose your playlist and start moving, guided by the music.

"We have paid all the rights to musicians and publishers just to be able to give this free to the city and to our world," Lawyer said. "We take people on a tour of Houston through music."

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ROCO is able to do that thanks to sponsors and donors, whose contributions make up 92% of the nonprofit's budget.

"We don’t really rely on ticket sales to sponsor what we do," Lawyer said. "What we do is relational and not transactional."

To learn more about ROCO, click here.

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