3:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Featuring the woodwind trio: ROCO’s Founder, Artist Director and Principal Oboist, Alecia Lawyer; Principal Clarinetist Nathan Williams; and Principal Bassoonist Kristen Wolf Jensen, this concert will introduce audiences to a section of the orchestra they may not know much about. Oboist Alecia Lawyer promises to not only impress you with their musical ability but entertain you with “behind the scenes” stories.
Alecia Lawyer, Oboe
Named by Musical America as one of classical music’s Top 30 Influencers for 2015 and a Lorée oboe artist in 2019, Texas native, Alecia Lawyer, is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Oboist of ROCO, a professional music ensemble that flexes from 1 to 40 musicians from around the US and Canada, including guest conductors from around the world. Expanding the repertoire, ROCO has commissioned and world premiered over 100 works from living composers. The group performs dozens of concerts annually in multiple venues throughout Houston, many of which are broadcast nationally and livestreamed to the world. Known as “The Most Fun You Can Have with Serious Music!” ROCO has been called a trailblazer and arts disrupter and is leading the sector in innovation.
Calling her business model “Wildcatting in the Arts”, 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. She is a proud senior fellow of American Leadership Forum, a trustee for Episcopal High School, and a member of the Institute for Composer Diversity. She has received numerous awards, including the Gutsy Gal Award from Houston Woman Magazine and Sigma Alpha Iota Musician of the Year. She regularly presents her entrepreneurial model and dynamic ideas to conservatories, universities, and music festivals around the US, such as Juilliard, Yale, SMU, Round Top, and the Texas Music Festival, using ROCO as a case study for community-specific orchestra building. Business and social groups in the Greater Houston Area engage her to speak on numerous topics related to the creation, innovation, marketing, and development of the arts.
After receiving her Masters from Juilliard and Bachelors from SMU, both in oboe, Alecia’s career has ranged from recording for John Cage and soloing with Rostropovich, to a contemporary chamber music recital at Carnegie Hall, live radio broadcasts in New York, and disc jockeying for KRTS-92.1FM, Houston, TX. Enjoying a year residency in France, she recorded with the Sorbonne Orchestra, performed recitals in Paris, and concertized with various orchestras and chamber groups in France and Germany. Alecia and her husband Larry have two fantastic sons, Jacob and Zachary.
Nathan Williams, Clarinet
An internationally celebrated soloist and chamber musician, clarinetist Nathan Williams has recently been praised for his “sublime control”, “silky sound”, and “dazzling technique”. He is the principal clarinetist of ROCO and, along with pianist Audrey Andrist and violinist James Stern, is a founding member of Strata, a trio that for more than 20 years has been honing and, through regular commissions, augmenting this ensemble’s repertory. Strata’s latest commissions include works by Stephen Paulus, which the trio premiered in Merkin Concert Hall, and by Kenneth Frazelle, which Strata premiered on the Secrest Series in Winston-Salem, NC. Most recently, Strata participated in a commissioning consortium for a new trio by Libby Larsen, which they premiered in March, 2016.
Kristen Wolfe Jensen, Bassoon
Jensen has served on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music since 1995, and is also on the faculty of the International Festival Institute at Round Top and principal bassoonist with ROCO. Jensen also recently released several acclaimed solo and chamber music CD’s. Ms. Jensen is co-director of the biennial Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition for young women bassoonists from the Americas, which hosts an educational bassoon symposium along with the competition. An esteemed pedagogue, she has given guest recitals and master classes at many major American music schools, and her former UT students hold major orchestral positions and university teaching positions around the country. Her extensive online bassoon method, Music and the Bassoon, provides an innovative, multimedia approach to learning the bassoon.
Formerly, Ms. Jensen served on the faculties of both the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of North Texas, and also served as Visiting Professor at Indiana University in 2012. Ms. Jensen has toured Europe with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, served as acting principal bassoonist of the Houston Grand Opera, and has been a member of The Dallas Opera Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony, the Las Vegas Symphony, Jupiter Symphony of New York, and Continuum. She has performed solo recitals at several International Double Reed Society conferences, and was co-host of the 2005 conference in Austin. As a student, she won concerto competitions at the Juilliard School of Music, where she received her Master’s degree, and the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied as an undergraduate, which led to performances of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto, k. 191.
Performance Location: John Wesley UMC, 5830 Bermuda Dunes Dr., Houston 77069
Date & Time: 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Tickets: $12 Adult, $10 Senior, $8 Child/Student, $8/person Groups of 6 or more
Season Ticket Sales: On Sale Now
Single Ticket Sales: 9am, Monday, August 2, 2021