From the rousing concert in St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, it was a quick jaunt up River Oaks Boulevard as fans of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) moved on to fully celebrate the launch of the group's 11th season.
Under the direction of guest conductor Andrés Cárdenes, the concert included the premiere of composer Rick Robinson’s “Gitcha Groove On,” ROCO’s 44th commission, made possible by NewMusicBox and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Music Alive Partnership Award. The concert ended with a standing ovation and lively applause.
So it was an energized throng — 40 musicians and 250 guests —who sat down for dinner in the River Oaks Country Club ballroom. Mills Toomey, on the arm of hubby Steve, chaired the four-course dinner evening.
ROCO founder, artistic director and principal oboe Alecia Lawyer and executive Eric Skelly introduced the evenings honorees — Anne Carsey, Suzanne Lyons and Fran Sampson. That industrious trio is affectionately referred to as "The Three Graces" for their efforts establishing the Founding Consortium, a group of more than 50 donors that underwrites five of the sponsored musician chairs.
ROCO fans attending included Leslie and Jack Blanton, Clare Glaasell, Cora Bess Meyer, Will Cannady, Mimi Lloyd, Sarah and Jeff McPharland, Amanda McMillian and Benjamin Holloway and Sara White.