ROCA – General Description – Mission and Programs
The Richmond Orchestra and Chorus Association (ROCA) is a non-profit organization that provides the opportunity for community musicians to rehearse and perform a variety of music, from classical to modern, in a series of six concerts per year. We are committed to musical excellence, building connections through audience engagement, nurturing musical talent and providing community service through our programs.
Community Performance Partnership Program
ROCA has an active community outreach program that connects with other non-profits to share in the exposure of our events. Community Performance Partners (CPP) receive complimentary tickets to a concert specifically chosen for them to use to reward volunteers, as an auction item for fundraising initiatives or simply to give to clients or donors. Additionally, they receive exposure on our social media platforms and are welcome to place a display in the lobby of the concert venue and to speak to the audience. Many of our partners have reported benefiting from the opportunity by advocating for their mission, receiving donations, finding volunteers, promoting their programs and in some cases, encouraging a dialogue on hard issues.
In addition to raising awareness for other organizations, we organize two benefit concerts for local charities each year.
‘The Spirit of Christmas’ is a benefit concert for the Richmond Food Bank that features musicians from the Richmond Orchestra sharing beloved Christmas classics and new holiday staples. For an organization such as the Richmond Food Bank that receives no government support and relies entirely on the community to donate food, money and time, this event brings hundreds of people together with the sole purpose of supporting their vision of a ‘community where no one goes hungry’. ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ was started in 2016 has raised over $2,800 and 300lbs of food for the Richmond Food Bank through monetary and food donations at the door.
Since 2006, the Richmond Chorus has hosted ‘Richmond Sings!’, a benefit concert that brings youth and adult choirs together to raise money for a charity whose mission is to assist families in Richmond. The choirs celebrate the power of music in our community and perform a wide range of music ranging from classical to songs that can be heard on today’s radio station. This event attracts hundreds of people from the community and has raised nearly $20,000 for local charities such as the Dream Auction, Richmond Addiction Services Society, NOVA Transition House and S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Education Outreach Programs
The program of which we are most proud is our Elementary School Concert Series where musicians from the orchestra perform a 45 minute interactive concert for students in their schools’ gymnasiums. This program is free for the schools and strives to introduce classical music to students in an accessible way. We have delivered this program to 23 schools to date with an estimated 8,000 students in attendance Many schools report having learned new avenues for teaching expression and communication skills, new ways to integrate music into the general curriculum and an increased enthusiasm for orchestra music and the performing arts among the students.
‘Tix 4 Schools’ is another education outreach initiative designed to introduce elementary and high school students to the sights and sounds of a live orchestra and chorus by giving 30 complimentary tickets to schools in the Vancouver Lower Mainland. We welcome 8-10 schools each season from the Delta, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver districts.
Others ways we Give Back to our Community
Beyond our programs, we give back to our community by providing free performances in local malls, community centres, senior care homes and local festivals. We provide mentoring and life changing opportunities for aspiring musicians through our ‘Rising Stars’ concert series that features winners from the Richmond Music Festival performing as featured soloists with the Richmond Orchestra. We consistently deliver high-quality orchestra and choral music to local audiences and keep our ticket prices at a level which makes our concerts accessible to everyone while promoting talented local musicians as well as featuring guest appearances from Canada’s top talent.
For 35 years now, we remain dedicated to increasing the awareness and appreciation of music in Richmond and beyond while giving back to the community that faithfully supports us.