Who We Are

We are proud to introduce you to a new cutting-edge orchestra in Cypress, Texas. The Cypress Chamber Orchestra, (CCO).  The CCO will inspire audiences and make a positive impact in Cypress and surrounding communities through innovative programming and educational outreach that will contribute to the rich musical culture of the greater Houston area. The CCO will pave the way towards a new, innovative, and more community-focused classical world.

The Cypress Chamber Orchestra was founded by Kirk Wilke, a former trumpet player in the Fife and Drum Army Band who is now a celebrated conductor, and  Michael Drapkin, an internationally-known clarinetist, entrepreneur, and prolific composer and arranger.  Wilke and Drapkin, who met at Eastman School of Music, have come together to put minds together to create something new. Their goal: shake up the classical music industry with a chamber orchestra that caters to audiences today.

Michael Drapkin served as a member on the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Phil, where he helped influence the Brooklyn Model of programming that the philharmonic used. In short, the Brooklyn Model focuses on collaboration with musicians from the community the organization serves to create a deeper connection between the audience members and classical music. In the summer of 2023, the CCO will perform a concert featuring a Houston-based country artist or band, accompanied by professional musicians alongside student musicians.

In addition to focusing on collaborating with local musicians, the Brooklyn Model features the use of arrangements of some of the most famous classical music hits, taking what normally would need a large orchestra of 60 members or more and shrinking it to the size of a chamber orchestra, which uses less than 50 musicians. Arranging major symphonies for the chamber orchestra allows the ensemble to reach more people from more places, spreading the joy and beauty of classical music to those who may not otherwise experience it. We are so thrilled to have Michael Drapkin, our co-founder, arrange works that the CCO will perform.