Saturday, October 16, 2021 - 7:30 p.m.
Jim Rouse Theatre
James Lee III
Niiji Memories is a concerto for flute and orchestra in four movements inspired by elements of indigenous/Native American history of North America. “Niiji defines as an aboriginal from Turtle Island/North America, other than Inuit.” Movement one, Forgotten Emblems was inspired by paintings of “Emblems of America” that show black Indigenous Aboriginal Americans of the United States. There are elements of a both sonata form and rhapsody present in this movement. The second movement Ghost Dance serves as a Scherzo movement and uses melodic material that is quoted from a Choctaw Indian Honor Song. Upon observation of the Ghost Dances among some Native American tribes, there are some interesting similarities with the “Holy Ghost Dancing” of “Praise Breaks” in black Pentecostal church services. The third movement, Song of the Niiji has a performance indication of “Very Soulful” and at times has elements of a lamentation as the soul of the Niiji sings through the flute. In Awakened to Flight, the fourth and final movement, the Niiji continues to ascend into flight and soar as a carefree spirit. After movement to a climax, the music is transformed into a decidedly calm and reflective character as if the memory of the Niiji has finally faded and ends, only to be taken up again on another day.
—James Lee III
About the Concert
We're back! And what better way to celebrate coming together than with Beethoven's joyous Seventh Symphony. Composer James Lee III has written a thrilling work for the Orchestra and flute virtuoso Julietta Curenton inspired by Native American history and culture. Be there for the world premiere of a masterpiece in person at the Jim Rouse Theatre or virtually from the comfort of your own home!
Stay tuned for information on the virtual option for this concert!