School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan
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The University Symphony Orchestra

Hill Auditorium

The University Symphony Orchestra

The University Symphony Orchestra performs the great Third Symphony of Brahms, whose melodies have found their way into popular culture through dozens of movies and songs. The program also includes Ravel’s La Valse, the colorful and revolutionary orchestral showpiece originally conceived as a ballet, and Charlotte Mecklenburg by Nkeiru Okoye, American composer of Nigerian descent. Written to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city of Charlotte, NC. Premiered in 2018, the work quotes a variety of music to trace its history, including a hymn tune, a spiritual and jazz. The title comes from the city’s namesake Queen who likely had mixed-race heritage. The composition’s title relates to Okoye’s other music, which includes pieces about Phillis Wheatley and Harriet Tubman. She has said, “I crafted together my reflections and additional research using various melodic elements from original and folk sources, well-known and obscure. With a gentle nod to Aaron Copland, and the early 20th century call for more “American” music, the composition weaves a tapestry of the city and its history.”

Program:

Brahms, Symphony No. 3

Nkeiru Okoye, Charlotte Mecklenberg 

Ravel, La Valse

hill organ