Lee: Distinctive and Compelling

Lee3 Hallelu Yah BCAS 50th Logo - Golden Banner edit

“James Lee III has one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in all of music.”

Lee3 Hallelu Yah BCA Tom Hall photo

BCA music director Tom Hall; courtesy: BCA

On the eve of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s (BCA) March 20 world premiere of the composer’s new work Hallelu Yah!, music director Tom Hall offers some insight into the first performance. Hall continues. “In 2010, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society was honored to present the world premiere recording of James’ powerful motet A Clean Heart (Gothic Catalog G-49277), and we are thrilled to have commissioned his [new] ebullient, lush, and joyful setting of Hallelu Yah!

“[This Lee Hallelu Yah score edit redseason is] the 50th Anniversary of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Hallelu Yah! is an imaginative, expansive and towering work that is a perfect fit for the celebratory occasion for which we have commissioned it.  The phrase, ‘Hallelu Yah’ is punctuated, enlarged and transformed by masterful interpolations of Hebrew texts that describe different dimensions of God. The result is a joyous, raucous, rapturous, and stirring work.”

Upcoming: Lee’s next world premiere takes place on April 24 when the composer’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble receives its first performance by the Morgan State University Symphonic Band featuring soloist Rochelle Sennett.