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Chamber orchestra and voice highlight music about
human interactions with nature while looking back in time.

7:30pm Mansfield Theater

January 21 2023


Mezzo-soprano Kimberly James features on
Songs of a Wayfarer  and Four Songs.


Michael-Thomas Foumai
Concerto Grosso



Unlike a solo concerto where a single solo instrument plays the melody line and is accompanied by the orchestra, in a concerto grosso, a small group of soloists passes the melody between themselves and the orchestra or a small ensemble. Popular in baroque music, it’s making a comeback with contemporary composers. 

Ethel Smyth

Four Songs



Featuring guest artist


La danse


Ode anacréontique

These oft-overlooked gems embrace the coloristic influence of Debussy, creating a deft balance between the mezzo soprano and flute, harp, percussion and strings.

Jean Sibelius

Valse Triste


Written originally as music for a play titled Death, the magical intensity of this “Sad Waltz” captures the sense of haunting memories recollected in old age.

Gustav Mahler

Arr. Arnold Schoenberg

Songs of a Wayfarer


Featuring guest artist

Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht
(When My Sweetheart is Married)

Ging heut’ Morgen über’s Feld
(I Went This Morning over the Field)

Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer
(I Have a Gleaming Knife)

Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz
(The Two Blue Eyes of My Beloved)

Linking multiple poems together in a song cycle allowed composers to trace complex emotional arcs. Orchestral lieder have a more contemplative spirit rather than the extravagance of other genres combining voice and orchestra, such as opera. Mahler’s own heartbreak sparked this four-song Romantic work which alternates between a lover’s anguish and expressions of the beauty of nature.

Johann Strauss, Jr.

Arr. Arnold Schoenberg

Emperor Waltz



The waltz begins quietly then builds to a mood that remains constantly upbeat and triumphant. A cello solo near the end of the work reprises the melody of the first waltz section, before a trumpet fanfare ushers the end of the work, complete with a drumroll on the timpani and a strong brass flourish.

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Kimberly James

Dr. Kimberly Gratland James, Mezzo-Soprano, joined the University of Nevada–Las Vegas School of Music faculty in 2017 as an Assistant Professor with more than 20 years of professional performance and teaching experience in vocal music. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Montana, where she primarily taught applied voice, voice pedagogy, and diction for singers.

Dr. James maintains an active performance career, particularly as a concert artist and recitalist. She has performed in concert with the London Sinfonietta, the New World Symphony, the Los Angeles Symphony, and on stage with New Orleans Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, among other organizations. Her performance repertoire is quite diverse, encompassing oratorio works by Bach, operatic repertoire from Purcell to Adamo, and concert works by Verdi, Mahler, Ravel, and contemporary composers. She is passionate about culturally-situated art and looks forward to exploring Las Vegas and the U.S. Southwest, Mexico, and the Central & South Americas in performance venues and repertoire.

James’s growing passion for bridging the gap between the hard sciences and singing began in 2008 when she completed a vocology certificate program at the National Center for Voice and Speech under Dr. Ingo Titze. Her work has been published in the Journal of Voice (multi-institutional research study) and Journal of  Singing (book review). She presents posters and invited sessions regularly at regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. James is a member of the Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA) and has been an active leader in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) at the local, regional, and national levels, as well as the College Music Society (CMS).

In addition to her vocology certificate, James also earned degrees from Texas Christian University (BS), Rice University (MM), and Indiana University (Performer Diploma, DMA).



Why You Shouldn't Miss It


Two of the five works on this concert will feature Kimberly James, whose tone has been described as well-rounded, deep, rich, and resonant. Her performances have been noted for vocal strength, nuance, musicality, and convincing dramatic portrayals.

Come in from the cold and enjoy this exciting concert.

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