Wanderer’s Stars: Songs that Illuminate Our Path Toward Home

Sunday, July 30
3:00 p.m.


The tapestries of our existence are woven in song. Lyrics rhythms and melodies guide us, illuminating our paths and providing solace, inspiration, and connection. They evoke memories, feelings and stories that are uniquely ours. We each embody our own big tiny universe, and the songs are the stars in our constellations, their light reflecting who we are. They capture the essence of our individuality, shaping our perspectives and influencing the way we navigate and describe the world.

No matter where we travel, these songs are with us and part of us; they urge us to laugh, to dance, to celebrate and they permit us to grieve.

These songs become a part of our language, expressing the depth and complexity of our relationships, our beliefs, our hopes, dreams, and fears. They make us miss those we’ve lost, and help us to uncover deeper love for those with whom we wander each day.

Wanderer’s Stars is a celebration of the power of the human voice to transcend boundaries, and of the power of song to help us define our sense of home, of who we are. It bridges the gaps between genres -- from the soaring to the vibrant, the polished to the raw --- from Classical to Pop, Musical Theater to folk. Soprano Jodi Burns, Baritone Thao Nguyen and Pianist Natalie Barela invite the audience into an immersive experience of connection and discovery. Pouring their hearts out onstage, illuminating the constellations of their personal tales and creating an unforgettable musical journey for all who listen.

Jodi Burns, Soprano
Thao Nguyen, Baritone
Natalie Barela, Piano


$27 General Admission
$10 Ages 6-18


Piedmont Music Center

212 N Broad St
Winston-Salem, NC 27101



“America” by Paul Simon

“Let Me Call You Sweetheart”  by Leo Friedman and Beth Slater Whitson

Patsy Cline Songs

“Heartaches” by Al Hoffman aad John Klenner

“I Fall to Pieces” by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard

“Crazy” by Willie Nelson

“Walking After Midnight” by Alan Block and Don Hech

“Everybody says Don’t” from Anyone Can Whistle by Steven Sondheim and Arthur Lauraents

L’Heure Exquise by Reynaldo Hahn

“River” by Joni Mitchell

“Wondering” from Bridges of Madison County by Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman

“My Own Space” from The Act by John Kander and Fred Ebb

“Make Someone Happy” from Do Re Mi by Jule Styne, Comden and Green

“But if You Say…” by Jodi Burns

“When I Have Sung My Songs to You” by Ernest Charles

“All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber


Jodi Burns

Soprano Jodi Burns is recognized as an exciting new voice in opera. After viewing her debut as Ann Trulove with The Princeton Festival's The Rake's Progress, Anthony Tommasini wrote in The New York Times of her “plush voice and rich expressivity.” And her “soprano soared” as Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore with Piedmont Opera, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.

Her reflective, deliberate character interpretations and graceful presence lit up the stage during her study as a fellow at UNCSA’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute(opens in new tab). She holds a Master of Music from UNCSA and B.M.E. from The Ohio State University.

Prior to her professional debut with Piedmont Opera as Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, Jodi appeared numerous times on the stage of the Stevens Center. Roles include Barbarina (The Marriage of Figaro), the Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel), and Ida (Die Fledermaus) — all with conductor Jamie Allbritten. She performed with the Princeton Festival under conductor Richard Tangyuk as Ann Trulove (The Rake's Progress) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). With the Fletcher Institute she gave commanding performances as Maria (Maria Stuarda), Adina (L'Elisir d'Amore), Rose (Street Scene) and Flaminia (Haydn's Il Mondo della Luna), again with Jamie Allbritten conducting.

Other appearances include Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) with Opera Theatre of the Rockies and concert performances with the North Carolina Symphony (Mozart, Exsultate Jubilate, Mass in C Minor, Martern Aller Arten) conducted by Grant Llewellyn, the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony (Poulenc Gloria, Vaughan Williams Benedicite) and with the UNCSA Symphony (Mahler, Symphony No. 2), conducted by John Mauceri. She also is the singer/songwriter in the band Judy Barnes. The band performs throughout the state, having had features spots at Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh and Phuzz Phest in Winston-Salem.

Jodi competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions where she won at the District level, claimed first place in the Southeast Regional Competition, and sang in the semi-finals at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen is a Director/Producer/Actor/Singer who is comfortable on both the operatic and musical theatre stage. He is acclaimed by critics for his "velvety baritone and his ease and grace on stage."

Notable Performances: Off Broadway/Regional- Tropical Angels, Miss Saigon, Shrek, 25th annual..., South Pacific, Bridgerton the musical choreographed by Emmy winner Tyce Diorio, Pippin (Winner "Best Performer in a Musical" BroadwayWorld CT) and David Wolfson’s opera Fortune's Children with Hartford Opera Theater, which is now streaming on BroadwayOnDemand.

An active film/TV/commercial actor, you can catch him in Marvel's She-Hulk available on Disney+ and in the feature film "Nemesis Eterna" coming in 2024, along with many national commercials.

You can follow him on all social media @thetaoofThao and www.thaotnguyen.com for further information.

Natalie Barela

Pianist Natalie Barela was born in Anaheim Hills, California and raised in Sweetwater, Texas, and has been studying piano since the age of 6. When introduced to softball, she quickly realized that she had a stronger pull to the arts and stuck with her music studies, and soon began competing in solo piano competitions. Homeschooled from the age of five until high school graduation, she then graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. Natalie was recipient of three awards while a student at Hardin-Simmons: the Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship, Ruth Skiles Memorial Scholarship and the Kelly Nichole Scholarship. She is now attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts to obtain her Professional Artist Certificate (PAC) in Collaborative Piano. Her teachers have included Noreen Carson, Mark Puckett and Allison Gagnon, and a guiding light on her collaborative path has been Abigail Payne, herself an alum (2009) of the UNCSA collaborative piano program.

Natalie was active in the Abilene Chapter of the Texas Music Teachers Association from 2017 until moving to North Carolina, and she is currently a member of the Greensboro Chapter of North Carolina Music Teacher’s Association. Natalie is an active member of the Charlotte Alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. Through Sigma Alpha Iota, she was awarded the Sword of Honor after demonstrating strong leadership within the chapter and fulfilling all duties of Vice President Ritual in an outstanding manner. Natalie has collaborated in musical theatre, voice and instrument recitals, choirs, both concert and jazz band, and operetta "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehár. At UNCSA, she has already been active in chamber music and opera scenes projects.