June 07, 2010
FORUM at Lees-McRae College begins its 31st season June 22

FORUM at Lees-McRae College kicks off its 31st season on June 22 with Big Ray and the Kool Kats in Hayes Auditorium on the campus in Banner Elk with seven Tuesday evening performances following through the summer.

This season includes performances by the Western Piedmont Symphony, Grammy winning singer/songwriter Linda Davis, and six-member family Irish Step and American dance group ShaeLaurel.

FORUM began in 1979 as an organization formed by a group of "summer people" with the purpose of bringing cultural programs to Banner Elk. Affiliated with Lees-McRae College, FORUM has grown to be a large organization made up of local residents, "summer people" and Lees-McRae College staff that provides programs of both cultural enrichment and wholesome entertainment to the community.

The 2010 season opens June 22 with Big Ray and the Kool Kats featuring a 12-member group of instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers bringing swing music from 60s, 70s and 80s. On June 29, David Osborne, known as the "Pianist to the Presidents," and his trio will present Broadway, romantic, classical and ageless standards of the American songbook.

Grammy winning singer and songwriter Linda Davis will grace the stage of Hayes Auditorium on July 6. This world-class entertainer brings an evening of country music and standards including her personal hits. July 13 will be the annual FORUM performance of the Western Piedmont Symphony. Music director and conductor John Gordon Ross returns for his 17th season with a program of popular classics.

Brian Roman will demonstrate his natural ability to sing on July 20 with many popular tunes from Elvis to Sinatra and his own recordings including "As Long As I have Music." ShaeLaurel will dance their way into FORUM patron lives on July 27 with their high-energy musical acrobatics along with Irish Step and American Dance and traditional vocals.

On August 3, Orange Kellin and the New Orleans Blue Serenaders featuring Vernel Bagneris brings talent to the FORUM stage fresh from Broadway. These seasoned performers will thrill listeners with sounds of the Big Easy.

And finally, rounding out the season, is Joseph Martin on August 10. Pianist and composer Martin, accompanied by wife Sue, a lyric soprano, the husband and wife duo will present a concert of secular piano and vocal music.

Membership in FORUM at Lees-McRae College is required to attend FORUM performances. For more information about FORUM, visit To become a FORUM patron, contact Sandy Ramsey at or (828) 898-8748.

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Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
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