FORUM at Lees-McRae College

FORUM was organized in 1979 by a small group of summer residents for the purpose of bringing a stimulating series of cultural programs to the area. With the help of Lees-McRae College, one of the region's most important resources, FORUM has grown significantly and embarks on its thirty-ninth year of providing both cultural enrichment and wholesome entertainment to the community.

The key to FORUM's success is the dedicated involvement and cooperation between seasonal residents, local residents and Lees-McRae College. The FORUM Board of Directors is made up of representatives from each of these groups.

The formula for the selection of programs is unique. Programs are selected as a result of personal contact with area residents and National Talent Agents. Recommendations are made to the Program Selection Committee who finalizes the selections by contacting the artists or their agent for availability during our time frame, while staying within FORUM's limited budget. The Program Selection Committee attempts to balance its choices by providing presentations by vocalists, Big Band/brass, chamber ensembles, pianists, dance and drama. Each year, this committee, led by the FORUM Vice-President, considers more than 50 candidates, reviews performers and reduces the number of candidates to 16 possible programs. These are presented to the Board of Directors who in turn, selects the eight programs for the following year.

Expenses for FORUM programs are underwritten by contributors. In special cases, entire programs are underwritten by members of the community. FORUM plans each year's programs based on the previous year's contributions. The membership year is September 1 through August 31.

To continue our many years of service to the community, you are invited to become a FORUM Patron - $150.00 per person for open seating or a FORUM Centurion - $450 per person for reserved seating and reserved parking.  Centurions and Patrons are provided a ticket to the eight performances each season. Checks should be made payable to FORUM or you may pay with Mastercard, Discover or American Express.

To become a FORUM Centurion or Patron, contact Sandy Ramsey at or 828.898.8748 or complete the online application form


Sandy Ramsey
FORUM Coordinator | 828.898.8748
P.O. Box 649
Banner Elk, NC 28604

Summer 2018 Season

We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered 

June 18, 2018

This show celebrates the musical legacy of one of the most successful recording acts of all time. Led by Michelle Brett and accompanied by a live five piece Nashville Band, the show re-creates the Carpenters’ original sound. 

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Roy and Rosemary with Vocalist Tiffany Desrosiers

June 25, 2018

Instrumental Pop Fusion! A pianist and violinist who bring Hollywood’s beloved cinematic instrumental songs to your concert stage. They're Bogart and Bacall of Hollywood’s soundtrack virtuosos. They are Roy & Rosemary who will perform with vocalist Tiffany Desrosiers, who performed with Vivace last season.

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Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra

July 2, 2018

Uncle Sam Wants You! Celebrating the patriotic accomplishments of all kinds of Americans: soldiers, workers, schoolchildren, and each of us in our own way with orchestra and vocalists!  

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Vox Fortura

July 9, 2018

Vox Fortura is an exceptionally talented classical singing group and semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent in 2016. Featuring four male acapella vocalists, they combine a classical crossover operatic style with iconic songs that audiences will find very familiar. Spectacular sounds! 

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Branden & James—“From Bach to Bieber”

July 16, 2018

Finalists in America’s Got Talent, Branden & James have been traversing the globe sharing the stage with legends such as Sarah Maclachlan, Rita Moren, and Kimberley Locke. They regularly entertain for Princess, Oceana and Azamara Cruise lines with their energetic shows. They weave familiar melodies of pop tunes in classical style with their own unique sound.  

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The Dutton Experience

July 23, 2018

The Duttons, international touring and recording artists, perform bluegrass to classical and everything in between. The show features a variety of instruments as well as dancing and singing. They collaborate to create unique production ideas for their audiences. This is a family well known to audiences throughout the world.  

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Glenn Miller Orchestra

July 30, 2018

This world-famous orchestra is a fully self-contained group consisting of the music director, five saxophone players, four trumpeters, four trombonists, and three rhythm musicians (piano, bass and drums). There are two vocalists, one male and one female, who perform individually & as part of The Moonlight Serenaders group.

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The StepCrew

August 6, 2018

Created by longtime touring members of The Chieftains, the StepCrew combines Irish, Tap and Ottawa Valley Step dancing, Music and Song. The virtuosic cast of 11 dancers and musicians, comprised of the leading performers in today’s Celtic music scene have appeared on the international stages of the leading Celtic Festivals worldwide. They are born entertainers!  

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FORUM Board of Directors

Gail Bamman
Henry Best
Rose Cole
Mike Fields
French Harvey
Julie Harvey
Gene Hawley
Cynthia Holley
Nancy Hoyt
Jake Jacobs
Harold Kaplan
Bill Lumpkin
Dee Merser
Murray Miller
Becky Moline
Bruce Moline
Mark Polderman
Pat Polderman
Harris Prevost
Jeanine Ramey
Richard Rhyne – President
Joan Rhyne – Vice President
Joe Samuel
Denny Slawn
Bob Twitty
Sue Twitty
Nancy Vogelsang
Cliff Williams
Marilee Williams