FORUM at Lees-McRae CollegeFORUM at Lees-McRae College

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-sixth 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 - $135.00 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 all four major credit cards are accepted.

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

P.O. Box 649
Banner Elk, NC 28604

2015 FORUM Season

All performances will be held at 7 p.m. in the Broyhill Theatre of Hayes Auditorium

June 22, 2015 | Good Vibrations

Born in Poland, multi-instrumentalist “Kuba” is best known for his performance on vibraphone, and has mastered the incredibly difficult Theremin.  In addition, he plays drums, marimba, percussion instruments, piano, guitar, violin, kalimba, flute and handsaw.  Kuba’s live concerts are highly entertaining, incorporating classical numbers as well as standards.  He now calls Tennessee home where he lives with his wife, musical theatre actress Rebecca Lowe. 

June 29, 2015 | David Osborne 

Although David Osborne earned the moniker "Pianist to the Presidents" for his frequent performances for Presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, & Obama, his romantic songs have also thrilled celebrities, dignitaries and the millions of "ordinary" Americans who have listened to and loved his recordings. The FORUM welcomes Mr. Osborne as he returns to our theater.

July 6, 2015 | Western Piedmont Symphony

SYMPHONIC SOUND STAGE | A Night of Song and Dance from the Hollywood Studios

Conductor, John Gordon Ross, returns for its 12th year at THE FORUM. WPS believes that you are neither too young nor too old to listen to and enjoy fine music.  The Western Piedmont Symphony strives to provide musical performances of distinction that enrich and enliven the community’s classical music experience and to nourish new audiences through school concerts and family outreach programs.   

July 13, 2015 | Two On Tap

Most people tap their feet when they hear music-- some people make music by tapping their feet. This production celebrates the artistry of tap dance around the globe. Welcome back this terrific twosome who are adding over a dozen new pieces, including a great "Singin' in the Rain" medley, a moving tribute to our troops including "You're a Grand Old Flag," a gorgeous duet rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a ballroom-infused "Cheek to Cheek," and more. A fresh new show for those who enjoyed their first visit!

July 20, 2015 | Hickory Jazz Orchestra

Welcome to the Hickory Jazz Orchestra! The Hickory Jazz Orchestra (HJO) is a full size 18-piece group that performs swing and big band classics from the era of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington as well as the sounds of modern big bands. Vocalists are included!  

July 27, 2015 | Brad Zinn in “The Great Comedians – Those Felt Hat and Big Cigar Funny Men”

Brad Zinn’s "The Great Comedians, Those Felt Hat and Big Cigar Funny Men," is a heartfelt salute to his childhood heroes that includes generous portions of comedy, music, juggling, magic, rope spinning, audience participation, and extended impersonations of Johnny Carson, George Burns, Jack Benny, and Will Rogers. Brad’s impressions also include W. C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Jimmy Durante, George Jessel, Fred Allen, and Red Skelton. 
Watch video of Brad Zinn

August 3, 2015 | Take Me Home: The Music of John Denver

Jim Curry has created the ultimate tribute experience and has emerged as the top performer of John Denver’s music today. He often performs with John Denver’s former band members. Curry has taken his show on the road to Performing Arts Centers and Casinos in the US and Canada and out to sea as one of the most popular cruise line shows. The Denver family has selected Curry as the soul performer to produce a tribute show in Denver's memory.

August 10, 2015 | Masters of Soul

A celebration of the legendary songs and performers that defined Motown and it's music. This show features stylishly costumed, choreographed performances backed by a live band. The Temptations - Gladys Knight & The Pips - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - The Four Tops - Diana Ross & The Supremes - The Jackson Five - Stevie Wonder - and many more! You will take the ultimate stroll down memory lane as they relive the incredible harmonies made famous by many of the greatest recording acts.

FORUM Board of Directors

Larry Barnhorst
Henry Best
Rose Cole
Mike Fields
Shelly Gassner
John Graham
Mary Graham
Rick Hammell
Mary Stuart Hartmann
French Harvey
Julie Harvey
Gene Hawley
Bill Lumpkin

Dee Merser
Murray Miller
Becky Moline
Harris Prevost
Mary Beth Ragin
David Ramey
Jeanine Ramey
Richard Rhyne - President
Joan Rhyne – Vice President
Denny Slawn
Linda Stephens
Cliff Williams
Marilee Williams