BANNER ELK — After a year hiatus due to COVID-19, Lees-McRae College has announced that Forum will be returning to campus this summer.
The Forum at Lees-McRae began in 1979 and has been providing musical entertainment to area communities at Lees-McRae College. To ensure the safety of its patrons, the theater will operate at half capacity, but will be running two shows a night.
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 the program’s 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 the program’s many years of service to the community, individuals are invited to become a FORUM Patron at $150 per person for open seating or a FORUM Centurion at $450 per person for reserved seating and reserved parking. Centurions and Patrons are provided a ticket to the eight performances each season.
The 2021 Summer Forum season will take place at the Hayes Auditorium, Broyhill Theater. Shows will begin at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each performance, with 60-minute shows held at 50-percent capacity.
Monday night shows for 2021:
- Mac Frampton: That Mancini Magic — June 14
- December ’63 Music: Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons — June 21
- Symphony of the Mountains — June 28
- Ted Vigil’s Ultimate John Denver Tribute — July 5
- Shades of Buble, Three Man Trio — July 12
- Ben Gulley — Classical and Opera Tenor — July 19
- Masters of Soul — Groups performing Motown — July 26
- Daniel Rodriguez and the Highland Divas, The “singing policeman” and Three Sopranos for an International Musical Journey-August 2