Outer Banks Forum celebrates 40 years; Long running series continues to delight

For most of the Forum’s first three decades, volunteers set up chairs for performances held at Kitty Hawk Elementary School. Since 2004, the Outer Banks Forum performances are held at David E. Oaksmith Auditorium at First FLight High School. (Submitted)

In 1983, Charles Hermann, a WWII veteran and retired engineer gathered a group of friends at the Kitty Hawk Fire Station and set out to bring entertainment to the Outer Banks. Forty years and over 200 concerts later, the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts continues this vision with a slate of seven acts running from September 16, 2023, to April 27, 2024.

“We are excited to bring the curtain up and present a thrilling and historic season,” says David Connaughton, president of the Outer Banks Forum. “Our board is committed to bringing quality entertainment to the Outer Banks and this season is full of crowd-pleasers.” 

The 2023-2024 season will include something for everyone with music by Neil Diamond, John Denver, Paul Simon, Jim Croce, James Taylor, Floyd Cramer, Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and also the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Subscriptions for the seven acts are available now with individual tickets released on August 25. All performances are 7:30pm at David E. Oaksmith Auditorium, First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills. 

The season opens with JACK WRIGHT’S TRIBUTE TO NEIL DIAMOND “SUPERSTAR,” a high-energy Neil Diamond tribute experience on September 16. Next up, the talented family band ROCKLAND ROAD. This group has special musical heritage, formed when the daughter (and grandkids) of an Oak Ridge Boy, married the former lead singer of pop country supergroup Exile. They take you on a musical journey across multiple generations and genres, celebrating great music with emphasis on harmony on October 14. Jim Curry will delight with TAKE ME HOME: THE MUSIC OF JOHN DENVER, an inspired evening of songs by America’s most beloved singer songwriter on November 4.

With the turn of the new year, award-winning singer-songwriter Tom Glynn takes you on a magical journey to the 1970s with AMERICAN TUNE: SIMON, CROCE AND TAYLOR on January 20, 2024. The ever-popular VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA comes to the beach on February 24. And March 23 features pianist Jason ‘Floyd’ Coleman bringing new life to the music made famous by his grandfather with LAST DATE: THE FLOYD CRAMER STORY WITH GRANDSON JASON COLEMAN. Sure to have audiences members tapping and dancing in the aisles is the season closure A TRIBUTE TO THE LEGENDARY LADIES OF SOUL on April 27, 7:30pm. This high-energy show features the music of Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Etta James performed by a star-studded ensemble that has performed and recorded with such greats as Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and over 40 other Hall of Fame Legends. 

Season subscriptions are on sale until September 16. Individual events are on sale season wide starting August 25. All tickets are print-at-home and sold at www.outerbanksforum.org.