Surf & Sounds Chamber Music Series returns to the Outer Banks for fifth year

Performers for the 5th annual Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series include Jacob Fowler, Cello and Musical Director, Luke Fleming Viola. Elizabeth Coulter Vonderheide, violin and Katie Hyun, violin. Pianist Dr. Amanda Halstead joins the group to complete the piano quintet. [Submitted photo]

The music of Beethoven, Grieg, Shostakovich and others all fill the air as the Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series returns to the Outer Banks for its fifth season.

Brought to the Outer Banks by the Bryan Cultural Series, these free performances will be held August 20-23 in Kitty Hawk, Duck, Buxton and Hatteras.

Under the direction Music Director Jake Fowler, the quartets from these classic compositions come alive as the beauty and artistry of the musicians merge with the creativity of the composers.

On Tuesday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores, a rare performance of Piano Quintet in F-sharp Minor, op. 67 by Amy Beach, as well as a piece by Beethoven. Pianist Dr. Amanda Halstead will also play in the quintet.

The string quartet will perform on Wednesday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m. Town of Duck Amphitheater in Duck, Thursday August 22, 7:00 p.m. Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Buxton and Friday August 23, 7 p.m. Dare County Arts Council, Manteo.

The performers include Jacob Fowler, cello and musical director, Luke Fleming, viola, Elizabeth Coulter Vonderheide, violin, and Katie Hyun, violin. On Tuesday pianist Dr. Amanda Halstead joins the group to complete the piano quintet.

The Bryan Cultural Series is a non-profit organization formed in 2012. The board of directors is composed of nine community leaders dedicated to offering a series of high quality cultural events. These events will include a variety of visual, literary and performing arts. The board strives to glean from talent that has attained regional as well as national recognition to maintain a high standard.

Substantial support for this annual cultural offering of events is provided by Village Realty, Dominion North Carolina Power, Towne Bank of Currituck, Hilton Garden Inn of Kitty Hawk, Ramada Plaza Hotel of Kill Devil Hills and the Outer Banks Community Foundation. For more information about these events, visit

Featured performer bios:

  • Jacob Fowler holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and the Shepherd School of Music in Houston, TX, and has received fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in northern Germany. As a tenured member of the Virginia Symph ads as a soloist and chamber musician, working with the Norfolk Chamber Consort and the Todd Rosenlieb Dance Company, and was also a founding member of the New Commonwealth String Quartet.In the summer of 2015, Mr. Fowler helped found and is now director of the Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series, hosted by the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. The first festival of its kind in the area, the Series hosts several musicians, including Mr. Fowler, from all over the country and was received with great enthusiasm.
  • Praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his “glowing refinement,” violist Luke Fleming’s performances have been described by The Strad as “confident and expressive…playing with uncanny precision,” and lauded by Gramophone for their “superlative technical and artistic execution.”
  • Elizabeth Coulter Vonderheide earned the Master of Music in the prestigious Orchestral Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic. While in New York she served as Concertmaster of both the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia and Chamber Orchestras, appeared as a soloist both with the Claremont Ensemble and in a live broadcast on Soundcheck with John Schaeffer on 93.9 WNYC-FM, and performed regularly with Dicappo Opera and the Kalaiope Quartet.
  • Praised for her “sensitivity and top shelf artistry” ( and recently appointed as concertmaster of Trinity Wall Street’s NOVUS NY, violinist Katie Hyun has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Soloists Orchestra in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Columbia Festival Orchestra, among others. Other highlights include concerto performances with the Busan Sinfonietta and Incheon Philharmonic in South Korea, the world premiere of Wei-Chieh Lin’s Concerto for Violin and Cello with cellist Michael Katz and the New York Classical Players, and recitals with pianist Roman Rabinovich as the Maxwell Shepherd Fund’s “Artist in Residence.”
  • Pianist Dr. Amanda Halstead leads a dynamic musical life as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral pianist in the Washington DC area. She performs frequently with ensembles including the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Symphony. Her performances are heard on series such as the Millennium Stage, the Church of the Epiphany Concert Series, the Virginia Arts Festival, and Levine Presents. Because of her interests in promoting contemporary music, every season Dr. Halstead joins the John Duffy Institute, a symposium dedicated to promoting and performing new operas by living composers. Her exploration of new music has also influenced her discovery of music by women composers. This past season, Dr. Halstead directed and performed a recital at Levine Music featuring a program of American women composers Amy Beach, Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, Lera Auerbach, and Undine Smith Moore.