Larry Sabato and His Crystal Ball Comes to the Outer Banks

Larry Sabato at First flight High School.
Larry Sabato at First flight High School.

Larry Sabato is a pretty interesting guy. At least on stage he is when he’s talking about elections, the electorate and all things political

The Bryan Cultural Series brought Larry Sabato and his Crystal Ball to the Outer Banks on Wednesday night and what he said was a welcomed relief from some of the discourse that happens at times.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball Project

Sabato’s Crystal Ball is a University of Virginia political science effort that has been around for almost 20 years. Over that time he and his students have built a remarkable reputation for predicting what is happening in the political world.

He was very careful with his predictions on Wednesday, pointing out that some of the trends favor one party, but other trends favor the other.

Beyond the predictions, though, he brought a refreshing perspective. He pointed out, as an example, that yes, the Democrats made huge gains, but it was not by any means a tsunami. He also had a graphic of a tsunami to make his point.

Humorous in his presentation, his hour long lecture seemed to fly by. Much of his humor was tied into the presentation, so it’s difficult to take it out of context. Too bad too, because he did have the audience laughing.

His lecture contained cautionary as well as hopeful notes. He noted that even in districts that were considered safe because of gerrymandering, the other party one. It was proof, he felt, that the will of the people will find a way to be expressed.

He expressed concern about what he felt was polarized electorate. His solution seemed so simple—we just have to talk and listen to one another.

It was a very interesting night on the Outer Banks. Held at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, the Bryan Cultural Series did not charge local students admission. A fair number of kids took advantage of that. Good to see.

The Outer Banks is the best prescription for the winter blues. Check out our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates listings for the best locations.

Larry Sabato Is Coming to the Outer Banks

Dr. Larry Sabato, founder of the UVA Crystal Ball political report, is coming to the Outer Banks.
Dr. Larry Sabato, founder of the UVA Crystal Ball political report, is coming to the Outer Banks.

Larry Sabato and his Sabato’s Crystal Ball is coming to the Outer Banks. Political junkies take note. The place to be on Wednesday Feb. 6 at 7:00 p,m. is First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills.

Dr. Larry Sabato is the founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, and holds visiting appointments in England’s Oxford and Cambridge universities. 

His Crystal Ball looks into the future seeking political trends and analyzing how those trends affect elections. He and his UVA team have been remarkably accurate in their analysis and his Crystal Ball prediction are considered among the best in foretelling election results.

In addition to his 40 year teaching career at UVA, Sabato has written a number of books on American politics and appears regularly on television. 

Dr. Sabato is being brought to the Outer Banks by the Bryan Cultural Series

The Bryan Cultural Series seems to be at the center of some of the most exciting events happening on the Outer Banks. Although not the primary sponsor of the upcoming February performance of La Traviata, the organization was instrumental is securing the funds necessary to bring the opera the local stage.

Next up for the Bryan Cultural Series will be Clay Jenkinson appearing March 25-27. 

Jenkinson is best known for his Thomas Jefferson performances, but his repertoire is much broader than that. For his March appearance he will be performing as Meriwether Lewis, Sir Walter Raleigh and for his final performance of the series he will be presenting “Shakespeare, the Magic of Words.”

Tickets for all Bryan Cultural Series events are available online at Brownpaper tickets or on the Outer Banks at Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books in Duck, Downtown Books in Manteo, Grays Department, Store in Kitty Hawk and Sea Green Gallery in Nags Head.

More good reasons to stay with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates when visiting the Outer Banks.

Surf & Sound Series-World Class Music for the Outer Banks

Musicians of Surf and Sound in performance at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern shores. Katie Hyun, violin; Amanda Halstead,  piano, Jacob Fowler, cello.
Musicians of Surf and Sound in performance at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern shores. Katie Hyun, violin; Amanda Halstead, piano, Jacob Fowler, cello.

A Tradition of World Class Music

For the past four years the the Surf and Sound Series has been a part of the Outer Banks August scene that to the Bryan Cultural Series. We have to hope it becomes a summer  tradition that becomes a part of local life.

Bringing five world-class classical musicians to the Outer Banks for a series of concerts, Surf and Sound travels from Southern Shores to Duck, Buxton and Manteo in a series of concerts that are musically as fine a performance as there is anywhere.

The Southern Shores always kicks things off at All Saints Episcopal Church.With a concert grand piano at the church, the musical selection allows the musicians a little more leeway and the music they performed this year took full advantage of having a piano on hand.

The Tuesday performance featured a work from a Hungarian composer Ernst von Dohnanyi, who is not all that well-known, but wow, was it amazing. Challenging, and complex, it was the type of music that broadens the understanding of what classical music can be.

The musicians also played a Dvorak composition—his Piano Trio No. 5 in E minor. The von Dohnanyi piece was wonderful, but there was no discernible melody. By comparison the Dovorak trio, with its distinctive melodies, seemed even more beautiful by comparison.

What makes the Surf and Sound Series so special is the musicians don’t sit in one place and wait for everyone to come to them. Rather they take the show on the road…and the first stop was an outdoor concert at the Duck Amphitheater.

Unfortunately concert grand pianos don’t travel well at all, so the Duck concert was all strings.

But that was fine. With a gentle breeze off the sound and and early evening temperatures in the upper 70s it would be hard to imagine a better setting to for an outdoor concert.

Again the music selection seemed to fit the setting perfectly. The Beethoven Trio was typical of music from the master—complex with moving parts everywhere, yet easily followed by the audience.

The Mendelssohn selection was the last major work he created. Written after the unexpected death his sister, the work was beautiful and sad yet in the final movement, there seems to be a sense of joy or at least acceptance for what happened.

Wonderful concerts. We haven’t had a confirmation yet, but hopefully the Surf and Sound Series will be back for a fifth year next summer.

There is always something happening on the Outer Banks and Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates has all the best locations.

Bryan Cultural Series Brings Quintet to Outer Banks for Free Concert

The Surf and Sound Quintet in performance at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.
The Surf and Sound Quintet in performance at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.

World-Renowned Musicians Will Perform Four Free Concerts

The Bryan Cultural Series is one of the local organizations that helps to make the Outer Banks such a special place to live and visit. This is the week for the Fourth Annual Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series.

Bringing five musicians with well-deserved international reputations to the Outer Banks, the Cultural Series is sponsoring four free concerts beginning Tuesday, August 21 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores at 7:30 p.m.

The music is classical music and in past years the performances have been breathtaking—wonderful interpretations of the music.

The Wednesday performance will be at the Town of Duck Amphitheater, at 6:30. The performance in Duck will be a string quartet—the fifth instrument in the quintet is a piano, an instrument that does not travel well.

The last two performances will be at Cape Hatteras Secondary School on Thursday, and a Friday evening performance at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in Manteo at 7 p.m.

A playbill for the performances has not yet been made available, but in the past the musicians have presented a wonderful collection of compositions, ranging across centuries to include Haydn and Mozart then venturing into the late 20th century a contemporary sound.

By all means, check out the outdoor performance at the Duck Amphitheater. There is something magical about listening to great musicians perform some of the most remarkable music ever composed in an outdoor setting.

The Bryan Cultural Series has truly come to the fore in brining great performances to the Outer Banks and their next performance may be their most ambitious and genoursy yet. In cooperation with Elizabeth R and Company, a free performance of La Traviata will be presented on September 15 at First Flight High School.

There is always something worth checking out on the Outer Banks. Check out our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates homes for the best locations.

Local Vocalist Tshombe Selby to Perform in Southern Shores

Tshombe Selby in concert last December at Holy Redeemer Church performing Handel's Messiah.
Tshombe Selby in concert last December at Holy Redeemer Church performing Handel’s Messiah.An Afternoon of Great Music on Tap

Tshombe Selby is one of those local lad makes good stories that makes everyone feel good.

Born and raised in Manteo, Tshombe dreamed of a career singing classical music. With a powerful yet beautiful tenor voice and a stage filling presence, it only seemed natural that at some point he would be successful.

The journey includes a degree in vocal performance from Elizabeth City State University and stint as assistant musical director at the Lost Colony.

A few years ago he left for NYC to develop his career and it’s looking more and more as though that was a good choice. He’s not a household name (yet), but by all accounts he is earning a living at what he is for him a dream job.

And now he’s coming back for a one afternoon concert this Sunday at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.

Sponsored by the Bryan Cultural Series, Tsombe’s appearance promises a performance of virtuoso caliber vocals and a wide and challenging range of music. We haven’t seen the program yet, but as a performer Tshombe never disappoints.

The last time he performed on the Outer Banks was in December when he made sang at the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah at Holy Redeemer Church in Kitty Hawk.

Although his voice blended beautifully with the choir, the he could still be heard, that resonate tenor sound seeping through the choral arrangement. And when he sang a solo, it was powerful and beautiful

This should be a great afternoon of music and one not to miss.

Tickets are $15 and are available at Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books in Duck, Downtown Books in Manteo, Grays Department Store in Kitty Hawk and Sea Green Gallery in Nags Head.

A New Standard for Bryan Cultural Series on the Outer Banks

Pianist Matthew Van Hoose in performance a Bryan Cultural Series performance at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Pianist Matthew Van Hoose in performance a Bryan Cultural Series performance at All Saints Episcopal Church.

Pianist Matthew Van Hoose Brilliant

The Bryan Cultural Series has been bringing some extraordinary artists to the Outer Banks for the past six years. With pianist Matthew Van Hoose they seem to have raised the bar to a whole new level Thursday night.-

Playing at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores, Van Hoose played qa beautiful, remarkable tribute to Beethoven and Chopin.

Beginning with Beethoven’s Sonata in F minor Op. 57 the Appassionata or Passion sonata, the complex and textured world of the master’s composition came to life.

Beethoven is often described as mercurial man given to extremes of emotion. Passionate and unpredictable, the  Appassionata seems a reflection of the man.

It is beautiful music, and as Van Hoose’s fingers flew across the keyboard, the composition came to life.

The Beethoven sonata was followed by a selection of Chopin nocturnes and his Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60.

The nocturnes are what Chopin is undoubtedly best known for—and they were everything anyone could expect from him…and played to perfection.

But the Barcorelle, patterned after the songs of Venetian gondoliers was a revelation for many in the audience.

A beautiful melody seemed to emerge from time to time from intricate chords of the piece, almost like a gondolier, singing to the night, emerging from beneath one of the many bridges of Venice.

The Bryan Cultural Series brings a variety of events to the Outer Banks, including lectures, musicians, the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Company and—next on tap—the Elbert Watson Dance Ensemble on Sunday, March 25 at First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills.

Currently living in Norfolk, Watson has toured the world as principal dancer with a number of dance companies and he continues to work with a number of dance companies as a choreographer. His style is a combination of ballet and modern dance.