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.

Time to Climb-NPS Opens Outer Banks Lighthouses

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Now that the weather is getting better, it’s time to think about the view from the top—in this case the top of Outer Banks lighthouses. The two lighthouses that are part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore are ready for climbing.

Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses are extraordinary structures; Cape Hatteras in Buxton, opened in 1870 is 193’ tall and is the tallest brick lighthouse on the East Coast. Forty-three miles north is its close cousin, Bodie Island Lighthouse. Dedicated in 1872 and 170’, it was patterned after the Hatteras Lighthouse using many leftover materials with the same contractor building it.

The view from both lighthouses is absolutely breathtaking. The world seems to fall away, running out to distant horizons. At the foot of Hatteras Lighthouse is Buxton Woods, running off to the south.

Bodie Island Lighthouse rises above the marsh and wetlands of South Nags Head. Looking south and east Oregon Inlet is clearly visible.

The climb to the top can be somewhat strenuous—narrow, twisting metal stairs and very little ventilation can get things pretty warm, especially in the summer. But whatever the effort—that view from the top makes the journey with while.

Lighthouses are available for climbing from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. There is a fee, age, weight and height requirements so check with the National Park Service for more information.