Pioneer Theater to host ‘OBX Got Talent’ 

By on January 13, 2024

(Pioneer Theater)

Competition seeks to discover the area’s stars of the future

Tryouts begin on Saturday, Jan. 13 for OBX Got Talent as the Pioneer Theater in Manteo sets the stage to discover untapped musical talent on the Outer Banks with the premier of a live multi-night talent contest.

The preliminary auditions on Saturday will be closed to the public, with the live show set to begin on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. followed by two more rounds on Feb. 24 and March 30.

Michael Basnight, Managing Partner for the Pioneer Theater, believes there is a treasure trove of raw, self-taught talent on the Outer Banks waiting to be discovered—mentioning up-and- coming local talent like Sam Smith of Sam on Sax, who taught herself how to play saxophone on a three-hour car ride.

“And you see story after story of folks who can’t read music but can play the heck out of the piano or people saying. ‘I have no professional music or singing coaching, I just sound like this naturally.’ Yeah, there’s a lot of artists, musicians that are out here that way,” Basnight added.

According to Basnight, the idea is to highlight amateurs and rising stars and provide them with a platform to show what they’ve got. Winners of the contest will be awarded opportunities to perform in various promoted events around town—from the likes of local music event promoters Vusic OBX and Cory Hemilright, owner of the Bluegrass Island Music Festival, both of whom are judges for the talent show. Other judges include Pioneer Theater co-owner Jamie Hatchell, Nashville Bluegrass sensation Caroline Owens and a few guest judges.

Owens is a bluegrass vocalist and recording artist for Skyline Records of Nashville. She has performed alongside many of the music industry’s most accomplished artists such as Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Suzanne Cox, The Malpass Brothers, and others. And Owens believes the Outer Banks has something special to offer.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of the OBX Bluegrass Festival line-up on several different occasions, and it’s truly one of the best Bluegrass events in the world. I’m always so impressed with the lineup of talent that they have to offer, and the talent that the Pioneer Theatre has brought in, as well. The music scene is certainly very bright in Manteo,” she told the Voice. “I love getting to hear new up and coming talent—and I am certain there will be no shortage of that.”

Basnight believes the Outer Banks music scene is making a resurgence because of more venues and production companies popping up on the Outer Banks, from the Pioneer Theater itself to Vusic’s concerts at Roanoke Island Festival Park to venues like Outer Banks Brewing Station and many bars scattered across the Outer Banks.

“There’s something magical about these islands out here,” declares Basnight. “I don’t know if it’s the fact that we’re 20 to 30 miles out in the middle of the ocean. But if you think back, the creative minds that have come from here…whether it’s art, painting, music…boat building, you know there’s something in the air here that I think really brings creativity to life and talent.”

But he worries that with big acts being brought to some Outer Banks venues, the amateur musicians might feel intimidated putting themselves out there to get on that stage. He sees OBX Got Talent as a means for these artists to push their limits, test themselves and be celebrated and get more exposure in the process. Basnight says that he and his sister Jamie Hatchell came up with this idea a year ago when they were deciding whether to purchase the Pioneer and dreaming of ways that they could use the building.

One year later, as the event is about to unfold and Basnight feels like the stars have aligned. The contestants are poised to deliver their first live audition on Jan. 27, just before Huntley, the widely celebrated latest winner of NBC’s The Voice, graces the Pioneer Theater stage for a sold-out performance. Basnight points out that Huntley, who is from Fredericksburg, VA, is an example for contestants of what’s possible.

“So I think that’ll be kind of cool for someone to come out of your garage, come out of your safe space where you practice, and to be on the stage where Huntley’s equipment is still set up,” says Basnight.



Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).