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OMG! Did I really just sing for David Foster?


Orna Sings! from Orna on Vimeo.

If you saw my last post, you’ll know that we went to see Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary Show on Friday night.

What an unbelievable show!

Elton John’s incredible performance was preceded by Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Kahn, Toto, Sarah McLachlan, Amy Grant, Michael McDonald, Dave Grusin, and more. The show went on for almost four hours! Our friend, Nathan East, did a fabulous job as Musical Director, as did our friend, Randy Waldman, conducting the 70-piece orchestra.

Sinbad kept us in fits of laughter during the many set changes. Then he and David Foster (16x Grammy winner, 4x Oscar winner, Producer/Composer for Celine Dion, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, Josh Groban, Seal) asked the audience, “who can sing?”

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 8.48.48 PM

My little ears pricked up;
but I would never be crazy enough to get up in front of a) David Foster, b) 2000 people in the audience, and c) a live broadcast feed around the world. Right?


World’s-most-supportive-hubby said you should do it! And despite the pounding of my heart—literally out of my chest—I decided to face my fears and JUST DO IT! A few people had already gotten up to sing and Foster said, there’s time for one more. I had to squeeze past half a v e r  y    l o n g  and shallow row of people—suddenly the fantastic seats we had scored right in the middle didn’t seem so great! Everyone was cheering me on, so I walked up to the front of the stage, told him my name, reminded Sinbad that I used to teach his daughter piano, and proceeded to sing “The Very Thought of You.” A cappella! This seemed the safest bet because I didn’t have to hit any really high notes without knowing that I had picked the right key and would definitely make it, nerves and all.

I was ecstatic that I managed to get through my 30 second time slot without my voice quivering or my face belying the absolute panic and terror that was going on inside me.

I am just proud of myself that even though I hadn’t performed in front of an audience for about four years (my daughter is almost 3 1/2) and I was painfully sober, and this was totally impromptu—with no idea what to sing or how it would come out, I just did it!

After doing that, my impending performance as Queen Esther in the Purim Play at Temple Aliyah should be cake! I feel inspired by watching all those incredibly talented artists sharing their gift. I will push myself to do the best I can and not let nerves or fears get in my way.

The after party was a blast too

I met Michael McDonald and James Newton Howard and got a cool pic with our friend David Paich of Toto.

Orna with David Paich
Lead member of the rock group Toto.
Writer of such hits as Rosanna, Africa, and Hold The Line, to name a few.
Number one fan of OrnaBakes’ Crunchies.

Also got a shot of hubby, Sam, with his all-time-fav, Michael McDonald.

Sam with Michael McDonald

Strangers, including Elton John’s keyboard player, were coming up to me to say that I did a great job; one comparing me to Diana Krall—so I guess I didn’t totally suck! And that was some of the best after-party-food I’ve ever seen. Mini Philly Cheesesteak Pot Pies (I confess I had 3) and mini Chicken Tacos (3 of those too) were some of my favs. And I also sucked down about 3 glasses of red wine to help me through my state of shock. Three seemed to be the magic number!

I haven’t gone to bed after 3am for a long time (see, there’s number 3 again), so it’s good to know that I’ve still got it in me!

When we got home, we were amazed to find that they had continued to run the live internet stream during my performance, so now I couldn’t even pretend that this didn’t happen! Hubby, Mac whiz that he is, even managed to record it.

Click here to watch Orna’s performance on Vimeo >>

Click to hear Orna’s CD: The Very Thought of You on iTunes >>

Do your fears get in your way?

Join me in my quest; Fear Free Forties? I like it!

 Click here to read more About Orna on >>


 More cool pics from the show


Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald, with Nathan East (MD) playing bass.
Randy Waldman (keys and conductor) right behind him.
Chaka Kahn
Fabulous and feisty Chaka Kahn. Hmmm. Interesting outfit!
Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, Abe Laboriel, Ndugu Chancler. What a band!
Earth, Wind & Fire. Gotta love that crazy Verdeen!
Earth, Wind & Fire. Gotta love that crazy Verdeen!
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24 Responses

    1. Thanks Carla! Yes – the first pic was of Elton on stage; I just didn’t label it. Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet him because he had a fever and wasn’t feeling good. You would never have known it from his performance!

  1. Orna, how cool is that!???? For David Foster, one of the Greats!!! Kudos to you and you sounded fabulous!! I have to tell you that I have your album, I love it and probably know every single word and nuance! LOL Recently though, I thought I lost it, couldn’t find it anywhere and was in a panic cuz it is truly one of my most favs in jazz, voice and compilation. I did finally find it and am happy to report that it is safely filed again in it’s home. 🙂 You are as lovely as your voice Orna. Hugs.

  2. Wow Incredible Job Orna!

    Wow to get up like that and have everyone clap when done. Check one off the bucket list. Lets hope it makes it on the DVD.

    Note Sam…Of course your seats were by the mixing board 🙂

  3. Girl! how fun!
    Strangely enuf, literally, on the message just before this one, I was communicating to an old student who now works for David Foster! AND… pianist friend who stayed at our house last nite, and worked on two gigs…we were talking about Randy Waldman…how great he was, and how he and I used to be friends, a million years ago!
    Such tie-ins!!!!!!
    xoxoxoxoxo and you did a great job! wow!~

    1. Hi Cath,
      SO nice to hear from you! Miss your wonderful workshops. Maybe one day I’ll pop by one of your open mics and join in. It’s easier to get out these days now that Aja is older.
      Lots of love,

  4. WOW, WOW, WOW
    my buttons have now all popped off with pride and joy, after receiving your news of singing at the
    yamaha function. I am very proud of you, and am sure you received a great acknowledgement
    of your talent from the audience.
    keep up the good work

    1. Dad – I am SO impressed that you managed to watch it online, let alone leave a comment on the blog! Totally warmed my heart. Thank you for your loving support. xoxo

  5. That concert sounded like one in a million. I think you listed most of my favorite artists! Do you know if there will be a DVD made out of it? I haven’t watched your performance but I applaud you for going for it! I have learned in the last year of hard times that having confidence in yourself can make the hugest difference. Thanks for sharing!

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