Ora Reed in Concert with Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

Ora Reed's delightful fixation with butterflies is no coincidence. It seems as if they both share a kindred spirit of purpose and disposition. Her golden chrysalis happens to be the Mississippi Delta where she grew up in Greenville and Lexington, respectively. Just like the butterfly, who makes its own silken cocoon in preparation for its unknowing or maybe instinctive metamorphosis, Ms. Reed has been preparing for her true calling since she was three years old. Her mother's intuition placed Ms. Reed in piano, clarinet and violin lessons every summer at Jackson State University, where she also received her Bachelor's degree in Music. At this pivotol moment in her life, Ms. Reed spread her multi-hued, multi-talented, and multi-faceted wings to Baltimore where she imparted knowledge to children who shared her own passion for music. As fulfilling as this task was for her, she had to stay true to her polymorphic nature, so she expanded her wings to her first professional gig at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas with the Bruce Westcott Band. She says, " I always knew deep down inside that I could sing like some of the people I would often accompany...a little voice was screaming to get out." And escape it did. From there, Ms. Reed became a social butterfly by hosting fabulous soirees for Baltimore' elite and singing at chic supper clubs in Maryland where she was hailed as a "cafe society singer" by the Baltimore Sun. At times, butterflies must return to their point of origin. Ms. Reed was called back home to Mississippi to care for her mother, Annie, whose health was failing. After the death of her beloved mother, Ms. Reed rested her wings to spend quality time with family and friends. She found that morphing abilities were unfaltering as she reveled in positions as Administrative Assistant to a State Senator, Presidential campaign coordinator, concert promotions manager, administrative assistant to the President of the National Baptist Convention, and PR Consultant to Mission Mississippi, a Christian organization that works for racial and denominational reconciliation. Nevertheless, one's true calling is never far out of reach, when her uncle reminded her that singing was her "God-given talent," Ora stretched her wings as an international sensation. Places in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Carnegie Hall have heard the lustrous voice of Ora Reed as her hands glide over the black and white keys of a well-tuned grand piano. With triumph always comes struggle. Ms. Reed is a three-time cancer survivor. It is said that after a butterfly damages its wings, they are never repaired; but Ms. Reed's faith in God has proved that the unfathomable is attainable. And beyond the reach of man's hands, God has continually blessed her with a successful career including an album she recorded in a famed studio in Kyoto, Japan (Kampo), entitled This One's For You. It includes jazz standards such as "Fly Me to the Moon", "It Had to Be You", her favorite gospel song, "Somebody Bigger Than You and I", and a special song for fellow cancer survivors, "We Are Survivors", among the track listing. She was also named Mississippi Cultural Ambassador in 2006. Ms. Reed just celebrated her 60th birthday with a three-day celebration where many of her friends from around the globe came to Mississippi to partake in the jubilant occasion. Now, Mississippi has the privileged opportunity to hear our own Ora Reed at the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Pops 11: Passion at the Pops concert. She will perform a plethora of American favorites, all accompanied by the orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Crafton Beck. She says, "I'm very thankful to get an opportunity work in Jackson, and I don't usually get to perform in Mississippi. Most of my friends don't get to see me work. So it's very special." After the concert, she will travel to the land of silk, Japan, which is her second home, to perform at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Tokyo for three months. Don't miss this beautiful butterfly in concert on Saturday, February 14, 2009, at Thalia Mara Hall. Tickets are $15 and up. For more information, call 601-960-1565 or 601-960-1535 or visit www.msorchestra.com.

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