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Entertainment: Wayne Foster

> Written by Dina M. Cortez

While the color palette of the flowers and presentation of the main course may be pressing considerations for the wedding day, master entertainer Wayne Foster reminds brides and grooms that it’s the music and entertainment that breathe life into a party.

He should know. After more than thirty years in the business, Foster has performed for and produced thousands of special events, each with its own brand of entertainment excellence.

Blind since he was a child growing up in New York City, Foster found joy in music. Over the years, he developed his musical talent and performance repertoire, and became a regular at celebrations. Later, he honed
his skills at the Manhattan School of Music.

After meeting his wife, Marin, an accomplished musician herself, at a performance, Foster built a successful entertainment company on the East coast. Four daughters later, they started from scratch on the West coast and now oversee seven locations including headquarters in Beverly Hills, California. Today, Wayne Foster Music and Entertainment enjoys a stellar reputation for enrapturing wedding couples, non-profit and corporate clients worldwide.

Of course, Foster admits the magic at each event doesn’t just happen. Instead, he and his talented staff, which includes his children, meticulously develop, plan and implement every aspect of the event to fit the specific preferences of the bridal couple. From technical details like lighting, sound and special effects to wardrobe considerations and musical selections that ebb and flow with the timeline of the evening, there is nothing left to chance.

“There’s no room for error, especially when it comes to a wedding reception,” says Foster. “We’ve got one shot to get it right and keep the audience captivated.”

So determined, in fact, to knock the socks off of the crowd, Foster has a triedand- true strategy for each show. While he performs with his white grand piano, Marin quietly works the room gauging the audience’s reaction to particular songs, measuring volume levels and assessing visuals. She then communicates her findings to Foster via hidden earpiece—a tactic that ensures that he and the other band members will be proactive onstage.

“Our productions are multi-sensory events,” he says. “We gather nuances from the guests and work our way through an array of music with universal appeal.”

The result is always show-stopping entertainment whether the band features as few as three musicians or an assorted group of 40 or more.

Crowd favorites include magnificent medleys that integrate music from diverse genres. Foster, for example, may begin with a song from an operatic sensation like “Madame Butterfly,” add vignettes from Top 40 artists like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and Usher, and follow up with a country or Latin hit.

Indeed, this entertainer and his team, which, at present, is estimated at more than 500 trained performers, engineers and stylists, is scheduled well into 2009, including their performance at the upcoming presidential inaugural ball.

Still, while regularly hired to entertain celebrities and corporate executives, Foster confides there is nothing like performing for a newlywed couple.

“Weddings share a special place in our hearts,” he says. “Nothing’s better than launching a new couple into life with an incredible celebration!”

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