LEONIA, N.J. — Leonia wedding singer Lois Bruno remembers that wedding where the furnace caught fire.
After it was extinguished, Bruno began her set with "Fire" by the Ohio Players.
Then there was that Wyckoff tent wedding where the generator died. Bruno and her band made up for the lack of electricity by singing gospel music.
And, of course, there was also that mob wedding, where Bruno recalls being told by an attendee "Is this band good? Because if not, you know who we are."
"I've seen it all," said Bruno, who has been performing at parties of all types since 1983.
"But looking back, it was such a wonderful way to earn a living," she added. "I wouldn't have changed a thing."
The Brooklyn native said she grew up vocally inclined.
"As a little girl, I used to perform shows in my neighbor's house and we would charge our friends and their parents a quarter to come in and watch us sing," Bruno said.
After graduating from Brooklyn College in the late sixties, she took a job as a teacher in Manhattan, but kept up her music career by working with a studio to create "Sung Like The Artist" albums.
Bruno said she would imitate popular songs of the day like "Son Of A Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield and "People" by Barbra Streisand that would be sold as a cheaper alternative to the actual album.
Bruno then took a hiatus from music in the seventies when her kids were born, but returned to music in 1983 as the lead singer of a wedding band.
She stayed with the gig for ten years before retiring from teaching and starting her own wedding band in 1993.
"We were a very multi-cultural band that could cover all different types of music so we called ourselves 'Synergy,'" Bruno said.
Synergy would go on to play "thousands" of events over the years and feature "hundreds" of different New Jersey musicians, Bruno said.
"The one gig every New Jersey musician seems to have in common is Lois," Bruno's pianist Kenny Shanker told Daily Voice.
In recent years, Synergy has performed less as Bruno has taken more time to focus on her jazz roots. She now performs at Flute in Manhattan once a month and also has a recurring gig at "Dante's Place" in Leonia.
Old familiar faces still approach her on the street from time to time.
"People will run up to me and say, 'you did our wedding 27 years ago,'" Bruno said. "That always puts a smile on my face."
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