BY MICHELE HERMAN | Bliss Singing, the free weekly Friday afternoon singing class at Westbeth, is in danger of losing its funding from the City Council: Funding will be extended through June only if at least 15 people attend the weekly Zoom sessions.
Teacher Eve Zanni, who is also an accomplished jazz singer and songwriter, has put out a call for new and returning singers at all levels, from self-conscious beginners to seasoned professionals, to join the relaxing, friendly hour-long class, every Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Eve and her equally accomplished accompanist Isaac Raz have adapted the class for Zoom. Each session includes a professional vocal warm-up, followed by song study and ear training, a “circle song share,” occasional dance breaks, and special performances by anyone who would like to do a solo.
The class’s repertoire is wide but focuses on songs of hope, love and social justice. Each class ends with an enthusiastic sing-along featuring favorite Broadway tunes, a rousing way to mark the passage from week to weekend at a time when the days have a tendency to blur.
When the classes met in person in the Westbeth community room, dozens of voices filled the room with melody and harmony. The devoted core group is feeling increasingly hopeful about a return to those glorious days before long. In the meantime, the Zoom classes give you a chance to strengthen your vocal “instrument,” learn some new songs and sing old favorites together, at least virtually.
Here’s one of Eve’s many good reasons to try out the Zoom class: “Bliss Singing warm-up exercises increase the production of endorphins to the body’s own joy receptors, allowing energy to flow throughout the body, support circulation, improve balance, memory, focus, confidence and joy.”
E-mail Eve to get on her list: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Eve Zanni, check out the singing group’s performance of “George Floyd Is My Brother,” a peaceful quarantine protest from the rooftop of Westbeth done last summer.