On Wednesday 10th October we bid farewell to one of our treasured members, loyal singers, and good friends. Daria Verjans, with us for the last 2 years of her life, died peacefully on Saturday 6th October surrounded by loving family.
Daria auditioned in September 2016 and gave me a beautiful rendition of She moved through the fair. Her voice was good, with good tuning, and very reliable – I knew she would fit into the choir perfectly. However, she was up against stiff opposition, as I had several other altos auditioning at the same time and only one vacancy. What made me choose Daria above the others was her positive attitude, her perfect ear-tests and above all else, her ability to sightread without making a mistake. She stood out above the others in this regard.
Not once did I regret that difficult decision as Daria was one of the first to rehearsal each week, sitting outside the hall as the men rehearsed, going through her music. She was the first to ask a question when she needed clarification on anything in the music, or if she felt others would benefit from the same clarification. She was diligent, hard-working, dedicated to the Dolce team, and in return I hope we offered her friendship, a safe space away from life’s troubles, and a joy of singing in a group of positive people.
She was stoical when her cancer returned earlier this year, and took it one step at a time, in the same way she learned her music, and with a positive attitude. Her final email to me in September showed how much she loved the choir and looked forward to returning to sing with us.
My “plan” is still to be back with Dolce as soon as may be but in reality I have no idea yet. I just wanted to let you know. I realise I’ve really let you know nothing except my continuing interest in and love of Dolce.
I very much hope to be singing with you again sometime soon.
Unfortunately, that was never to be. However, we did our best to give her a great send off, as a huge number of Dolce singers, past and present, joined to sing for her one last time in Portmarnock church for her funeral Mass. Joining us on that emotional morning were her husband John (a Dolce bass) and her son Tadhg singing Eagles’ Wings at the responsorial psalm, which John and Daria had sung together at their wedding. Most moving of all was her daughter Orla’s beautiful rendition of She Moved through the Fair, which Orla sang unaccompanied to a rapt congregation listening in complete silence to the haunting music her mother sang to her throughout her life.
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