Over the last few months there have been some challenges and changes in the choir, with some members leaving and others joining it.

A major departure is that of Francesco Sofo who was a founding member of the choir, an accomplished musician and for the last few years our main conductor. In April he sadly advised us that he needed to take an indefinite period of leave from the choir. We are very grateful for the enormous contribution he made to the choir over all these years. Our mandolinist Wal Jurkievicz had to take extended leave to undergo a major operation but is planning to return as soon as his health permits.

We’re delighted that a number of people have decided to join us. These include a mandolinist (Craig), a keyboard player (Anne-Marie) and several singers – Ottavio, David and wife Irma, Linda, Anne Marie, Jennifer and Geoffrey.

Since June DMV has performed at a range of venues for a variety of audiences: for Italy’s national day celebrations at the Italian Cultural Centre; for Pallcare at the Holy Covenant Anglican Church in Cook; at Villaggio Sant’Antonio (aged care) in Page; at the Yarralumla Church during its annual fund-raising week-end; at Carey Gardens (aged care) in Red Hill; and for Mental Health Week at Garema Place. At the end of Sept a lovely member, Lorena Nesa, hosted the whole choir at her house for a ‘Polenta and Pizzocheri’ lunch, enabling members to let their hair down and sing just for fun while also tasting Northern Italian cuisine.

We still have several performances ahead of us: the Italian Community Festival in Queanbeyan on 3 November, the end-of-year DAS function on 28 November, the Giuliani Christmas concert on 15 December and the Pallcare pre-Christmas concert the following day.

We are also scheduled to perform again at the annual National Multicultural Festival to be held the third week-end of February 2020 in Garema Place. DMV will probably perform on Sat 22. We will give you further details closer to the date so you can come and support us.

If you like the idea of singing in Italian, or playing an instrument with us, check us out. You can have heaps of fun joining a very lively and likeable group of Dante members!

Yvette Devlin