The first time that I ever heard the name Jean Verch was about 50 years ago. She was on the other end of the telephone line and was asking if I was available to play 4th horn for the annual Christmas run of the Nutcracker for the National Ballet of Canada.
As a university student, I was thrilled at the opportunity and so impressed with the orchestra which included Fred Mills, trumpet; Mary Barrow, horn; Jay Morton, clarinet and Jean Verch, flute.
Over the next 30 years, I had the good fortune of playing many times with the orchestra and this included several seasons as a full time player and many tours.
In those early years, I was always super impressed with the flute work of Jean Verch. Many eight service weeks were devoted to the Tchaikovsky ballets, to Romeo and Juliet and lots of lesser known works that frequently featured intricate passages for the principal flute. Jean always played with a big sound, never showed any fear and did it night after night after night!
For a year or so, Jean was a member of a woodwind quintet which I organized and which played dozens and dozens of school concerts. I clearly remember Jean standing up, playing a few well- known flute passages and then light-heartedly explaining how the instrument works. The kids loved her.
We’ll miss you Jean!! You left us way too early.