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February 18, 2022

Bob and Darragh Weisman: A Love Story with Each Other and Music


Bob and Darragh Weisman met at Michigan when he was a junior and she was a sophomore in 1957. We spoke with Bob about his wife Darragh, who passed away in 2021, about how they met, their UMS memories, and what inspired his gift to support an annual performance in perpetuity to honor the memory of his wife forever.

Bob had no idea that answering “yes” to a date with Darragh would change his life…

“Darragh and I met in September of 1956, her sophomore year and my junior year. A mutual friend set us up. I didn’t have a date and she didn’t have a date. I said sure. I had no idea the long-range implications of saying yes to that question.

The one outlet we had to be together on a regular basis was going to concerts here in the second balcony of Hill Auditorium…”

Vladimir Horowitz ProgramDo you have a favorite or most memorable UMS moment?

Our favorite concert without question was the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1978 with Vladimir Horowitz playing Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto. That performance was head and shoulders above any other. But every season UMS delivers something very special.

In fact, the last performance Darragh and I saw together was probably the second-best concert we ever heard at Hill. Just before the world was shut down by the pandemic, on March 3 2020, Yo Yo Ma, Leonidas Kavakos, and Emanuel Ax performed three Beethoven Trios. Darragh and I were fortunate enough to have been sponsors of this performance.

What inspired your gift to UMS?

The original seed was planted way back in 1957 or 1958 when we first started attending UMS performances for $2 a ticket. I couldn’t have afforded $10 seats and knew that someone else’s support of UMS made it possible for me to buy a $2 ticket as a student. I knew then that I wanted to do something like this in the future if I was able to.

When Darragh died I remembered that other UMS supporters had established endowments to fund a performance in perpetuity. I wanted to establish a fund to both honor my late wife and provide a forever gift to an organization that has meant so much to us. It is a true pleasure to be able to make contributions now in my lifetime to build the fund and provide a future gift through my estate plan to fully endow and support a UMS performance in perpetuity for future generations.

Darragh and Bob Weisman with their grandchildren

Darragh and Bob Weisman with their grandchildren

What does a forever gift mean to you?

To have her name go on forever is big, not just for her memory, but for our family. UMS has meant a lot to us over the years. To be able to see that UMS is going to be able to go on, not only for Darragh and the family, but for the Ann Arbor community, that great music will be here for decade after decade. It was 60+ years for us, I think this gift will help it go on longer. I am very pleased. Endowing this concert for Darragh is everything I hoped it would be.

Forever UMS graphic
Make a gift to support UMS forever through a planned gift. Contributions of any size make a difference to support UMS in the future for generations to come. Contact Marnie Reid at 734-647-1178 or

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