- School Life
The regular Choir School season has three annual concerts:
Msgr. John Edward Ronan was larger than life. He was an imposing ram-rod-straight physical specimen six feet in height, broad-shouldered, and heavy set with a luxuriant, snowy mane. . . He commanded the absolute respect and obedience of all – from the youngest student to the most senior staff member – including his co-founders. He was THE BOSS in no uncertain terms. And yet we all loved him dearly and would do anything for him. Peter Daly, SMCS ’57
Every year, the St. Michael’s Choir School community comes together in mid-October to celebrate Founder’s Day, honouring the life and work of Choir School founder Msgr. John Edward Ronan. Normally taking place in St. Michael’s Cathedral, this annual concert opens the concert season and often features the works of the founder and various alumni and teachers from across the school’s history.
As the first major concert of the year, this is normally the first Choir School concert for new students, especially those in Grades 3 and 4.
In 2014 the Founder’s Day concert took place at St. Paul’s Basilica as St. Michael’s Cathedral continued to undergo major restoration.
The day after the Founder’s Day concert, the SMCS Alumni Association comes together to sing Mass as part of the Alumni Homecoming. This Mass is traditionally conducted by Dr. Jerzy Cichocki, Artistic Director, and is followed by a reception and open mic night at which the alumni share their talents, and catch up with friends old and new.
Since 1965, choristers have made their way from Bond Street to the grand dame of Shuter Street in December to sing out the songs of Christmas. The annual Massey Hall concerts are a cornerstone of the choral year, beloved by students, parents, alumni and music aficionados alike. The historic concert hall, which has played host to some of the biggest names to visit Toronto, is an intimate venue where audiences have a firsthand experience of the musical accomplishments of the Choirs, and in 2013, tickets went fast for two ultimately sold-out shows.
This year, Massey Hall is back again with a great line-up of repertoire, special guests True North Brass and the Scola Cantorum Strings, and our usual passion for the great choral works of the season. Tickets can be purchased online through the Massey Hall Roy Thomson Hall Box Office.
Students meet the audience at intermission. December, 2013. Photo Credit: Brian Stothers
The Senior Choir fills the stage of Massey Hall, December 2013. Photo Credit: Brian Stothers
The Junior Choir performs under the direction of Charissa Bagan, December 2013. Photo Credit: Brian Stothers
As the school year draws to a close, the Choir School family comes together to celebrate in song with this annual concert at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Performing repertoire last sung on tour, the entire student body fills the Cathedral with their voices.