- School Life
What a great 2016 tour we had in Montreal, Arnprior and Ottawa! After last year’s trip to Newfoundland, where the temperatures were unseasonably warm and the conditions bright and sunny, we may have cashed in any good weather luck we had, because the night before tour brought a spring snowstorm and had students bringing their suitcases to Bond Street in a mess of snow and slush. But despite unseasonable cold, and more wet weather than we would have liked, this year’s tour was a great success, with well-attended concerts at St. Joseph’s Oratory and Loyola High School in Montreal, St. John Chrysostom Church in Arnprior and Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa.
The Senior Choir’s visit to Montreal was characterized by glimpses into Canadian history, cold but sunny days, and two wonderful concerts. At St. Joseph’s Oratory, high upon Mount Royal, the boys provided music for a French Mass, then sang a concert in the crypt chapel. Later, they gave a concert at Loyola High School, an all-boys school serving Grades 7-11. For the finale, the Senior Choir was joined by the Loyola Choir, led by Mme. Marthe Lacasse. With over 650 tickets sold, this benefit concert raised more than $13,000 in support of two local parishes who are sponsoring Syrian refugee families.
In Ottawa, the Senior Choir was joined by the Juniors just in time for a visit to Parliament Hill. Despite wet weather, the boys visited the historical highlights of our nation’s capital. They were warmly welcomed to the parish of St. John Chrysostom in neighbouring Arnprior, for a concert attended by more than 400 people. They also had the opportunity to visit two of Canada’s national museums, the War Museum and the Museum of History. The tour closed at Ottawa’s beautiful Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, where the boys sang Mass, then were joined by the Cathedral’s Schola Cantorum choir, led by Michel Guimont, for an afternoon concert.
St. Michael’s Choir School is grateful to everyone who helped to organize the 2016 tour concerts in Montreal and Ottawa: the staff at St. Joseph’s Oratory; Frank Lofeodo ’72; Marthe Lacasse, Dany Holland and the staff and parents of Loyola High School; Richard Fujarczak ‘71, John Tammadge, Fr. John Burchat and the volunteers from St. John Chrysostom; and Michel Guimont and the Schola Cantorum choir at Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. From selling tickets to bagging lunches and everything in between, these local supporters make our touring program possible! Thanks also to the staff who volunteered their time to chaperone our Junior and Senior Choirs on tour, and to our parent community, whose ongoing commitment to the mission of St. Michael’s Choir School is the foundation upon which enormous operations like tours are made possible. Finally, thanks to the boys, their conductors and accompanists, for the gift of music that they brought to Montreal, Arnprior and Ottawa this year.
Coming soon: information about Germany 2017!
Thanks to the SMCS Yearbook Club for supplying some of these photographs!
by Kate Rosser-Davies