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Why support St. Michael’s Choir School?

Since 1937, St. Michael’s Choir School has provided the Archdiocese of Toronto with sacred music of the highest standard while providing boys from grades 3 to high school graduation with the best academic and musical education possible.

Since Monsignor John Edward Ronan founded his schola cantorum, the choristers of Bond Street have raised their voices in praise of God and celebrated the Catholic faith at St. Michael’s Cathedral Parish and beyond. The school’s mission is to steward the great traditions of liturgical music of the Catholic Church and to prepare young men to become the Catholic leaders of the future.

St. Michael’s Choir School creates an environment that allows each student to live the motto upon which the School was founded: He who sings, prays twice. Each boy is supported and mentored in his devotion to the glory of God through his studies and service of sacred music in the Cathedral.

Your gift to St. Michael’s Choir School supports the boys in their work and provides them with the necessary tools of study, from sheet music to concert tours. With your support, young men sing, learn, and grow in an educational environment unparalleled anywhere in Canada.

For almost eighty years, St. Michael’s Choir School has provided boys with the extraordinary gift of an outstanding education with a focus on excellence in music, academics and service. The school works hard to keep choral program fees low, so that its unique programme is accessible to students from across the economic spectrum. Yet the real cost of each boy’s education is greater than the amount paid in choral program fees. Bridging this financial gap has long relied on the generosity of people such as you.

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Ways of Giving

Direct donations

The Choir School regularly fundraises for school activities, including the annual Massey Hall concert, the spring tour, the scholarship fund and other special projects. To make a donation directly to the school, you can mail us a cheque, donate using a credit card by phone or online, or visit our Music Office to donate by cash or cheque or set up a monthly recurring gift. Your donation can be directed to the initiative(s) of your choice.

St. Michael’s Choir School is a registered Canadian charity, charitable organization registration number 108032236 RR 0001. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations over $20 made to St. Michael’s Choir School.

Gifts of current assets

While the simplest way to support the Choir School is through cash gifts, you can also provide creative gifts of assets, including securities (stocks) and personal property such as coins, stamps and other property. You can save a considerable amount of tax on what you are already giving by using these methods!

Gifts by Will

Your support through a bequest provides Choir School students with the tools to succeed in all walks of life. Remembering St. Michael’s Choir School in your will ensures that future generations of choristers provide music to parishes in Toronto and beyond, bringing Catholics deeper into the mystery of faith through the service of sacred music.

Anyone can make a gift through a will. Did you know that through your estate you can get back 100% (or more) of the tax you will pay? You can save your family tax, time, and distress by properly preparing your Estate plans. Free Estate Planning kits are available from the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Development Office.

Gifts of life insurance and registered funds

Would you like to make a substantial gift to the Choir School but need to ensure that your assets are retained for your family? A gift of life insurance allows you many options to extend your Choir School support beyond your lifetime, ensure your family will be taken care of, and offer you considerable tax benefits.

Remember to work with a good advisor!

By planning your charitable giving, you make a bigger impact with your contributions and legacy gifts. Good advisors can help you support the Choir School, protect your family and create a legacy you can be proud of today and that will last forever. Always consult your advisor about any major charitable giving you are considering today or in your estate plan. The Archdiocese of Toronto has a list of Catholic advisors to help supporters of the Choir School create their own estate plans. Please contact us to get a copy or join this list.

For more information on any of the above gifts to St. Michael’s Choir School, please contact the Choir School office at 416-397-6367, or Quentin Schesnuik, Manager of Planned Giving and Major Gifts toll free at (416) 934-0606 or via e-mail at qschesnuik@archtoronto.org.

All calls are confidential.

This information provided is general in nature, does not constitute legal or financial advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. We strongly encourage you to seek professional legal, estate planning and/or financial advice before deciding upon your course of action.

Directing Your Gift

Directing your gift allows you to support the programs and initiatives that are most important to you. Your directed gift can help support the following areas of need:

Area of Greatest Need

Giving to the Area of Greatest Need means that you are not restricting your gift to be used in any one category. Unrestricted gifts are an extraordinary blessing to the Choir School, as they can be used for unexpected expenses that can occur during tours, build new programs or procure much-needed supplies. In our donor report, distributed at the end of the school year, you will find a detailed list of all the ways unrestricted gifts are used.

Annual Tour

Ever since a group of boys first trooped to Barrie in 1947 to sing for a parish there, touring has always been important to St. Michael’s Choir School. The Choir School regularly tour with 150 or more boys, bringing the gift of music to parishes far and wide. Past destinations have taken the boys to national and international venues. These journeys not only allow the boys to share their music, they also give them the opportunity to build the bonds of brotherhood, and experience the different cultures of our global village. Additionally, these experiences help the boys to develop the tools of leadership in a culture filled with many languages and traditions. Giving to the tour fund helps ensure that all boys are able to access this opportunity.

Music Library and Archives

Donations directed to the Music Library ensure that students and alumni have access to both the great classics of Palestrina, Handel, Mendelssohn and others, and to the works of modern composers such as Stephen Hatfield, Eleanor Daley and Paul Halley. Stewardship ofn our liturgical music is supported through giving to the Music Library which contains over 2500 choral works and is constantly growing.

Giving to the SMCS Archives ensures that the school’s heritage is protected and maintained for future generations. The Archives houses a fascinating collection of music manuscripts, recordings, school registers and photographs, as well as the collected compositions, sermons and lectures of Monsignor John Edward Ronan, and an extensive reference library on music pedagogy, biblical study, canonical law and church history. The archives also has a collection of rare books that include hymnals and psalters going back to the 18th century. Gifts to the SMCS Archives help provide archival-quality storage materials, environmental monitoring and display units, and help ensure access to researchers.

Massey Hall Christmas concerts

Becoming a Massey Hall sponsor brings the festive spirit to the boys and helps them raise their voices in celebration of the birth of Christ at one of Toronto’s most historic venues. Every year, all 275 boys gather on stage at the Grand Dame of Shuter Street to bring a joyous sound to audiences who come from across the Greater Toronto Area. Sponsors ensure that the boys have sheet music, provide food for long rehearsals, and help hang the beautiful decorations that fill the hall every year.

Scholarships and Bursaries

With choral program fees, our robust scholarship program ensures that boys from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds can access the high calibre musical and academic education available at St. Michael’s Choir School. Through scholarships for hardworking and deserving students, the program builds excellence and prepares young men for the post-secondary world. Scholarships are available for all grade levels and recognize excellence in academics, music, athletics and citizenship. In addition to choral program fee scholarships, the Choir School also offers a number of scholarships for graduating boys who are on their way to college and university.

St. Michael’s Choir School Alumni Association Initiatives

The alumni of St. Michael’s Choir School go on to careers in all fields, with many taking up positions in parishes as Music Directors, organists and cantors. Your gift towards St. Michael’s Choir School Alumni Association initiatives supports the Guardian Angels mentorship program, the SMCSAA Choir and activities that foster brotherhood amongst alumni, and between alumni and current students.