About St. Michael’s Choir School
A Since 1937, St. Michael’s Choir School has served the Archdiocese of Toronto by educating and training the boys’ choirs that sing every weekend at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Founded by Monsignor J.E. Ronan, the school is unique in offering an enriched academic program, including extended French instruction, integrated with a lively ministry of sacred music. Designed to foster a lifelong interest in music, St. Michael’s is one of only a handful of choir schools in the world affiliated with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, where Monsignor Ronan studied from 1932-1936. The Choir School boasts an active and celebrated alumni community, with groups returning regularly to the School and the Cathedral for annual events, such as the Holy Week Tenebrae service and a special St. Patrick’s Day Mass. They are a fixture on the Toronto music scene, performing at community events throughout the year. St. Michael’s Choir School has been a springboard for Canada’s most enduring vocalists and performers, including the Crew Cuts and Four Lads of the 1950s and present-day musical artists Michael Schade, John McDermott, Stewart Goodyear, Kevin Hearn (of The Barenaked Ladies), Robert Pomakov, Matt Dusk, Michael Colvin, Claude Morrison (of The Nylons), Michael Burgess, and Andrew Craig (CBC) and The Mistletones. Alumni are invited to visit the SMCSAA website to stay current on events and register for the mailing list.
Choirs from St. Michael’s Choir School perform publicly in an annual tour and at many local events. Dignitaries such as His Holiness Pope John Paul II, His Holiness Pope Francis I, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and former Canadian Prime Ministers Brian Mulroney and Jean Chrétien have enjoyed the choir’s performances. In 2013, the choirs had the privilege of touring Italy, which included concerts at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and Sacro Cuore Church and singing at an audience for the Pope. The choirs also sang Masses at St. Patrick’s, the Roman parish of our chancellor, Thomas Cardinal Collins, and at the Vatican, with the renowned Cappella Guilia, under the direction of Fr. Pierre Paul, to name a few. In 2014-2015 the Choirs toured St. John’s, Newfoundland, where they were welcomed by the local parishes for sell-out concerts. Here at home, they sang for Toronto mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and appeared on CityTV’s Breakfast Television. This year, the Choir School marks its 50th Christmas concert at Toronto’s venerable Massey Hall.
Many visitors to St. Michael’s Cathedral make a point of attending one of the three weekend Masses sung by SMCS Choirs. From September to June, the two Senior Choirs sing on Saturdays at the 5 p.m. Mass and Sundays at the 12 p.m. noon Mass, and the Junior Choir sings at the Sunday 10:00 a.m. Mass. The Elementary Choir (Grades 3 and 4) has a tradition of singing in the cathedral on Christmas morning as well as a handful of other Masses throughout the year as they prepare to take on full Chorister duties at the beginning Grade 5.
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SMCS Tuck Shop
St. Michael’s Choir School merchandise can be purchased through our online store.
Our latest album, In Midnight’s Stillness (2009) takes its name from the breathtaking traditional Polish carol, “Wśród Nocnej Ciszy”. Arranged by St. Michael’s Choir School’s Principal Conductor, Dr. Jerzy Cichocki, In Midnight’s Stillness displays the lyrical beauty and charm of Polish folklore.
Online orders for our recordings are now available! Click here to access our new online store.