Into the Mystery: The 75th Anniversary of St. Michael’s Choir School
This year St. Michael’s Choir School celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a performance tour of Rome and Florence. St. Michael’s Choir School has toured internationally since 1967, Canada’s centennial year. Notably, the 2013 Italy tour took place 42 years after the school’s first performance in Rome and 16 years after the Choir School’s last performance at the Vatican. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity saw the students of St. Michael’s Choir School perform at some of the world’s most important sacred music venues. It included a prestigious performance during Solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica with His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto who accompanied them on the trip. The choir also sang for Pope Francis at his weekly general audience only weeks following his election.
St. Michael’s Choir School was founded in 1937 by Monsignor John Edward Ronan to facilitate the training of a boys’ choir for St. Michael’s Cathedral. A vital part of the Toronto Catholic community, the school was honoured by the Vatican on May 17, 1955 when it was accorded an affiliation with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, where Monsignor Ronan studied, from 1932-1935. Only a handful of other choirs and choir schools in the world share this privilege. In 1987, the Choir School completed an astounding fifty years of service, and in recognition of this milestone, Mr. Art Eggleton, the mayor of Toronto at the time, declared June 15, 1987, as the official St. Michael’s Choir School Day.