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Frank Merlo Memorial Music Award


The family of Frank Merlo donate an annual amount to the TCDSB each June, which is to be divided equally as an award to a graduating student from Holy Rosary Catholic School and a graduating student from D'Arcy McGee Catholic School who demonstrate a passion for music.  The selection of the recipients is made by the principal of the schools, in consultation with the school staff.  The Merlo family is to be invited to participate in the selection process.


Frank Merlo – A Biography
Captain Frank Merlo was an itinerant vocal music teacher who taught at D’Arcy McGee and Holy Rosary Catholic Schools for 30 years, as well as St. Matthew and St. Clare intermittently.
Being the third generation musician in his family, music was in his blood.  That passion launched him into a successful music career commencing with directing the St. Anthony Catholic Church Choir at age 16.  Music and engaging others in music was the love of Frank’s life as witnessed by his generosity of spirit in giving thousands of hours of lunch hour recorder sessions. 
Early in his teaching career, Frank formed a small group of musicians,  that for the next twenty five years would spread Christmas cheer from school to school across the board.  These Christmas Troubadours were ecstatically received gladdening the hearts of all.  Energetic, versatile, highly organized, focused and determined, Frank never lost sight of highlighting and showcasing the childrens’ achievements and thus, never missed an opportunity to participate in the MSSB/TCDSB and Woodbine Music Festivals. 
His love of the military, its character forming nature, incomparable history, patriotic culture and unique panache led Frank to join the Canadian Forces Reserves in 1976.  Frank’s unwavering commitment allowed him to quickly navigate through the myriad of Canadian Forces courses where he commissioned to Captain in 1995, whereby becoming the Director of Music for the Governor General’s Horse Guards Band.  Frank was awarded the Canadian Forces decoration in February of 1988 with clasps in 1998 and 2008. Tireless hours were spent preparing and planning Christmas/Spring or Fundraising Concerts featuring and combining students from his various schools accompanied by the Governor General’s Horse Guards Band.  Being in the reserves, Frank passionately  commemorated and shared Remembrance Day in a very special manner with his school communities emphasizing Canada’s devotion to peace and goodwill. 


Frank joined the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem in July 2001.  In 2009, he was inducted into the Knightly Order of St. George.  Among his many accomplishments were his encounters with various dignitaries, performing at Buckingham Palace for His Royal Highness Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and his featured and credited cameo appearance in the 20th Century Fox Motion Picture X-Men and Police Academy III.