St. Michael's Choir School was established in 1937 to serve the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Toronto by providing choral liturgical music at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. St. Michael's Choir School specializes in educating and training the boys who sing in the Cathedral's choirs. Service to the Catholic community remains at the heart of the St. Michael's Choir School's mission, and this calling continues to guide and shape the school both musically and academically.
With The Most Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, as its chancellor, St. Michael's Choir School operates as a unique dual governance between the Archdiocese of Toronto and the Toronto Catholic District School Board. With an enrollment currently limited to 280 boys, the school offers a complete curriculum of academic studies from Grade 3 to 12 maintaining the highest standards of the school board and the Ontario Ministry of Education.
St. Michael's Choir School's distinct learning environment features a strong, supportive sense of community, with individual attention, small class sizes and a focus on preparing for university entrance. The Choral program is designed to foster a lifelong interest in music; many graduates go on to serve their own parishes musically, while some pursue professional careers in music. The course of study includes daily classroom instruction in music theory, choral rehearsals to prepare for a regular schedule of Masses in the cathedral, concerts and special events. In addition, students take weekly private lessons in piano, organ, and other instruments.
The admission process is highly selective and takes place in two phases: A vocal audition and academic placement/interview. Of the hundreds who audition, only 32 boys will be offered a place at the Elementary Choir level (Grades 3 and 4) each year. Depending on openings, there are often possibilities for boys to enter in higher grades, even at the secondary level. In those circumstances, new applicants must demonstrate a level of skill and achievement equalling the experience of St Michael's Choir School training.