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Toronto Catholic District School Board

School History and Tradition                                               

Three Schools in One  
 
St. Michael's Choir school building Three schools in one – elementary, secondary and the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music (PISM) share facilities, faculty and a common purpose – the service of God through liturgical music.  Boys of different ages interact with each other;  classroom doors are open; students and faculty know each other by name, and parents  are welcomed as active partners in the educational process. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
History and Tradition
 
St. Michael’s Choir School was founded in 1937 by Fr. John Edward Ronan to facilitate the training of a boys’ choir for St. Michael’s Cathedral. The official name of the school at the time was “Cathedral Schola Cantorum.” On May 17, 1955, St. Michael’s Choir School was accorded an affiliation with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome -- only six 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.
 
St. Michael’s Choir School was formed from humble beginnings as a privately run institution. In 1967 a partnership was formed with the Toronto Catholic District School Board that is still in existence today. From the very beginning the school has provided parishes in the Toronto Diocese and beyond with organists, cantors, conductors, and professional singers.
 
Founding Dates
  • 1900: St. Michael’s Parish School opens at 69 Bond Street
  • 1926: Cathedral Sanctuary Choir is founded by Monsignor Ronan
  • 1937: An elementary school is established for the cathedral choirboys, and the Cathedral Schola
  • Cantorum becomes known as St. Michael’s Choir School
  • 1942: Grades Nine and Ten are added
  • 1950: Opening of the new Choir School building at 66 Bond Street
  • 1955: Affiliation with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome
  • 1966: SMCS joins the Metropolitan Separate School Board (currently known as the Toronto Catholic District School Board)
  • 1975: 69 Bond Street is renovated as the high school building
  • 1996: SCMS moves into the renovated building at 67 Bond Street
  • 1997: Renovation of the School of Sacred Music building at 66 Bond Street
Keystone Dates
  • September 29—The Feast of St. Michael
  • October 15—Founder’s Day (the anniversary of Msgr. Ronan’s death on October 15, 1962) School chapel
Administration (Past and Present)

  • Msgr. John E. Ronan, Founder, Director, Principal (1937-1962)
  • Msgr. Peter Somerville, Director, Principal (1962-1981)
  • Mr. Harry Hodson, Principal 1981-1997), Director

     (1981-2004)

  • Fr. John-Mark Missio, Directo(2004-2009) 
  • Mr. John W. Ryall, Principal (1997-2000)
  • Mr. Dan Smith, Principal (2000-2001)
  • Mr. Domnic Melino, Principal (2001-2010)
  • Mr. Barry White, Principal (2010 - Present)
For more information on the history of St. Michael’s Choir School, please click on one of the links below to view excerpts from the school’s 50th anniversary booklet “1937-1987 The First Fifty Years”.