Foundation to honour choir school founder Ronan’s legacy

  • October 5, 2011

TORONTO - The founders of St. Michael’s Choir School believed no boy should ever be turned away because of money.

That principle has endured to this day but what has changed since 1937 is an economic climate that makes implementing it a greater challenge than ever.

To address that, the school will mark its 75th anniversary by launching a new foundation to raise funds for bursaries, scholarships and other special projects.

“The mission of the foundation is to nurture, cultivate and provide for the financial stability and health of the choir school,” said executive director W. Edward McCall.

The motivation for establishing the foundation, to be officially launched Oct. 14 at the school’s Founder’s Day Concert, was a desire to stay true to the school’s roots established by Msgr. John Edward Ronan. He believed lack of money should not be an obstacle to studying music.

“My job is to honour that legacy,” said McCall.

Annual tuition at the school for Grades 3 to 12 students is $4,410. The foundation will help needy students but will also become a legacy for all the school’s graduates and teachers.

“I think it will stand as a testimony to the hundreds and hundreds of boys who have gone through the school and who are now leaders in the community,” McCall said.

Choir school alumni Richard Ross has been named chair of the foundation’s board of directors.

The school currently has a modest scholarship/bursary program that assists some students. With the creation of this new foundation, additional money can be raised — through donors and events — to expand existing programs and fund important new initiatives to ensure the long-term health of the school.

Founder’s Day Concert will be held Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Admission is free and all are welcome.

St. Michael’s Choir School has become a primary training ground for church musicians who serve as organists, cantors and choir directors in parishes throughout the GTA and across Canada.

For more information on the foundation, visit

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