There are few Toronto Catholics (especially those who frequent the downtown core) who aren't well-acquainted with St. Michael’s Choir School
. They’re a regular feature at St. Michael’s Cathedral.
It’s a rare treat though to interview them, and I was glad to have an opportunity to speak with the Choir's talented conductors and singers on the occasion of their 75th anniversary. As part of the documentary, Into the Mystery
I was asked to learn more about the school and its history, and also get a sense from the boys how they enjoyed their recent performance tour to Rome and Florence where they performed in some of the most renowned sacred music venues in the world. Among the many highlights of this tour was their performance at the General Audience for our then newly-elected Pope Francis!
When I caught up with them a few months later, it was clear this tour was not just a fun school excursion. The boys were buoyed with confidence which came from the realization that they've got world-class singing ‘chops’. They held their own in the presence of the papal choirs with which they performed during the tour.
It goes without saying that the Choir’s magnificent performances are a testimony to the proud legacy of their school. A fact that every Catholic who has ever had the privilege of hearing the Choir school should be very proud of.
Personally, I was inspired to see how much they love to sing – especially the little ones. There’s something truly good and pure in the desire to praise the Lord through song, even more so when one is so generously gifted with talent! I recall in particular how one young boy said, “When I sing I feel perfect; I feel still inside”.
I found that comment intriguing, because it suggests what’s at the heart of any good prayer – the sublime peace that the soul experiences in union with God. I’ve never experienced what he spoke of (as I can’t hold a tune to save my life!) but I can attest to the beauty of sacred music and its capacity to pierce through the veneer of ordinary life. There's a sublime beauty to music which orients and points the listener to the ultimate and transcendent reality of God. The ability to perceive this divine mystery whether you are singing or just listening to sacred music is truly God's grace.
In this sense, we are indebted to the Choir school for sharing their talents with us.
Sunday December 15 – 9:30pm ET / 6:30pm PT - premiere
Monday December 16 – 1:30am ET / 10:30pm PT (Sunday), 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT
Tuesday December 17 – 1:00am ET / 10:00pm PT (Monday)
Wednesday December 18 – 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT
Thursday December 19 – 12:00am ET / 9:00pm PT (Wednesday), 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT Friday December 20 – 9:00am ET / 6:00am PT
See the preview below: