ST. MICHAEL’S CHOIR SCHOOL:
A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION
Friday, December 14, 2007, 8 p.m
Saturday, December 15, 2007, 3 p.m.
Tickets: $36.50 - $22.50
Call 416-872-4255 or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office
Toronto – While French composer Hector Berlioz wrote music that expressed the passion of man, he was also inspired by Catholic liturgical text. His "L’adieu des bergers à la Sainte Famille" ("Shepherd’s farewell") from L’Enfance du Christ (The childhood of Christ) will be performed during St. Michael’s Choir School’s 68th annual Christmas concert A Christmas Celebration on Friday, December 14, 2007, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 15, 2007, at 3 p.m. A Christmas Celebration features St. Michael’s Choir School’s Elementary, Junior, and Senior Choirs in a concert of sacred and secular works accompanied by the Toronto Philharmonia.
Berlioz’s masterpiece appears alongside another 19th century oratorio, "The birth of Christ" from Christus by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Also performed are Karl Jenkins’ cutting-edge contemporary arrangements of traditional carols In dulci jubilo, Son of Maria, and Silent night. Popular pieces like White Christmas, Carol of the bells, and O Tannenbaum add a traditional touch to the concert, as does a rousing "Hallelujah chorus" from Handel’s Messiah.
Balancing the sacred and the secular is customary for the school currently celebrating its 70th anniversary. St. Michael’s Choir School is not only known for its music program, but also academic achievement, consistently ranking at the top of Fraser Institute surveys.
"While we mine the cultural, artistic, historic, and spiritual riches of the Catholic liturgy, we also encourage our students to question and be critical thinkers," says Fr. John-Mark Missio, Director. "We are helped in this by having a student body that is a microcosm for the world at large—students come from different backgrounds and bring different perspectives. We believe it’s a model example of a catholic education."
Since 1937, St. Michael’s Choir School has served the Archdiocese of Toronto by educating and training the boys’ choirs that singevery weekend at St. Michael’s Cathedral. The school is unique in offering an enriched academic program integrated with a lively ministry of sacred music. Designed to foster a lifelong interest in music, the choral program is one of only six choir schools in the world affiliated with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.
St. Michael’s Choir School has produced some of Canada’s most enduring vocalists and performers, including Michael Burgess, Matt Dusk, John McDermott and Michael Schade. Other successful graduates have excelled in the fields of education, science and medicine, law, business, and finance.
In addition to the annual Christmas concert, the choirs perform publicly in an annual tour and at many local events. Dignitaries such as His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien have enjoyed the choir’s performances.For more information: www.smcs.on.ca
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