School of Music Alumnus appointed Director of St. Michael's Choir School
St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto is one of the most distinguished choral training institutes in Canada. MUN School of Music alumnus Stephen Handrigan is well prepared for his new job as Director, having been raised in Newfoundland's strong choral tradition.
Stephen Handrigan was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He attended all boys Catholic schools and received his undergraduate degrees in Music and Music Education from Memorial University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Victoria. Stephen studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London, England, and his voice teachers included Sr. Katherine Bellamy, RSM (St. John’s), Brian Roberts (St. John’s), Theo Lindenbaum (Detmold, Germany), and Lois Marshall (Toronto). He has attended the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Leadership Institute and he holds Ontario Principals’ Qualifications.
Stephen’s thirty year career in education began in Catholic elementary schools in St. John’s. He moved to Toronto in 1988, and as a choral and band specialist with the TCDSB, he taught and led multiple musical ensembles at Madonna High School and Senator O’Connor College School. Stephen’s career path also included teaching music in independent schools, including Upper Canada College in Toronto, and The Country Day School in King City, where he held the position of Head of Music for over ten years. From 2003- 2005, Stephen was the Director of the Conference of Independent Schools’ Music Festival, and since 2010 he has been an administrator with the TCDSB, most recently as the vice-principal of Loretto Abbey Catholic High School.
Under his leadership, Stephen’s choirs and bands consistently received gold ratings at national and international music festivals, and his ensembles toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and the People’s Republic of China. Performance highlights include Expo ’86 (Vancouver), Carnegie Hall (New York), St. Matthias Church (Budapest), St. Nicholas Church (Prague) and the Great Wall (China). As a baritone soloist, Stephen has appeared in recitals, oratorios, and on CBC Radio. He has performed leading roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas as well as Broadway musicals, and he was a member of the Canadian Opera Company Chorus.
The School of Music congratulates Stephen on this distinction and wishes him all the best in his new role as Director of St. Michael's Choir School.