Lessons Behind the Music: St. Michael's Choir School

Learn to be happy for others instead of jealous or angry. 

The new guy gets the promotion you've been working hard for the last few years. Your cousin who is careless with money wins the lottery. 

Finding real happiness for people when you haven't gained a thing is downright tough. A lot of people talk the talk about their joy for others, but do they really feel it inside? 

GianLuca Coccimiglio does. And he's 11 years old. 

He is a member of Toronto's St. Michael's Choir School, an iconic all-boys vocal ensemble that you have to hear to believe. 

After sitting in on rehearsals this week, I was, of course, impressed with what these guys belted out. But what was far more astonishing was the level of maturity and class these young students presented. 

Me: "Do you know there are people my age that have never learned that lesson? You learned it at 11 years old."

Now I will introduce you to Liam McAlpine. 

He's in grade 6 and equally had me taken aback. What's important, he said, is a message he got from his conductor:

When I asked grade 10 choir member Amit Nehru what made being part of the Christmas concert so special, he told me this: 

On Saturday afternoon at Massey Hall, I settled into my seat and fully took in the beauty of what I was witnessing. 

With alumni Matt Dusk, the St. Michael's Choir and the entire packed house, it really did feel like Christmas. 

And the best present of all was the lessons I learned from the students at St. Michael's Choir School.

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