McGuigan: a school with MUSIC!!!!!



Vocalits from left to right:  Carla Basa, Stefani Onaiwu, Mary Pangilinan, Reneesha Patterson, Michelle Campbell, Shantoi Grant and Theresa Coombs-Ronaldson with their music teacher and conductor  Ms. Jennifer Cicero 

Young Elementary Musicians

Epiphany of Our Lady and St. Aidan String Students under the direction of Mr. Chris Dickson 

McGuigan's Jazz Band

James Cardinal McGuigan from left to right:  Row 1: Chantelle Moreira, Ariel Caday &  Chaad Pierre Row 2: Chris Cioffi, Myra Balneg, Rosselle Miranda, Dejoure Boland & Maria Villalobos Row 3: Bravo Bibat & Joshua Ambo 

Guest Guitarist with Jazz Band

Mr Chris Dickson, Director of Music for a number of Catholic Elementary Schools and one Secondary School, with his guitar 

Bravo Bibat and R.M.P Miranda, Members of the Jazz Band

On December 3rd , 2013 the James Cardinal McGuigan Jazz Band had their début during the annual  Captain Frank J. Merlo Memorial Christmas concert. James Cardinal McGuigan (JCM) students who participated in this performance are not only experienced musicians, but also have practiced and dedicated large amounts of time getting ready for this big day. They performed several types of songs, including Christmas Carols and the James Bond Theme song, and impressed the crowd with an outstanding performance of a lifetime.

One James Cardinal McGuigan student, Bravo Bibat, 16, has been playing the trumpet since the age of 12. “What makes me interested is the music we play and the great feeling of being able to finally play a piece you once found difficult,”  Bibat says. Although he does not have plans  to make trumpet playing a career, he hopes to continue performing as a hobby. He’s been performing a majority of solos, such as the one he played during the St. Michael’s College concert last year. “I didn’t choose my instrument. I had no idea what playing the trumpet will [sic] be like, and surprisingly, I liked it and would not change it for the world,” Bibat also claims.

Another student, Roselle-Marianne Pasqual Miranda,16, also plays in the Jazz Band. She has not only been playing for several years, but is one of the only alto saxophone players in both the senior and jazz bands. “ In 10 years, though I’ve been enjoying my time here playing at school, I don’t plan on going further with my instrument, but to pursue my dream  as an English teacher,” claims Miranda. Jazz Band at JCM started this year and continues to wow everyone with the amazing music and the outstanding muscians who play their hearts out.

Jazz Band has not only shown everyone in the Jane and Finch community what James Cardinal McGuigan students are able to achieve, but what we can do with the right practice and determination. “Playing in this memorial service has been a great opportunity for me, but not just me, but for the  students who play with me,” says JCM student Kevin Soberano, 16. The Captain Frank J. Merlo Memorial has brought not only the junior and senior concert bands and the jazz band together, but also the string players from St. Aidan and Epiphany of our Lord Catholic Elementary schools, and the wonderful Governor General’s Horse Guard Band. James Cardinal McGuigan staff and students were proud to play with the all the bands and to perform for their families as well as the community.


Kathrine Ann Minardo de Leon


Senior Students Band Conducted by Mrs. Sharon Niedens

Mrs Sharon Niedens, Music Director of the Senior James Cardinal McGuigan Band 

Flowers Presented to Mrs. Jennifer Cicero and Mrs. Sharon Niedens

From left to right: Mrs. Jennifer Cicero, Chaad Pierre, Dejoure Boland, Mrs. Sharon Niedens and Chantelle Moreira standing in front of the Regimental Band of Governor General's Horse Guard 

The Memorial Concert

The Captain Frank J. Merlo, CD Memorial Christmas Music Concert and Art Fest performed at James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic Secondary School was an example of a superb exhibition of talents from different musicians of all ages.  My expectations for the concert were initially not very high, since I knew that the earlier bands were composed mostly of young individuals.  However, I was proven wrong.  These young individuals acted very professionally.  I was simply astounded.  Every band played exceptionally well.  The pieces were carefully chosen and I found them well suited for the occasion.  The musicians were dressed appropriately and the program was quite organized as well.

Among all of the remarkable performances, the one that caught my attention the most was the phenomenal performance of the Governor General’s Horse Guard Band.  It was just a magnificent privilege to have seen and hear them play.  Overall, the concert was sensational and I would not hesitate to attend this annual performance in the years to come.By Julian Salvador, Grade 9 student at James Cardinal McGuigan


The Horse Guard Band

Lieutenant Colonel PJ Van Auken CD conducting the Horse Guard Band 

The Horse Guard Band with Students

Regimental Band of the Governor General's Horse Guards with James Cardinal McGuigan Band Students 

Flowers Presented to PJ Van Auken, Conductor of the Horse Guard Band

Chaad Pierre presenting flowers to Lieutenant Colonel PJ Van Auken CD, Director of Music of the Regimental Band, with the Regimental Band of the Governor General's Horse Guards  The special relationship between McGuigan and GG Horse Guards Band through Capt. Frank J Merlo CD