Saint Thomas Choir School student looks through a window next to photos of alumni

Where will you go from here?

We count among our graduates Fulbright scholars, Harvard Medical School professors, internationally recognized as well as up-and-coming conductors and composers, actors, and a legendary typographer. Learn how Saint Thomas was the beginning of their journey.

 

John Darrell Sherwood '81, PhD

John Sherwood, PhD

Historian at Naval History & Heritage Command
Fulbright-Schuman Scholar, 2019-2020

“Saint Thomas gave me a strong dose of the type of self-discipline required to advance academically. Choir gave me focus. In choral singing, a lack of focus can lead to an embarrassing mistake that can bring down the entire performance of the group. When performing under the baton of Dr. Gerre Hancock, I learned very quickly to focus exclusively on the task at hand.  Gerre compelled us to bring our “A” game to every performance, as did leading choristers of the era such as Julian Wachner and Dana Marsh (both of whom are now world-class conductors).

Without question, St. Thomas was the foundation to any success I have achieved in life. I think about my experiences there often and feel blessed to have attended such an esteemed institution.”

Chris Wylde (Chris Noll) '90

Chris Noll

Actor and comedian
Currently appearing as Glen on CBS’s Young Sheldon

“The immersion into the arts impacted my life profoundly. From the daily singing and performing to the yearly trips to the Metropolitan Opera House and various Broadway stages. In my four short years at Saint Thomas, I sang on 5th Avenue for Jackie O, in Westminster Abbey for the Queen Mother and at the Hit Factory with Carly Simon. The latter earned a Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Song in a Motion Picture. But more importantly, it landed me entry into the Screen Actors Guild. I graduated Class of ’90, and now I pretend to sell comic books in the year 1990 to Young Sheldon on CBS Thursday nights at 8 PM. I’m not sure I could have pulled off my life as an actor without my start as a choir boy.”

Roger Black '62

Roger Black

Typographer and designer
As seen in magazines like Rolling Stone, and newspapers like the Los Angeles Times.

“Being a choirboy at Saint Thomas taught me to be observant: to watch the conductor while reading my score, marking the time and the sound of my fellow choristers and gauging the response of the audience.  It is a skill that I have used to advantage in my life.”

Nathan Fletcher '07

Nathan Fletcher

Composer whose music has been described as “melodious, neo-Romantic” (Washington Post) and “gorgeous” (Opera-L).

“The sheer volume and quality of music we performed and rehearsed day in, day out at Saint Thomas created an environment of total immersion. I graduated not only fluent in the language of music, but with a deep appreciation of music’s power to create transcendent experiences for performers and listeners alike.”

Tom Carroll, MD ‘88

Dr. Thomas L. Carroll is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital specializing in laryngology. He is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. Since 2014 he has served as the director of the BWH Voice Program, which provides diagnoses and innovative therapies for patients with voice, swallowing and airway disorders. Dr. Carroll is a graduate of Oberlin College with a degree in Music and remains an active ensemble singer. His interest in voice and singing began as a boy chorister at the St. Thomas Choir School in New York.

His clinical interests include care of the professional voice (singing and speaking), early glottic cancer with an emphasis on voice preservation, Laryngopharyngeal reflux and related disorders such as chronic cough, vocal cord paralysis/paresis and office based laryngeal surgery including vocal fold augmentation for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and photoangiolytic (KTP) laser therapy.

“I graduated from Saint Thomas in 1988 and was exposed to the music and environment that inspired my calling. Choral music remains what I enjoy to listen to while I work and remains the style in which I sing today as I remain an active choral singer in the Boston area.”

“I never saw myself as a professional musician, but through the education, independent spirit and work ethic instilled at Saint Thomas, I pursued a profession that allows me to use my knowledge of music and voice in a field that cares for professional voice users.”

 

Aaron Primero ‘05

Investment banking associate at Goldman Sachs in New York; graduate of Columbia University and Oxford University, UK, where he studied Classics and Financial Economics, respectively; Fulbright Scholar in 2014.

“My time at the Choir School allowed me to reimagine myself. It’s where I learned to sing, tie a tie and read Latin. There is no place like it. No school whose mission blends art, worship, scholarship, and service. No table to which, year after year, alums return to break bread with one another on Thanksgiving.”

 

David Shaw '95

Certified Financial Professional; Financial Advisor, UBS Financial Services Inc.

“Though it was admittedly daunting to head off to boarding school in midtown Manhattan at the age of 9, the Choir School provided an experience unlike any other I could have had. Once worried about missing my family, I soon discovered that my 40 schoolmates were like brothers and my 10 teachers were like parents.

Apart from the one-of-a-kind relationships I developed, I also carry with me the discipline and independence instilled in everyday life at 202 West 58th street, both traits that served me well, first as a navy pilot and now as a Financial Advisor. I’m constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to attend Saint Thomas and how my upbringing and character were enriched because of it.”

Sean McFate ‘84

Dr. Sean McFate is a foreign policy expert, author and novelist. He is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC think tank, and a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Additionally, he serves as an Advisor to Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs.

His has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Politico, Daily Beast, Vice Magazine, War on the Rocks, Military Review and African Affairs. He has appeared on CNN’s Amanpour, Morning Joe, Fox and Friends, MSNBC, Fox, Sky News, NPR, BBC, WSJ, FT, Economist, Vice/HBO, The Discovery Channel, and American Heroes Channel. As a scholar, he has authored eight book chapters in edited academic volumes, and two monographs on modern war for the U.S. Department of Defense.

McFate holds a BA from Brown University, MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He was also a Fellow at Oxford.

“My five years at the Choir School were the most important of my childhood. Classrooms were a happy and secure environment, giving me a life-long love of learning. Living away from home imparted confidence at an early age.

The functional independence and self-sufficiency I gained at the Choir School has served me well throughout my adult life. My classmates are brothers, not just fellow students. The Choir School is a special place to grow up.”

 

Chad Newsome ‘81

National Sales Manager, PL Custom Body and Equipment Co., Inc.

“The Choir School is indeed the experience of a lifetime. As a graduate from 35 years ago, I look at my own fellow classmates as a barometer for how well this school prepares its boys. The Class of 1981, all seven members, has produced a string of achievements. Our small class has seen its fair share of success as authors, clergy, recording artists and composers, educators, business leaders, and music industry veterans. I believed so much in the school that my son attended and graduated from St. T’s in 2013. His class is also building on the tremendous foundation that the Choir School provided. Nothing else compares to this opportunity. Nothing.”

 

Trevor Weston ‘81

Trevor Weston received his B.A. from Tufts University and continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his M. A. and Ph. D. in Music Composition. Dr. Weston is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Drew University in Madison, NJ. Trevor Weston’s musical piece, “Flying Fish” was played by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on March 24, 2017 and was a joint commission by the orchestra and Carnegie Hall.

“At Saint Thomas, I learned that music is more than an enjoyable diversion. Music can be a powerful form of communication that can utter, through sound, emotions and ideas that words can only begin to describe. When performed at the highest level, music can be transformative.

For this reason, the Choir School taught us that performance at the highest level was an important personal responsibility. The choir’s work ethic was echoed in all aspects of our lives. We were encouraged to aim for excellence in every endeavor. I believe this important aspect of the culture cultivated by the Choir School creates graduates who become leaders in their respective fields.”