MCS believes that taking part in a musical ensemble is important not only in developing musical skills but also in fostering a strong sense of community within the department. We therefore offer a wide range of ensembles to cater for differing abilities and skills. These include:

  • 3 orchestras
  • 2 Jazz bands
  • String Orchestras
  • Wind Ensembles
  • Brass Ensembles
  • Clarinet, Flute, Guitar and Percussion Ensembles
  • A Samba Band
  • A Show band for accompanying the annual musical
  • A Parents’ Choir
  • Various Chamber Music ensembles – quartets, piano trios etc.

As a choir school, MCS naturally has a very strong tradition of choral singing. 16 boys sing with the College Choir in services during the week as well as concerts and recordings throughout the year. Within the school there are many choral groups which include:

  • Choral Society
  • Madrigal Society
  • 2 Close Harmony groups
  • Barbershop
  • The Magdalen Sixth (a mixed Sixth Form Choir)
  • A variety of student lead a capella groups

Performing music gives pupils the chance to develop their confidence as well as the aesthetic pleasure and sense of achievement it brings. Each year we perform well over 60 concerts ranging from our weekly Friday Teatime Concert series for informal individual performance to our annual extravaganzas at the Sheldonian Theatre. Recent Sheldonian Concerts have included Orff’s Carmina Burana and Rutter’s Gloria with the whole school, Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, Dvorak’s 8th Symphony, as well as some commissions for the Second Form choir by Alexander L’Estrange and Lyn Marsh. We regularly hold ‘Music at Magdalen’ Concerts at SJE; chamber music recitals in The Magdalen Grove Auditorium and Holywell Music Room, whilst the annual Jazz and Blues and 'Madrigals on the Water’ provide opportunities that are unique to MCS.

Our annual Arts Festival gives wonderful opportunity for musicians to perform with professional groups as well as to forge links with the local community. Recent events have included 2 MCS soloists performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with the London Mozart Players, and MCS musicians joining with local Primary Schools for a performance of L’Estrange’s Ahoy!

Music is an integral part of school life and we are delighted that pupils of all ages and stages have the opportunities to have memorable musical experiences.