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Magdalene Chapel Choir

Magdalene College Choir

The College Choir is renowned for being an exceptionally friendly and sociable group. It comprises around 24 Members of the College and volunteers from other Colleges. Alongside their chapel commitments, the choir has an active programme of performances including tours, concerts, visiting services, recordings and College dinners. In recent years the Choir has toured to a number of destinations including the Spain, USA, Germany, France, Italy, Malta and South Africa.

Candlelit Choral Evensong takes place twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, the public are warmly welcomed to attend these and other Chapel services.

Choir members receive dinner in Hall twice a week in recognition of their commitment to the life of the College, as well as subsidised singing lessons, tours and other activities. If you would like to join the choir, there are two methods: University Choral Awards are available to offer-holders before they arrive in Cambridge. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the Director of Music to arrange an audition and to discuss your options.


The choir recently released a new recording is Wolcum Yole!, which features Britten’s Ceremony of Carols alongside other festive music. We are delighted that the recording also features the Master, Dr Rowan Williams, reading poetry of his choice which reflects upon the music of the CD.

Previous recordings include

  • Garde ta Foy Music by Grieg, Rachmaninov, Britten, Purcell and Tallis.
  • How shall I sing that Majesty - Music by Parry, Tippett, Ireland, Howells, Weelkes and Blow.

Organ Scholars

Organ Scholars at Magdalene receive subsidised lessons, and some of the finest rooms in College. Alongside the Precentor they help to run the College Choir, and have appropriately tailored opportunities to direct the Choir.

Many previous Organ Scholars from Magdalene are now active professional musicians around the world. The Director of Music is very happy to hear from any who are considering Organ Scholarships at Magdalene, and to offer advice and guidance on any aspect of the application process or life as an Organ Scholar at Magdalene.

The Organ

The College has an organ by Goetze and Gwynn in the Chapel, new in 2000, which has been acclaimed as one of the best neo-baroque organs in Cambridge.




Open Diapason 8'
Stop Diapason 8'
Principal 4'
Flute 4'
Twelfth 2 2/3'
Fifteenth 2'
Sesquialtera III
Mixture II
Cornet IV
Trumpet 8'
Vox Humana 8

Open Diapason 8'
Stop Diapason 8'
Principal 4'
Nason Flute 4'
Nasard 2 2/3'
Fifteenth 2'
Tierce 1 3/5'
Mixture III
Cromhorn 8'

Bourdon 16'
Open Diapason 8'
Principal 4'
Trumpet 8'

Couplers - Chair to Great; Great to Pedals; Chair to Pedals. Three mechanical composition pedals for each manual.

Manual compass: C - g3 Pedal compass: C - f1

The pitch is a1=421Hz. The tuning is Kellner's reconstruction of Bach's tuning for his Well-tempered Clavier.

The wind pressure is 2½" (63mm) for the manuals and 71mm for the pedal.