The Choir of Magdalen College is one of the three foundation choirs within the University of Oxford, although most other colleges now have their own choirs.
The College was founded in 1458, and in the statutes, provision was made for the eight clerks, four chaplains and sixteen choristers of Magdalen College Choir.
More recently, an additional four singing men (Academical Clerks) and two Organ Scholars were added to the complement, and this tradition has been maintained to this day.
The Choristers are part of the College Foundation, receiving their academic education at Magdalen College School. The Academical Clerks and Organ Scholars are undergraduates at the College, reading for degrees in several subjects.
The College Choir sings six of the seven sung services each week during Full Term. Away from the Chapel in Oxford, the choir has toured Japan, the USA, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany and France.
Recent orchestral performances have included collaborations with the Britten Sinfonia, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and an appearance at the BBC Proms.
Since 2013, the choir has recorded exclusively for Opus Arte, the label of the Royal Opera House. And in the past, the choir was involved with several soundtracks, including Richard Attenborough’s movie, Shadowlands, and the award-winning BBCTV series, Blue Planet.
In September 2010, the College added a second choir – Magdalen College Consort of Voices – which sings on Saturdays in Full Term. The Academical Clerks of the College Choir sing alongside sopranos from amongst the student body.