The life of a Chorister in Magdalen College Choir is busy and rewarding. The Choristers are educated at Magdalen College School, a highly regarded independent school teaching boys from age 7 to 18, and welcoming girls in the 6th form. The Choristers have the benefit of being able to integrate into the daily life of the School, as well as receiving an incomparable musical education. MCS is not a boarding school, and by living at home, the Choristers are able to share fully in family life.
The experience of Choristership trains a boy to be a committed, motivated and highly organised team player; these are all excellent transferrable skills which the boys take on into later life.
Choristers follow a bespoke programme of instrumental and music theory lessons; in addition to their daily work in the song school, they receive subsidised singing lessons; all choristers learn the piano, and many take up a second instrument. As well as the regular services and practices during term time, the Choir enjoys a busy schedule of recordings, broadcasts, concerts and tours. The educational experience is enhanced by the music they sing being in a variety of languages, from Latin to German, French and even Russian. Parents and families are welcome to attend services and concerts, and the chorister parents have an active and welcoming social group, supporting each other, the Choir, and their sons in all that they do.
In parallel with a voice trial, prospective Choristers have to pass the School’s entrance examination. They would normally take up their Chorister duties when they are 7 or 8 years old. They begin as probationers, attending some, but not all, of the rehearsals each week, as well as some of the services. They also begin the School's bespoke programme of chorister music studies straight away.
Over the course of the Chorister's time in the Choir, the College pays two-thirds of the School's tuition fees. The Choristership ceases at the end of year eight, or when the Chorister's voice breaks, depending on which comes first.
The Informator Choristarum (Director of Music), Mark Williams, is always pleased to hear from prospective chorister parents at any time. Please contact his personal assistant, Melanie Bennette, on or on 01865 286701 to arrange an informal audition. This meeting will provide Mr Williams with an opportunity to assess your child's vocal potential and advise parents and children accordingly. More formal voice trials are held in September each year, prior to the school entrance exams held in January.