Music at Queens’

Queens’ is fortunate in being one of the most musically active Colleges in the University.

The musical life in College exists through a strong partnership between the Chapel Choir and the Music Society – MagSoc.  In addition to the MagSoc Symphony Orchestra, the MagSoc Chorus is one of the largest non-audition choirs in Cambridge. For non-music students, the Tyro Music Prize is a competition held every year for amateur musicians.

The College boasts several fine concert venues:

The Chapel, designed by George Frederick Bodley and consecrated in 1891 (replacing the Old Chapel, of 1451, now the College Library), is noted within Cambridge for its very fine acoustic, and its 1892 Binns organ, one of the finest and most historically valuable instruments in Cambridge

  • Old Hall is available for concerts when not used for dinners and other events, through MagSoc, who own a Boston grand piano
  • The Fitzpatrick Hall is one of the finest theatres available to students in the University, and has been used very successfully for musicals and operas, through BATS (the Queens’ dramatic society) and CUOS (Cambridge University Opera Society)
  • The Long Gallery of the President’s Lodge is sometimes used for concerts involving students, and this stunning venue is often used for receptions and fundraising events involving the Choir

College has many fine instruments:

  • The Binns organ is one of the finest instruments of its type in existence, built in 1892 and restored in 2002 by Harrison and Harrison
  • There are two practice rooms under the Fitzpatrick Hall, which can be booked by anybody in College using a folder in the Porters’ Lodge
  • There are pianos in the Chapel and the Old Music Room, which may be used for practice after consultation with the Chaplain and Organ Scholars
  • There is a Boston grand piano in Old Hall, available to some pianists through MagSoc
  • The President makes the instruments in his Music Room and the Long Gallery available for the most accomplished pianists in College, namely two Steinway grand pianos and a Johnson double-manual harpsichord
  • MagSoc has a drum kit (in the music practice rooms) and a variety of percussion instruments available on request

During term time, there are weekly organ recitals held on Saturdays at 1.15pm in the Chapel. See the series' facebook page for information on upcoming recitals.


The St Margaret's Music Society of Queens' College (MagSoc for short) is the student music society. We are one of the largest and most inclusive music societies in Cambridge, with activities ranging from jazz sets to operas! Whether you are an experienced instrumentalist, or a complete novice, you are sure to find a group which suits your tastes.

MagSoc typically puts on a large-scale concert at the end of Michaelmas and Lent terms in West Road Concert Hall, and a smaller May Week event, as well a recital series at midday on Sundays in Michaelmas and Lent terms.

Visit the Magsoc website for more information.

MagSoc is generously supported by The Farrant Fund for The St Margaret’s Music Society of Queens’ College. The Fund is named in honour of Mr Stephen Farrant (1956), who established the Fund through The Friends of Aliki Vatikioti for Music & The Arts.


Queens’ College Choir is one of the leading mixed-voice choirs in Cambridge. It consists of around 24 singers, the majority of whom are undergraduate members of the College, and two organ scholars.

More information on the Queens' College Choir.

Friends of Queens' Music

Join the  Friends of Queens' Music to enjoy a wide range of musical performances and to support music at Queens'.

The Friends of Queens’ Music Fund - This is available to any current undergraduate or graduate student member of Queens', or any Musical Society at Queens’. Please follow this link for further information on how to apply.

The Tyro Music Prize

Tyro is the Latin term for a novice. The Tyro Music Prize was established to promote the music-making of everyday students at Queens’ (i.e. rather than Music students, music scholars and people with a diploma on an instrument), in the hope of encouraging people who play an instrument purely as a hobby to continue their music-making whilst at Queens’, and to allow confidence in music to spread to the rest of their university life.

The Tyro competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students at Queens’: applications open in early Lent term each year.

The competition is held yearly, usually in mid-Lent term in Old Hall, and all members of the College are invited to form the audience. At the end of the evening, an award will be made of £100 to one of the entrants, to further their musical life in the college. There is no minimum standard for the piece presented: instead, the judges will be interested only in the performance and what the music means to you. MagSoc can provide an accompanist if one is required.

Students who are reading Music at Queens’, hold a music degree or diploma or are Organ Scholars or Choral Scholars at Queens’ or another institution are not eligible to enter the competition