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Queen’s is well known in and beyond Oxford for the quality and quantity of its musical activities.

Excellent facilities for individual and group rehearsal are available in the two Music Practice Rooms, one equipped with a grand piano and the other with an upright piano and harpsichord. In addition to the organ, the Chapel contains a concert grand piano and a fine harpsichord, and is acoustically one of the best chapels in Oxford for musical performance. The Shulman Auditorium houses the College’s Steinway, and is used for weekly recitals and instrumental and vocal teaching during term-time.

The Chapel Choir

The mixed-voice Chapel Choir is widely regarded as the finest such choir in Oxford. It is directed by the Organist (Professor Owen Rees) and the Organ Scholars; the singers include Choral Scholars (up to eighteen at any one time), Choral Exhibitioners from other colleges, and volunteers. The Choir sings for Evensong three times a week during term; it gives at least one major concert each term (working regularly with professional orchestras), and undertakes tours and short visits both within this country and abroad. Find out more about the Choir here.

Organ Recitals

There are weekly lunchtime organ recitals in College (the College organ – built by the Danish firm of Frobenius in 1965 – is one of the finest in the country).


Eglesfield Musical Society (EMS)

Founded in 1842 by William Thomson (Fellow from 1840, Chaplain, Provost 1855-62, Archbishop of York 1863-90), the Eglesfield Musical Society is the oldest music society in Oxford and based at The Queen's College. We run around 60 events during the year, almost all of which are open to the general public for free. Our events include a Saturday Recital Series, termly concerts featuring our ensembles (orchestra, chorus and a cappella), jazz nights, and an outdoor musical in Trinity term. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive, University-wide society that provides abundant performing and conducting opportunities. We are non-auditioned and welcome everyone to attend concerts or come and perform with us.

Saturday Recital Series

The EMS hosts a termly recital series in the Shulman Auditorium and the Chapel, which is open to all. Performers range from top-tier student musicians to world-renowned professionals. Admission is free with a retiring collection. Find information about recitals on the EMS website.


Chorus offers an alternative to one of Oxford’s many Chapel choirs and performs varied repertoire. We are a mixed, non-auditioned choir and rehearse on Thursday evenings at 8pm in the Chapel. In the past, we have performed works such as I Sowed the Seeds of Love by Gustav Holst and traditional songs such as Danny Boy.


The EMS Orchestra welcomes players of all abilities to come and perform with us (we are non-auditioned). It is a fantastic way to integrate undergraduate and postgraduate members of the University in a relaxed environment; we rehearse once a week on Wednesday at 8pm in the Chapel. Past repertoire has included Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture.

A Cappella

A cappella is EMS’s most recent addition to our ensembles. We are also non-auditioned and perform varied music including well-known popular music such as ABBA and Billy Joel. 

Jazz Band

The jazz band performs three times a term at our jazz nights in the Beer Cellar, our College bar. It allows musicians of all abilities to come together and enjoy a variety of styles including jazz, swing and funk. There are plenty of opportunities for solos for those who want them, but those with less experience can gain confidence while enjoying playing as part of the band.

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