Societies

The Magdalen Players do two main things: firstly, we loan money to shows in Oxford with the aims of promoting student drama, and secondly, we’re responsible for the annual Magdalen Garden Play – a fantastic summer production set in the beautiful President’s Garden. Within that, we also organise drama at Magdalen, such as the annual intercollegiate Drama Cuppers competition in Michaelmas. Being a part of the Oxford Drama scene is so incredibly exciting and challenging, and can very quickly become the most fantastic rabbit hole to fall down. The Players want to make it accessible, whether that be in the form of helping shows gain funding, or putting them on ourselves to encourage new talent to have a go.

Addison’s Society is a multi-faith religious discussion group which meets over (free!) lunch to talk about various things. It is run by our very lovely Dean of Divinity. No religious affiliation is required. There is always a speaker or alternatively a point of discussion. Whether you’re hungry or looking for an interesting and eye opening conversation, you should definitely drop in at least once. We have had some great speakers such as John Simpson talking about his time in the BBC, a Tibetan monk and a Jesuit priest.

Magdalen Film Society is a long established club in College that screens a wide variety of films in the Grove Auditorium. We invite everyone to join us on Sundays for big- flicks, and film nerds and enthusiasts to join us on Wednesdays for arthouse cinema. We also collaborate with other Oxford societies on Mondays for talks and panel discussions. If you are interested in joining our committee, we are always happy to have freshers onboard! Follow and message us on Magdalen Film Society on Facebook and @mfs_oxford on Instagram.

Magdalen is renowned for its history teaching and has the largest community of historians in Oxford. Macintyre is our History Society, named after the college’s former tutor, Angus Macintyre. We invite speakers and organise events related to history. In the past, we had guests ranging from the Magdalen alumnus George Osborne to leading experts in their respective fields like the archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann. Every talk or interview ends with free refreshments and the unique possibility for undergraduates, postgraduates and tutors to get to know each other and informally discuss historical topics together.

The Atkin Society is Magdalen’s law society and contributes to the closeness of Magdalen’s lawyers. The Society puts on regular informal social events throughout the year, including our legendary curry nights, which often end up with the whole Society going out together! 

The Society also puts on three annual formal events. First is the Atkin Christmas Dinner, a black-tie event where each year group has a different role, from cooking to decorating to singing (and clearing up…), and the tutors attend – we’re one of only two subjects permitted to hold an event like this. In Hilary Term, there is the annual Atkin Moot, a full mock case on a point of law in front of a senior – often Supreme Court – judge, followed by a black-tie dinner. Finally, there is the Trinity Term Garden Party in the President’s Garden, to finish the year and say goodbye to the finalists.

The Sherrington Society is a University-wide medical society based at Magdalen College. We regularly host distinguished speakers in the medical sciences to encourage debate on topical medical and life-science issues. In the past we’ve invited Professor Dame Sally Davies (the Government’s Chief Medical Officer) and Professor Thai Russamano (space and aviation physiologist). The society also has socials each term such as the infamous Sherrington Curry and Sherrington Oxmas dinner! We’ve organized welfare teas and pub trips! Sherrington is also open to Experimental Psychology, Biochemistry and Human Sciences. The talks are free to attend and includes nibbles and wine!

Magdalen College Music Society is one of Oxford’s most active student music societies. MCMS runs weekly Friday lunchtime recitals featuring performers from both in and out of College. They’re free, open to everyone, only about half an hour long and a great break from work! This year, we’re hoping to bring back the Magdalen College Orchestra – last year, the Orchestra performed Beethoven’s Eroica symphony which was a huge success! There are also many opportunities to get involved in the MCMS committee, whether it be running the Music Society’s social media presence or booking players to perform recitals. There will be more information about getting involved with the Music Society and ensembles at the Magdalen Freshers’ Fair. You do not need to be a music student to be involved in the society, we welcome students from any subject. If you love music and Magdalen, then we’d love you to get involved!

Magdalen’s poetry society, named after John Florio, meets every Sunday night to discuss poetry over a glass of red wine. Not just any poetry: poetry written by its society members. Every week the secretary of the society (currently Iona Rangeley- Wilson) choose a theme – however the poet is allowed to do their own thing if they prefer. Poems are submitted directly to Iona’s email. They are photocopied or printed anonymously, allowing poets to really express themselves and fearlessly show their true colours. Last year, a poetry pamphlet compiling the best poems of the past year was printed and published by Hurst Street Press, and we are currently arranging for the third Florio Pamphlet to be published. We hope to see you sign up at the Magdalen Fresher’s Fair in October!

The Choir of men and boys at Magdalen College is one of the three foundation choirs within Oxford University, although most other colleges now have their own choirs. Founded by statute in 1480, provision was made for the eight singing-men, 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 a variety of subjects.

The Choir sing at least one service in the Chapel daily – you may also be familiar with their role in singing from the top of Magdalen tower at 6am every year on May Morning!

If you have any questions, feel free to email choir@magd.ox.ac.uk.