Hereford Cathedral Choir have returned from a visit to Bologna where they gave the local community a taste of traditional UK Christmas carols. The trip, which was organised by the British Embassy in Rome, departed from Hereford on Sunday 8 December. 


After a morning of rehearsals on Monday 9 December, the choir visited Piazza Nettuno where they sang a selection of Christmas carols in front of the city’s Christmas tree, much to the enjoyment of passers-by. The highlight of the trip was an evening concert in the Church of San Procolo which had been arranged by GGI Confindustria Emilia Area Centro, an organisation similar to the Chamber of Commerce. 

The specially-chosen programme featured a wide selection of seasonal music including the famous Herefordshire Carol ‘This is the truth sent from above’ arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and other pieces ranging from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century. During the concert Peter Dyke also performed Christmas music on the church organ, which is around five hundred years old. The concert is available to listen to on our webcasts page here.

The gentlemen of the choir attended the formal post-concert reception which was held at the Red Cross Headquarters in Bologna where they finished their day of singing with energetic arrangements of Winter Wonderland and Jingle Bells.

British Ambassador to Italy, Jill Morris said: “I am delighted that the Hereford Cathedral sang for the first time in Italy in beautiful Bologna. Our friends in the region of Emilia Romagna were able to enjoy one of our most special and significant Christmas traditions, the Christmas carols, with one of our very best choirs. The carols in Bologna truly marked a perfect start to Christmas celebrations for hundreds of Italian and international friends ”

Chief Executive of Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust, Glyn Morgan said: “Working with the British Embassy in Rome is always a pleasure and this is the third time this year we have been able to support each other. As well as celebrating our musical and Christmas traditions, it was a pleasure to work ecumenically with our Roman Catholic friends and also to promote tourism and inward investment GGI members.”

Director of Music at Hereford Cathedral, Geraint Bowen said: ‘It was a pleasure for the choir to perform in the glorious acoustic of the beautiful Chiesa di San Procolo and we all enjoyed our visit to Bologna enormously’

The invitation, received through Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust, follows their visit to the Vatican and previous collaboration with the Foreign Office, in Italy and elsewhere. The evening was realized thanks to the collaboration of GI Confindustria Emilia Romagna, British Embassy Rome and EasyJet.

More photos from the trip can be found at