Tenor choral scholar, Robert Guthrie, has recently taken part in a virtual Christmas concert Franco-Scottish Society and Institut français organised in partnership with the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Robert explains more below and you can also view the carol service on YouTube!

“Over seven hundred years after it was founded in 1295, the Franco-Scottish ‘Auld Alliance’ is still thriving.

 “I was delighted to record the French traditional carol Quelle est cette odeur agréable? in Hereford Cathedral last week as part of a pre-recorded, virtual Christmas concert for the Franco-Scottish Society and Institut français. The concert was organised in partnership with the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCOS), of which I have been a member since 2015. I also sang in NYCOS’ Dumfries Regional Choir between 2004 and 2015.


“Taking part in the France-themed Christmas concert was a way of thanking the Franco-Scottish Society and Institut français for their support for NYCOS’ tour to the Philharmonie de Paris in 2019. The choir performed Lélio, ou le retour à la vie with French orchestra Les Siècles and conductor François Xavier-Roth.

 “The recording of the virtual Christmas concert, which featured performances by several singers from NYCOS, went live on Wednesday 9 December, and featured Laurence Païs, consule générale of France in Scotland.

 “I am very grateful to the cathedral for having allowed me to record this wonderful piece of music in the building. The cathedral’s gorgeous acoustic and beautiful architecture makes it an excellent place to sing. I feel very lucky to sing there with the cathedral choir during daily services as part of my scholarship.

“Recording music in the cathedral, whether in a webcast of Evensong or Eucharist with the cathedral choir, or for outside organisations in circumstances such as these, enables its religious, historic and cultural significance to be appreciated by people around the world.”