DURING the summer months, many of Scotland's youth musical organisations hold summer courses to coach and encourage young performers. In 1996, long-established courses in string, winds, and brass tuition were joined by a new opportunity for singers. Now in their third year, the NYCoS have held another successful summer school, the results of which were on display on Saturday night.

On this occasion, the choir were supported by a chamber-proportioned RSNO who appeared to enjoy the programme of sacred and secular works which placed John Gardner's A Burns Sequence between Kenneth Leighton's Hymn to Matter and Faure's Requiem. Gardner's arrangements of Burns songs are a delightful collection of choral miniatures, well suited to these youthful voices. Mezzo Louise Robertson and tenor Ross Buddie soloed on Ca' The Yowes with admirable confidence but it was bass Ronald Nairne who showed the most promise, a mature and richly textured voice.

Following Leighton's death, a trust fund was established in his name for musical activities. Providing financial assistance to the NCYoS, the choir obliged with a performance of his Hymn to Matter. A reverent work, it was sung with due consideration and full of spirited contrasts. Baritone Stewart Kempster has been coaching the choir and he sang the solo in exemplary form.

Kempster also took the solos in Faure's Requiem, joined front of stage for the Pie Jesu by chorus member soprano Eilidh McEwan. The Requiem was well directed by Christopher Bell who has nurtured an impressive choral force. They cut their first CD in November and, including the Gardner and Leighton, it promises to be an excellent debut recording.