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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Anthem vote launched by orchestra
Scotland rugby fans
The debate has been stirred up by sports adopting different songs
One of Scotland's orchestras has entered the debate over an official national anthem for the country.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has launched an online poll asking users of its website to vote for one of five choices.

The contenders are Highland Cathedral, Flower of Scotland, Scots Wha Hae, Scotland the brave and A man's a man.

The anthem debate has been stoked by different sports playing different songs before Scotland matches.

Flower of Scotland is regularly played at football and rugby grounds, while athletes have instead celebrated medals with Scotland the Brave.

The RSNO website contains performances of all the anthem contenders.

They were recorded during the Last Night of the RSNO Proms at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 10 June.

The Last Night of the RSNO Proms is the ideal occasion to hear how these patriotic songs sound when sung by massed voices
RSNO chief executive
Simon Woods

The recording features the orchestra and RSNO Chorus with mezzo-soprano Jane Irwin.

RSNO chief executive Simon Woods said: "I am very happy that Scotland's national orchestra is playing a leading role in this vigorous national debate.

"The Last Night of the RSNO Proms is the ideal occasion to hear how these patriotic songs sound when sung by massed voices.

"And we are thrilled to be able to make the recordings available across the length and breadth of the nation so that the whole of Scotland will have the chance to make its choice known."

The result of the poll will be announced at the Last Night of the RSNO Proms at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 1 July.

Global brand

First Minister Jack McConnell addressed the issue in March when he said it would have to be examined to strengthen Scotland's global brand.

SNP MSP Michael Matheson told the Scottish Parliament's Enterprise and Culture Committee that someone needed to "focus" on the anthem question.

But the committee ruled out a debate, with one member arguing there were "dozens" of better topics for it to discuss.

Anthem debate call hits flat note
09 May 06 |  Scotland
McConnell calls for anthem debate
23 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Action call over national anthem
21 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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