Within five years of Guest becoming Organist and Choirmaster, the whole future of the Choir at St John's College came into question, with the proposed closure of the day school which provided the Choristers. Guest, with the support of his predecessor, persuaded the College to found a Choir School. Under George Guest's direction, the choir built up a formidable reputation, challenging the supremacy of the choir of King's College, Cambridge. Guest introduced a more "continental" tone into the choir, as George Malcolm was doing at Westminster Cathedral. The choir began broadcasting on the BBC in the early 1950s, and recorded its first long playing record in 1958. By the time of Guest's retirement in 1991, the choir had recorded sixty LPs or CDs under his direction. The BBC has broadcast Evensong from St. John's College on every Ash Wednesday since 1972, and the Advent Carol Service each year since 1981. During George Guest's tenure, the choir undertook many overseas tours. In 1987 Guest was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Herbert Howells and Michael Tippett are among the many composers who wrote liturgical settings for the St John's College Choir whilst George Guest was Organist and Choirmaster. They also include the French composer Jean Langlais, who wrote a setting of the psalm Beatus vir for the choir: a rare occurrence of a Continental composer writing for the English Cathedral tradition. Speaking about the Choir, 'We are not', said Guest, 'the exponents of the hard face and the stiff upper lip. Our singing — we hope — is redolent of all the emotions'.