13 January 2015
Only Boys wanted as OBA hits five
Only Boys Aloud celebrates its fifth birthday in 2015 with a major recruitment drive, especially in Cardiff and Swansea, and new choirs launching in North Wales.
There is no upper limit of numbers on the choir of 14 – 19 year olds - the aim is to open this fantastic opportunity to as many boys as possible. Also, the choir constantly needs replenishing as Boys become too old, with a number of them already moving on to pursue successful performing arts careers. New voices are therefore required to maintain numbers – and so their mentors from Only Men Aloud will be out and about over the coming months to attract fresh talent, regardless of ability.
OBA have come so far since they were first put together for the National Eisteddfod in 2010, with a podium finish in Britain’s Got Talent, a performance in front of millions more during the X Factor final, a Christmas album, and appearances everywhere from the Olympics to Buckingham Palace.
Tim Rhys-Evans, OBA Music Director and Artistic Director of The ALOUD Charity said: “With such destructive cuts to music services for young people, it is more important than ever that we offer opportunities to youngsters to experience the positive powers and exhilaration of communal singing. Teenage lads sometimes have a hard time finding their place in the world and often face opposition from their peers when they want to engage with singing and the arts in general. OBA provides a safe, fun environment for boys of all singing abilities to experience the highs, joy and banter that being part of a choir can bring.”
The ever-popular Boys were on show at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff in a special concert with OMA just before Christmas, and there are a number of exciting plans for the anniversary year, including performing at the opening concert of the Urdd Eisteddfod in May, a big birthday party in the summer and a large-scale concert in the Wales Millennium Centre in November when the Boys will sing alongside Only Men Aloud and male voice choirs from across Wales in a performance celebrating 1,000 years of Welsh music for male voices. There’s never been a more exciting time to join.
Inclusivity is the choir’s core principal. There are no fees involved, and no auditions, just a commitment to attending regular local rehearsals. At its heart, the scheme aims to make a difference to the young men of Wales and help raise aspiration levels, self-esteem and confidence.
Here’s what some of the Boys have to say about their own personal OBA experience: “Only Boys Aloud has been life-changing for me. It has given me a direction in life and has given me the confidence to believe in myself and realise nothing is impossible and there are opportunities out there for every kind of person from all types of backgrounds.” “As a teenage boy in the valleys there’s not many opportunities… I think this choir has given us the chance to get off the streets and enjoy something that we like.”
Only Boys Aloud is part of The Aloud Charity which has been set up to protect the long-term future of choral singing for youngsters in Wales. There are currently 10 regional OBA groups in Aberdare, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Cross Hands, Cwmbran, Neath, Swansea, Tredegar and Treorchy. The Charity will continue to develop opportunities for both Only Boys Aloud and for Only Kids Aloud in partnership with the Wales Millennium Centre, encouraging young people in Wales to discover the joys and benefits of choral singing. A Board of Trustees was set up to oversee the charity and safeguard its future, headed by the influential figure of the Lord Rowe-Beddoe.