As part of our Choir of Light project, the Thomas Fredrick Willetts Foundation has supported over 2,500 young people through choirs with the aim to unite young people through performing arts and help them support their surrounding communities. One such choir that has benefited from our support is Only Boys Aloud.
Only Boys Aloud were formed in 2010 and launched in Merthyr Tydfil Rugby Club in the Taff Valley. The choir includes boys aged 14-19 and carries a strong ethos; to renew the Welsh tradition of the male voice choir and encourage young men across Wales to engage with the Arts. Conducted by Tim Rhys Evans and guided by Only Men Aloud, each member sings with passion and enjoyment and together create a fantastic sound that is true to their Welsh heritage.
Following their first public performance at the National Eisteddfod (a Welsh language festival of arts and culture) which received a standing ovation, the 140 man choir has progressed both musically and in its achievement over the last five years. In 2012, Only Boys Aloud were launched into the spotlight following their success on Britain’s Got Talent where they took third place on the highly successful televised talent contest. Following this achievement, Only Boys Aloud have gone on to make a number of television appearances, tour with Only Men Aloud and secure a recording deal with Sony records, which led to the production of their eponymous first album.
Being a part of the choir’s journey has given each member a new found confidence and belief in their own talent, which has driven Only Boys Aloud to perfect their talent and achieve international recognition. Tim Rhys Evans spoke of his pride in what the choir has done for these young men, stating: “To see them blossom, particularly the lads who might have had a difficult time in school, being bullied for who they are or for their love of music, to see them walking tall…that was brilliant.”
The Thomas Fredrick Willetts Foundation is proud to support Only Boys Aloud and have given 10 grants to the choir to further their passion for the arts and engage with others across Wales to inspire and involve the next generation with the Welsh choral tradition.
Success stories like this could not happen without the support of those who make regular donations to us. We want to thank you for your support which makes possible our outreach work. We will continue supporting projects like this in the future so that many more young people may engage with the Arts.
To support the Thomas Fredrick Willetts Foundation and our Choir of Light programme please visit our donation page, or contact email@example.com
Written by Abbie Bolitho