In the third article in our giving series Calon Member Hank Knerr tells us why he supports The Aloud Charity:
What motivated you to support The Aloud Charity via our Calon scheme?
“In 1974, when I was a freshman at Lycoming College in Central Pennsylvania, our college choir was set to tour England, Wales, and Ireland. Our tour had us scheduled for a concert and overnight stay in Llanelli.
In the throws of The Troubles, a bomb was set off the day before we were to ferry from Wales to sing in Dublin and then Cork. The leaders of our choir agreed that we should cancel that leg, stay in Llanelli a couple of extra days, then head to London before resuming our planned tour in Warwick.
It is that extended, inadvertent stay that grew my love of Wales and for its people and rich music history.
As we were graciously welcomed for a couple extra days in Llanelli, our hosts offered us an impromptu private concert by local male singers.
Jump ahead a few dozen years, around 2018, and thanks to the technical wonder of YouTube, I joined millions in the happenstance of viewing the clip of Only Boys Aloud on “Britain’s Got Talent.” Those recollections of my 1974 visit to Llanelli and the related warm memories quickly flowed. I became obsessed with hearing all that was available online from OBA and decided I wanted to hear the group live.
Once the pandemic started to subside, my husband and I booked a trip to Wales to see the 10th anniversary concert of OBA. Pandemic numbers began to swell, and the concert was postponed, so we planned again. But numbers stayed high and one more postponement, one more attempt to plan.
How glorious to finally be there in Cardiff at St. David’s Hall on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, 3 July 2022. It was live and it was magnificent, inspiring, and beyond heartwarming.
Because of all this, because of the group’s work of inspiring young voices, because of providing inspiration to all those that participate in and experience their talents, because the world needs all of this and more, and because music lovers in Wales extended their home to 40 young American singers nearly 50 years prior, I support The Aloud Charity with a monthly gift. It is small, but the feeling inside me is grand.”