Gareth Rhys-Thomas

Case Study

Gareth was a member of OBA Cross Hands between 2010 and 2013, and was in the first ever rehearsal, with just three boys in the room! He has now worked as a presenter for the BBC and starred in the hit musical ‘Les Miserables’ at the Wales Millennium Centre.

We caught up with Gareth to hear about his experiences with The Aloud Charity.

What was the best thing about being in OBA?

Aside from the incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as BGT, X-Factor and Ryder Cup, being part of a group of boys where there was no judgement was a breath of fresh air.  It allowed me to make friends for life, many of whom I’m still extremely close to today.

As a teenager what were your ambitions? 

I think as a teenager, like many of my peers, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do. I knew I enjoyed singing and presenting, so a career following those routes was my main ambition.

Did being a member of OBA help you achieve your goals or ambitions?

Absolutely. Not only did it equip me with a wealth of wonderful contacts, it also gave me the confidence, courage and inspiration to follow my dreams.

Where are you now?

After leaving OBA, I went on to study Drama and Theatre at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, graduating in 2017 with First Class Honours. Since then, I’ve presented shows for the BBC and S4C such as Eisteddfod yr Urdd, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, TAG, Can i Gymru, Heno, Prynhawn Da, Bitesize and featured on shows such as Pobl Y Cwm. In 2015, I was cast by Sir Cameron Mackintosh Ltd in the Wales Millennium Centre Anniversary Performance of Les Miserables as the lead role of Javert. Not only was I able to perform to sell-out audiences at the Donald Gordon Theatre every night, but also at the Queens Theatre in London, with the current and original cast of the production for their 30th Anniversary Gala Performance. I currently work for Nimble Dragon Production Company in Cardiff Bay where I’ve directed and produced many TV shows for the BBC and S4C.

What advice would you give to a boy who is thinking about joining OBA? 

I would say just go for it. What have you got to lose? This is a great opportunity to not only develop your singing and confidence, and have wonderful experiences, but also to make friends for life, that will be there, long after you leave the choir.

Can you sum up your OBA experience in 3 words? 

Life-changing, hilarious, nurturing!

So are you thinking about joining Only Boys Aloud? Why not try out your nearest choir! Click here to find out more.

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