We are thrilled to announce the appointment of a new Creative Director – Craig Yates. Craig has played an integral part of the organisation since its creation. Starting initially as a member of Only Men Aloud, Craig has helped shape the charity as we have expanded our reach to work with boys, kids and now girls across Wales.
Craig was born and brought up in Birmingham and moved to Wales to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he achieved a BA (Hons) in Music and a postgraduate diploma in Singing with distinction. He continued his training at the world-renowned Mariinsky Academy for Young Singers in St. Petersburg, Russia.
He is a long-standing member of the Welsh vocal group, Only Men Aloud, with whom he has had a great success over the years. This has included winning BBC’s Last Choir Standing; winning a Classical Brit Award for best album, singing at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and undertaking numerous tours around the world.
Leading through lockdowns…
Throughout lockdowns, we made a sincere effort to continue supporting our members and supporters, and we developed our online presence substantially by offering weekly virtual rehearsals to our members. Craig created numerous Youtube videos to entertain the nation, including the popular Everyone Aloud for St David’s Day. This mass virtual choir included over 100 members, alumni and supporters from all over the world, including the USA, Japan and The Netherlands coming together to sing with Sir Bryn Terfel.
Our virtual Christmas concerts were other successes which Craig produced. Our Christmas concerts are not to be missed, and we decided to not let Covid-19 restrictions ruin our festive plans. Craig went ahead and coordinated a virtual Aloud concert which included performances from Only Boys Aloud and special appearances from some of our ambassadors, including Matthew Rhys, Amy Wadge and Callum Howells. Together attracting over 15,000 views, feedback from our supporters highlighted how the concerts brought much-needed joy to their lives after such difficult years.
Having delivered rehearsals virtually for nearly two years, we are extremely glad to be back in the physical rehearsal space and performing on stage again.
Jon Llewelyn, an OBA alumnus said:
“Craig is a gentle giant, that always sees you and always has time for you, a quality that many past “boys” like myself hold in high regard.”
Craig himself commented:
“I am delighted to take up the role of Creative Director at The Aloud Charity. Having been involved with Aloud since the very first inception of Only Boys Aloud, I am very proud of all we have built up over the years, reaching thousands of singers right across Wales. There has never been a more important time for young people to engage with the arts, and I am excited to take The Aloud Charity into the next chapter.”
Celebrating 10 years as a charity, we have a lot to look forward to this year. Our new album is currently being recorded which will showcase the beautiful voices of Only Boys Aloud, Only Boys Aloud Academi, Only Kids Aloud and Merched Aloud Girls. The pinnacle of our year will be our 10th Anniversary gala concerts in Rhyl and Cardiff, which will be the first time all choirs will perform together on the same stage.
We are over the moon that our influence and reputation remains strong 10 years on, which is a testimony to Craig’s success as a Creative Director, ensuring that young people across Wales have the chance to sing, perform and simply have fun.