This month marks the one-year anniversary of The Aloud Charity’s work in West Wales! In this blog post we celebrate the achievements of our first 12 months in West Wales:
In Autumn 2021, our Project Manager for West Wales Elin Llwyd, alongside professional Only Boys Aloud choir leaders, delivered a series of successful recruitment workshops in schools and with community groups in West Wales where we worked with over 350 young people!
These included community groups across Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, including Vision Arts, Pembrokeshire Yong Carers and Cardigan Castle.
Despite the continued challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic we launched three new Only Boys Aloud choirs:
• Cardigan – Cardigan Castle
• Aberystwyth – Canolfan Arad Goch
• Haverfordwest – Vision Arts
We recruited 9 new local Choir Leaders to deliver weekly rehearsals and 3 local Community Leaders (volunteers) who support the delivery of rehearsals., They have also strengthened our network in the various areas and encouraged involvement in the project.
In addition to weekly rehearsals all participants took part in 3 full rehearsals where the three choirs came together to rehearse as one large regional choir.
The regional rehearsals were particularly enjoyable for the younger boys, who hadn’t experienced the sound of all 4 voice parts (including baritones and basses) all together before.
“Our first OBA West full rehearsal was brilliant because we sounded AMAZING today, the baritones made us all sound so good! Everyone was into singing but also loads love rugby like me. I can’t wait for us all to sing together again” Only Boys Aloud participant feedback
A large part of Only Boys Aloud are the performance opportunities which are key to developing participants’ aspirations and expanding their horizons. Our West Only Boys Aloud members had the opportunity to take part in a range of exciting events, including:
- A virtual recording of Stay Now for Aloud’s 2021 Christmas Concert
- An online recording of A Song For Wales, written especially for Only Boys Aloud by Grammy-Winner Amy Wadge and Aloud Founder Tim Rhys Evans
- A performance at the Urdd (Denbighshire) Eisteddfod in May
- A Serendome performance in June at Bluestone Resort
- A performance at the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol (Tregaron) in July
- 2 x Anniversary Concerts in July (Cardiff and Rhyl) – featuring 3 x soloists from West Wales choirs
- Recording of 3 songs on the 2022 album, GEN Z (featuring 3 x (different) soloists from West Wales)
“I think OBA has helped my sight reading and my voice. I’ve learned many new practicing techniques! It’s a great way to improve your singing.” Only Boys Aloud participant feedback
You can read about the impact of our Only Boys Aloud Programme in West Wales here.
We were delighted to welcome three West Only Boys Aloud members to our Only Boys Aloud Academi, a week-long residential course for 30 OBA participants.
We have already been busy delivering a series of recruitment workshops in schools across West Wales this autumn to welcome participants to the Aloud family!
Our West Only Boys Aloud members have also performed as part of a special event at Cardigan Castle in October and have a number of other performance opportunities lined up.
During 2023 we are also intending to bring our successful Merched Aloud Girls model to young women in West Wales.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank Arts Council of Wales: Create, Bluestone Foundation, and the Peggy & Molly Thomas Trust for their generous support which has enabled us to launch our West Wales programme.