Between the 1st and 10th of July this year, 35 of our boys attended the Principality Only Boys Aloud Academi residential course at Atlantic College near Llanwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The boys had succeeded in winning a place on the course by audition back in January and they come from all across Wales so for many of them, it was the first time that they would be together as a group.
During the Academi week, the boys have sectional and full rehearsals, musicianship lessons, individual singing lessons and take part in outdoor activities which of course includes a 6am bootcamp!
Many of the pieces in the repertoire for the course this year was chosen to reflect the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele and circulated around the theme of war – these included Lee Hobby’s Last Letter Home, Martin Nesheim’s arrangement of The Rocky Road to Dublin, and James Steven’s arrangement of the well known hymn Nearer my God to Thee. The centrepiece of this section was a brand new commission by Mark-Anthony Turnage of two settings of poems by Owen Sheers and Dylan Thomas.
The boys also tackled some world music this year and sang two of Ethan Sperry’s arrangements of songs by A.R.Rahman – Zikr and Wedding Qawwali in Urdu and Punjabi which was quite a challenge for the boys!
The musical theatre pieces was three songs from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – a brand new musical written by our very own Course Director Jonathan Butterell and You Will Be Found from the Tony award winning musical Dear Evan Hansen.
For the first time this year, the boys performed 4 concerts. The first was at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, then at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. The following week, the Academi boys performed outside of Wales for the first time – at Marlborough College in Witshire and the world famous Wigmore Hall in London.
You can read more about our 2017 Academi by clicking on the following articles: