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Only Boys Aloud, the initiative of Only Men Aloud, gave their first public concert on Friday 30 July, at the National Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale, televised live.
Only Boys Aloud was launched by Only Men Aloud in April with the aim of discovering the next generation of male singers in the valleys of south Wales. There are currently more than 140 members, aged between 14 and 19, across ten local choirs.
Many of the boys had never sung before they joined Only Boys Aloud and the last three months have been quite a change of lifestyle for them. Instead of spending their free time playing rugby, football and computer games they have been attending choir rehearsals – held at rugby clubs across the valleys - and learning lyrics.
Tim Rhys-Evans, Music Director of Only Men Aloud, wanted to demonstrate to boys how enjoyable and sociable singing in a choir can be. He believes fewer young men than women engage in singing because teenage stereotypes dictate that singing is not a 'masculine' activity. Hear him in interview here > Only Boys Aloud forms part of a wider regeneration programme for the valleys, spearheaded by The Valleys Heart and Soul Campaign.
Only Boys Aloud members include 16-year-old Ben from Neath, a keen boxer; Ozza from Merthyr, who is also a street dancer; rugby player Hywel from Merthyr and Ifan Jenkin, also a talented pianist.