To mark the fifth anniversary of Only Boys Aloud, choir conductor Tim Rhys-Evans heads to north Wales for the first time in search of new talent.
The new four-part S4C series follows Artistic Director Tim as he visits Holyhead, Caernarfon, Rhyl and Wrexham, in his mission to form four new choirs. The first episode will be aired on Friday, November 27, at 8.25pm.
Tim said: “There are so many excellent choirs in north Wales, with Ysgol Glanaethwy and Côr Aelwyd yr Ynys, but this was a bit of a leap of faith. It’s been a remarkable journey.
“When you work with lads who have no choir experience, the sheer discipline of a four-hour rehearsal was a testing experience. Boys will be boys, as they say!”
After signing up, the four choirs are then merged to make one Only Gogledd Boys Aloud choir, made up of more than 80 boys aged between 13 and 19. And the lads are given the ultimate baptism of fire by performing to an audience of thousands at Access All Eirias in Colwyn Bay.
Seventeen year-old Harri Rees Jones from Rhyl, a pupil of Ysgol Uwchardd Glan Clwyd, said: “I have only been singing for a year. Before, I didn’t have the confidence to do things like this but this is a start for me because I have never done anything like this before.
“I want to be the best I can be and I want to fulfil my potential. My ambition is to sing solos in front of millions of people on the television. We’ve seen what the south Wales choir has done – they’ve travelled the world and it’s given them a lot of confidence, so why can’t we do it?”
Sixteen year-old tenor Rhys Meilyr Jones, from Llangefni, a pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni, said: “I’ve played football for Talwrn for the last 10 years, and there’s always a bit of pressure on me to play well because my dad is the manager!
“Being in a choir feels like being in a football team. You’re with friends and you work hard as a team.
“I am looking forward to the whole process and I hope that the choir will stick together.”
Fourteen year-old tenor Ioan O’Neill, from Wrexham, a pupil of Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, said: “I’m a step closer to becoming a pop star. I want to sing on the stage with Ellie Goulding and this will help me a lot.
“I play the piano and the cornet. I’m not brilliant yet but I’m still practicing and trying to get better.
“I want to be a pop star or an actor in the West End or in the movies. Only Boys Aloud is a good chance and I think it’s going to be a fun journey with Tm Rhys-Evans and performing on the big stage.”
Having found fame with the original choir, which was based entirely in south Wales, Tim has established an Only Boys Aloud choir in nine of Wales’ 10 most deprived towns.
Tim, who hails from New Tredegar, added: “We try and target our work with areas where there is social deprivation. We don’t charge our boys a penny for joining.
“I think they definitely have potential. I’m pretty sure that some of them will be seen on the big stage in years to come.”