A boys choir that wowed judges on Britain’s Got Talent is looking to have the same impact in Japan with the help of talented singers from Gwent.

Only Boys Aloud will be taking part in a televised concert in Japan with three Japanese youth choirs from the cities of Kitakyushu, Kumamoto and Oita that hosted the Welsh Rugby team during the World Cup in 2019.

Around 120 singers from all 14 of the organisation’s choirs will be taking part in the performance – among them will be members from their choirs in Cwmbran and Tredegar as well as those in Merthyr, Bridgend, Caernarfon, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Cross Hands, Holyhead, Neath, Rhyl, Swansea and Treorchy.

The original plan was for the Welsh singers to travel to Japan but their tour last year was one of the first casualties of the Covid lockdown.

Since then they have been participating in online rehearsals for the virtual concert that’s being beamed live by a Japanese broadcaster on Saturday, March 20.

Only Boys Aloud was founded by Tim Rhys Evans MBE to provide opportunities for youngsters aged 11-19 and keep the flame of the Welsh choral tradition alight.

They shot to fame when they reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, with their audition clip being viewed 28 million times.

During the concert, the Japanese choirs are planning a rousing rendition of the iconic Welsh hymn, Calon Lȃn, while Only Boys Aloud will be singing a more recent classic, Anfonaf Angel (I’ll Send an Angel) written by Robat Arwyn and Hywel Gwynfryn .

In the meantime, Only Boys Aloud are taking part in a special St David’s Day initiative called Everyone Aloud where they invited people to join in a sing-song that has been posted on the Senedd.

They are also featuring in a digital showcase launched this morning by Wales Arts International.

It will include other artistic content created in lockdown Wales by a diverse range of artists and organisations.

Speaking after a virtual rehearsal Craig Yates, acting music director at the Aloud charity, said: “We are thrilled in Aloud to be working with the three choirs in Japan. Each choir is being led by a pair of our talented Aloud choir leaders in Wales, and we are holding the rehearsals online, live, some 6000 miles away.

“We were gutted that we were unable to visit Japan last year, to continue the relationship that was established between the two countries during the Rugby World Cup in 2019. We have been delighted that the use of technology has enabled us to continue this project and to build an artistic and cultural exchange between the two countries.”

“We are teaching the choirs a specially arranged version of our Calon Lân, and our boys, choir leaders and everyone in Wales can’t wait to hear these three choirs singing this iconic song. We hope that this is the very first step in an exciting cultural exchange between the two countries.

“Only Boys Aloud’s weekly virtual rehearsal has been of benefit to the mental health of all of their members, and over 100 boys from all over Wales, take part in live rehearsals each week. For them being able to sing and express themselves in this way, has been hugely beneficial to their mental health and well-being.

“For St David’s Day, Only Boys Aloud are launching a project called ‘Everyone Aloud’ which invited anyone from anywhere in the World to join us in song to create an enormous virtual choir."