Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 15:01 UK

Back-to-work choir's album hopes

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Welsh singers Only Men Aloud! triumph in the final of BBC One reality show Last Choir Standing.

Members of Only Men Aloud! have gone back to their day jobs hoping their talent show success will lead to an album deal and a tour.

The 18-strong Cardiff group won BBC One's Last Choir Standing in a public vote on Saturday night.

Since then the choir's musical director Tim Rhys-Evans has been busy meeting with record companies in London.

He said he hoped the choir - many of whom are teachers - could fit success around their day jobs.

"We're ready to go all out for taking this as far as it goes," he said.

"We have lots of teachers going back to work today. But I'm really just hoping we can make it work. People just believe in this so much that they will do all they can to be part of it."

The choir is made up of teachers, musicians, students, a gardener and a pharmacist.

We will work around any jobs and will do anything we can to stay together as we are
Tim Rhys-Evans

"I would never ask someone to quit [their day job] because it's taken everyone's dedication to get this far," he added.

"We will work around any jobs and will do anything we can to stay together as we are."

Mr Rhys-Evans, who is a full-time choral director, said he hoped the choir would now be able to record an album and go on tour.

"We're having interest from big companies, which we would never have had without the show," he said.

"If we do an album I hope it would be unlike anything else and be true to what we are - doing songs from classical and opera right the way through to pop and musical theatre.

"It's wonderfully exciting. It's everything and more we expected. The boys have been working their socks off for the last weeks. Some days have been 14 hours long and we have worked every single day in August."

'Emotional'

And the workload has not eased up following the win.

The group dashed back to Cardiff after the show's final on Saturday night to appear on a radio show with Aled Jones.

They then filmed two shows for Songs of Praise in the city's St David's Hall before Mr Rhys-Evans and two other choristers - Craig Yates and Wyn Davies - went back up the M4 to London for TV appearances and meetings with record companies on Monday.

But he said to win the show, which started started with 60 choirs in July, was "overwhelming, emotional and humbling".

"We're very excited to be appearing on the Royal Variety Performance [announced after the final] and we're in the final of Radio 3's choir competition. All these things I've dreamt about," he added.

Only Men Aloud! was started eight years ago by Mr Rhys-Evans, who wanted to create a young male voice choir unafraid to tackle music not usually performed by traditional male voice choirs.

Last choir Standing had an all-Welsh final after Revelation were voted off by viewers, with Bangor-based Ysgol Glanaethwy singing All That Jazz followed by Only Men Aloud! performing All By Myself.


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