George Virl Osmond, Jr. and Tom Osmond. the two oldest brothers of Utah’s most famous performing family, were born deaf.
In the late 1950s, they watched their younger brothers Alan, Merrill, Jay and Donny sing. On one occasion, Tom told his mother Olive that he wished Virl and Tom “had some talent.”
The next day, Olive enrolled Tom and Virl in a dance class, becoming the first boys in a class of 14 girls.
The determination to not have her older sons feel deficient in any way led to the future creation of the Olive Osmond Perpetual Hearing Fund, which will receive the proceeds from the inaugural Youth Pioneer Pageant at the West Jordan Arena on Pioneer Day weekend.
Merrill and his sons Justin and Shane Osmond held a press conference Friday afternoon to announce more details about the pageant, which will be held on four nights this summer: July 20, 21, 23 and 24.
“Children may have hearing loss, but hearing loss doesn’t have them,” said Justin, who was also born deaf.
The Osmond family came out in force at the conference, with Virl making a relatively rare public appearance to speak about hearing loss and the pageant, as well as Nathan Osmond (son of Alan) delivering an emotional, warm rendition of a song he wrote about hearing loss called “Music To Your Ears.”
And despite being in England for an Osmonds Brothers tour that includes 50 shows in 60 days, Merill spoke to the crowd through Skype to thank them for supporting the pageant and the cause.