Wednesday, December 17, 2014

(Photo by Jeroen Jans)
(Last Revised/Updated Wednesday December 31st, 2014)

Those who are new to Libera and to this Timeline might also want to check out its other sections:

For Part One (introduction to Libera, extensive overview and 1981-2007), please go to: 


For Part Two (2008-2009):




For Part Three (2010):




For Part Four (2011):




For Part Five (2012):


For Part Six (January-May 2013)


For Part 6A (May-December 2013)

http://libera-historicaltimeline6a.blogspot.com/


 For Part Seven (January-July 2014)


Please note: new additions are made to the END of each section, rather than the beginning.


Contents:

(Concert in Moscow?)
(Candlelight Winter Concert)
(Libera on PBS)
(New Spring Concerts announced)
(Nine Lessons and Carols)
(New DVD on PBS)
(Candlelight Concert at St. John's)
(Christmas Greeting)
(Moscow Concert Official)


******************************
Well, dear Libera friends, here we take up December of 2014, continuing and ending the 2014 adventures of Libera. (Part 7A was becoming increasingly unstable, always a danger with long single postings.) 


LIBERA BY CANDLELIGHT - A DECEMBER CONCERT




On December 4th, Libera announced a "seasonal concert" to be held on December 20th at St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London. Libera first performed at this lovely church in March of 2002, and has appeared there several times since. The following live video was recorded at that first performance, with a men's chorus, and the luminous Ben Crawley (1999 - staff) soloing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP_Sk2ZS2hM (Libera at St. John’s Church/2/3/02)

THE RUSSIAN QUESTION—From the Libera Dreams Forum

Re: Libera in Moscow?by fan_de_LoK » Thu Dec 04, 2014 

I translate here a post I did on the French forum a few days ago.‪ The concert in Moscow has still not been announced on the official Libera site but there's movements on the Russian venue site that allow one to think that the concert is highly probable 


The Moscow Arts center

On Monday 1st December, after three weeks of silence since the concert has first appeared on their site, the "Moscow International Performing Arts Center"( m http://www.mmdm.ru m ) now shows the full schedule of the 5th "Moscow Christmas Festival of Sacred Music" --> read here.

‪Among the 8 events of the festival there's the Libera concert, planned for Sunday 18th January at 18:00.‪The page that describes Libera has information accurate enough to say some of the composers and writers of some songs that Libera will sing. It includes: "Beethoven, Pachelbel, Humperdinck, Watts, Prizeman et al., Christmas and folklore songs"


‪The fact that the venue site has now displayed the full schedule of the festival, and detailed information about the choirs participating, and that this is made suddenly after three weeks of silence, can mean only one thing, it's that the discussions between the festival organizers and the invited choirs are now over and that everything is set.

‪In addition, during the three weeks since the concert first appeared, some partners tickets like ticketland.ru were selling tickets for the Libera concert. Now that the venue site mmdm.ru is also selling tickets, we can see that all seats already allocated matches on the various systems, it's a common database, reliable and trustful.

‪Of course it would be clearer if Libera would announce the concert on their site, but even if they don't for some reason, I will go to Moscow because I'm sure at 98% that the concert will be held.— Patrick


On December 8th, the following poster appeared online, although there had been as yet no formal announcement on the official Libera site:


As of mid-December, this was the rumor concerning the concert. Eleanor Lewis is one of Libera's vocal coaches and a long-time chaperone and mother-figure.
LIBERA ON PBS—AGAIN

On December 7th, the following announcement appeared on the LiberaUSA site. At this point, the number of stations featuring Christmas in Ireland as part of their December broadcast schedules was already impressive (see link below in text).


Libera is pleased to announce that their Christmas concert from Ireland will be running nationally again on PBS. Your local station may add additional air dates, so please check your local listing as well.

This is part of PBS’s national pledge drive. Your pledge to your local station during the Libera concert makes a world of difference. Your support is what makes the broadcast of concerts like this one possible, as well as the broadcast of Libera’s Washington DC concert, coming to your PBS station in February/March.On behalf of the boys of Libera, thank you. View the PBS Schedule

USA SPRING TOUR 2015


L to R: Eoghan McCarthy, Marc Alvares, Ben Fairman, Sam Wiggin, Alex Gula

In early December, after fans had begun to pick up concert notices from various venue websites, the following dates for a spring tour became official.
01 April 2015
Boston, MA, US
Time: 7.30 pm
Price: tba


02 April 2015
Washington DC, US
Time: 8.00 pm
Price: US $28.00 - US $58.00
Tickets: Live Nation

04 April 2015
San Antonio, US
Time: 7.30 pm
Price: US $22.50 - US $49.50
Tickets: Tobin Box Office or call 210-223-8624



08 April 2015
Chicago, IL, US
Time: 7.30 pm
Price: tbs
Tickets: Onseti Entertainment or call (888) 695-0888











10 April 2015
Atlanta, GA, US
Time: 7.30 pm
Price: tba



The Official Libera  website indicated that more dates might be added. It was becoming apparent at this point that the venues for this tour, rather than the more usual churches or cathedrals, were primarily elaborate theaters that feature A-list performers.

In addition, the Official Libera page was looking even further ahead with A May Concert at a favorite venue in England.

(Photo by Patrick)

LIBERA CONCERT
16th of May, 2015
Guildford, UK
Guildford Cathedral
Time: 19:30

INSIDE LIBERA

On December 9th, by the way, a long-time wish of Libera fans was granted; an insider's blog about Libera's activities, this one written by one of the group's managers, John Rexroad. Its introductory page is below:

(Screenshot: go to link below for the site)



 https://libera.org/libera-sandwiches/  (John Rexroad’s second blog, “Libera Sandwiches,” on the logistics of the Washington, DC trip for DVD recording in August, 2014)  


https://libera.org/how-and-why/ (John Rexroad’s third Libera blog, How and Why," 12/19/14)
     
Rocco Tesei and Alex Gula share screen time on the bus.
NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS at St Philip's, Norbury

St Philip's set up for service

On December 14th, Libera presented the traditional Advent service Nine Lessons and Carols at their home parish church of St. Philip's, Norbury. Japanese fan Yuki noted 53 Choir members (soloists in red):

Andy Winter, Simon Beston, Steven Geraghty, Ben CrawleySam Coates, Simon Lewis, Josh Madine, Jonathan Barrington, Daniel Fontannaz, Tiarnan Branson, Sammy Moriarty, Ralph Skan, Kavana Crossley, Henry Barrington, Jakub Niedermaier Reed, Matthew Rangel-Alvares, Eoghan McCarthy, Matthew Janson, Cassius O’ Connell-White, Matthew Madine, Tom Delgado-Little, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Michael Menezes, Isaac LondonLucas Wood, Sam Wiggin, Bertie Smart, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Marc AlvaresAlex MontoroAlex Gula, Gabriel Collins, Camden Stewart, Shay Balsekar, Timothy Lee, Rocco Tesei, James Menezes, Mark Ustynovych-Repa, 2 newbies (one of them is that Japanese boy I met at Arundel concert in May), and 13 mini-boys (including Lucas' Wood's brother)

This was one of those delightful occasions when Libera singers, alumni, and mini-boys (newbies) ranging in age from thirtysomething to seven years old, joined together to sing for the joy of it. This kind of gathering would probably astonish those who have seen Libera perform only in large venues in front of thousands of people.

PBS AIRS NEW LIBERA DVD

Josh Madine (at R) on WNED-TV in 2013
On December 15th, the following appeared on the Mini-Angels site:

The first airing of Libera's new DVD filmed in Washington DC in August is in three days! And you lucky people in Buffalo, NY get to see it first! It's airing on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. EST on PBS station WNED. It looks like it will then be replayed from 9:30 - 11:00 p.m. on the same night. You can see their schedule at: http://wned.org/tv-schedules

We also know that the name of the new DVD/CD will be Angels Sing: Libera In AmericaBuffalo also got to be the first city to see Libera's Christmas DVD, Libera - Angels Sing: Christmas In Ireland  in October 2013. That one was special because Josh Madine flew to Buffalo to be on the live show. See here.


You can get the CD/DVD as a gift by donating to WNED here. Just fill in the donation form and scroll down to choose the Libera CD for $72, DVD for $96, or CD+DVD for $156. 

DC WRAP PARTY VIDEO

Isaac London with new friend after an arcade visit 
After Libera’s concert and filming for PBS in Washington DC, they celebrated their accomplishments with a wrap party at a restaurant and arcade. VIP supporters of the group were invited to attend the party, giving them a chance to spend a bit of time with the boys and meet the staff that help make these tours run so smoothly. https://libera.org/wrap-party/

BROADCAST OF LIBERA IN AMERICA DVD ON STATION WNED-TV, BUFFALO, NY

On December 17th, the following promotional ad appeared on PBS station WNED-TV in Buffalo, giving Libera fans their very first look at footage of the Libera in America DVD. The narration is by Cassius O' Connell-White.


Angel faces: Shay Balsekar and Cameron Stewart
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?=ZFKrcLwtzIs&feature=youtu.be&a (WNED-Buffalo PBS promo for Angels Sing: Libera in America, December, 2014/:29)

Reports from the actual broadcast were, at this point (12/19/14), enthusiastic but sketchy. Josh Madine appeared again, representing Libera. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCmgWnb6J2s (Part 1 [first broadcast]: Josh Madine on 12/18/14 Angels Sing: Libera in America broadcast on WNED-TV in Buffalo, New York/8:52)


Josh Madine on WNED-TV with hosts Peter Hall and Lee Newton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8U9V5D-UXg (Part 2 [first broadcast]: Josh Madine on 12/18/14 Angels Sing: Libera in America broadcast on WNED-TV in Buffalo, New York/9:42)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG2ND6fQo44 (Part 3 [second broadcast]: Josh Madine on 12/18/14 Angels Sing: Libera in America broadcast on WNED-TV in Buffalo, New York /7:42)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr-NU9-WdO8 (Part 4 [second broadcast]: Josh Madine on 12/18/14 Angels Sing: Libera in America broadcast on WNED-TV in Buffalo, New York /8:04)


A first look at the DVD and CD covers

The official DVD release was announced as March 3rd. Here is a posting from a fan in Toronto who was actually able to watch the December 18th broadcast:


Hi everyone,

I am one of the fortunate ones who lives in Toronto and was able to catch the broadcast of Angels Sing: Libera in America. Actually, I was working that night and had to record it on my PVR. The advantage of this is that I get to watch it many times, which I already have.


Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Eoghan McCarthy and Camden Stewart

13 of the 17 songs recorded in Washington were aired in the telecast. I hope that the other 4 are included on the DVD. The order of the songs was a bit different than the Washington concert, and is as follows:

Joyful, Joyful
How Can I Keep From Singing
Morning Has Broken
America  the Beautiful
Wayfaring Stranger
Amazing Grace
Wonderful World
The Prayer
Be Still My Soul
How Great Thou Art
Rest in Peace
Sanctus
Song of Life

The broadcast began with a voice-over by Cassius O' Connell-White, introducing the group and the concert. After a brief commercial from the sponsor the concert began.

I will not get into a song-by-song description, as I believe that this was done in the summer when the concert was recorded. They followed the same format as they did for Christmas in Ireland: four songs followed by a break for a Pledge Drive.

 Once again Josh Madine was flown in as a special guest, and was an excellant ambassador for the group. During the pledge breaks they showed the cover for the DVD and the CD of Angels Sing: Libera in America. The cover had five of the boys sitting and standing at one if the buildings in Washington (I believe). My apologies to my American friends that I can't identify which one. The picture is small, but I think the boys pictured are (left to right) Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Ben Fairman, Isaac London (I think), and Cassius O' Connell-White. It makes a great  cover.

They also mentioned extra "behind the scenes" featured on the DVD. The CD is said to contain 16 songs.


From the DVD special features

The concert itself was of the quality that you expect from Libera. There was one sound glitch when Thomas Delgado-Little was introducing himself (in Spanish no less!), but other than that it was excellent.

I did notice that the credits actually misspelled a couple of the boys'  names: Bertramo Smart becomes Mertramo, and Lucas Wood becomes Lucas Woo. Hopefully they can correct this on the actual DVD, as both boys deserve to be recognized correctly.

Overall it was a very enjoyable concert. I know that they are trying to attract the American audience and that had a lot to do with the song selection for the concert. While the songs are probably the best renditions of each that you will ever hear, my preference is actually for Prizeman originals. It's his songs (along with his arrangements) that make Libera unique.

I' m eagerly awaiting the release of both the DVD and the CD, and hope to see some of you again this spring when they return to America.

Merry Christmas to all, and Best Wishes in 2015!

Tomm

Toronto

REPORT ON ST. JOHN'S (UPPER NORWOOD, UK) CONCERT


(Photo by Yuki)



Lauren, of the Chicago Mini-Angels site, posted a wrap-up of the St. John's concert.
There are 24 boys singing tonight. 

1.   Marc Alvares
2.   Shay Balsekar
3.   Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey
4.   Merlin Brouwer (new)
5.   Gabriel Collins
6.   Thomas Delgado-Little
7.   Alex Gula
8.   Matthew Jansen
9.   Timothy Lee
10. Isaac London
11. Alessandro MacKinnon-Botti
12. Matthew Madine
13. James Menezes
14. Michael Menezes
15. Alex Montoro
16. Jakub Niedermaier-Reed
17. Cassius O'Connell-White
18. Matthew Rangel-Alvares
19. Bertie Smart
20. Camden Stewart
21. Rocco Tesei
22. Mark Ustynovych-Repa
23. Sam Wiggin
24. Lucas Wood


Libera performing at St. John's (photo by Luke Avery)

 There are also 13 junior boys, or little newbies as I like to call them, who are singing in their very first Libera concert. They sing on but not all of the songs. I wonder if Samuel Collins is Luke, Jude, and Gabe's little brother? There ARE four boys in the family, so... And maybe Finn Wood is Lucas's ' brother. There are so many newbies!!!!!

1.   Leo Barron
2.   Ben Bywater
3.   Samuel Collins
4.   Tom Cooper
5.   Tadhg Fitzgerald
6.   Adam Izghouti
7.   Neo Parson
8.   Taichi Shinokubo
9.   Cameron Taylor
10. Sejus Toussaint-O'Neill
11. Oliviero Veneri-Thomas
12. Joseph Walshe
13. Finn Wood 

(Photo by Patrick)



















MusicalDirector - Robert Prizeman
Assistant Musical Directors - Sam Coates & Steven Geraghty
Keyboards - Joshua Madine
Percussion - Jonathan Ormston
Strings - The Silken Strings
Flute - Candice Hamel
Clarinet - Jessie Grimes
Horn - Raoul Neumann
Oboe - Jesse Bescoby

Stage Management - Jonathan Barrington, Kavana Crossley &
 TiarnĂ¡n Branson
Lighting - Luke Avery
Libera Management - Steven Philipp
Libera Tour Co-ordination & Chaperoning - Barbara Geraghty & 
Eleanor Lewis
Production Co-ordinator - Andrew Winter

I love that they added an oboe, and the staff listing always looks like a Libera reunion. :D Everyone is pretty much doing the same jobs as at Arundel in May, but Tiarnan is now working on stage management. 

 The song list is amazing! Alex Gula had his first solo!

Song List

1.   Joyful Joyful - sung by all 37 boys

Speech – Cassius O’ Connell-White said that Cameron Taylor 
is the youngest at 7 years old, and Jakub (Kuba) Niedermaier-
Reed is the oldest at 15.

2.   Joy to the World

3.  What Child Is This

4.  The Prayer - solo by Isaac London with Ciaran Bradbury-
Hickey

Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey










5. Sanctus - middle harmony and last "Sanctus Sanctus" by
 Bertie Smart, high notes by Lucas Wood


Bertie Smart


Speech – Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti & Ciaran Bradbury-
Hickey


6.   Voca Me - the crazy high note at the end sung by Lucas
 Wood!

7.   Wexford Carol - solo and verse in Gaelic by Isaac London

8.   Carol of the Bells - high notes by Isaac London & Lucas
 Wood, last "Ding dong" by Isaac

Lucas Wood
Speech – Alex Gula & Gabriel Collins

9.   Ave Maria - listed but they did not sing it

10. How Great Thou Art - solo by Sam Wiggin



Sam Wiggin
-Interval_

11. Conditor Alme Siderum - sung a capella as plain song while
 walking back on stage. This is the song Libera recorded as
v=jCxPFMwVKMA (Libera/Sempiterna/2006/3:38)

12. Angels We Have Heard On High

Speech - Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti & Ciaran Bradbury-
Hickey with Moose

13. Away In A Manger - solo by Alex Gula

Alex Gula

14. Wayfaring Stranger - solo by Sam Wiggin

15. Amazing Grace - solo by Isaac London

16. Gaudete - solo by Lucas Wood?

Speech - Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, with boys speaking in their
 families' native language:  Alex Gula (Poland), Lucas Wood 
(Mexico), Sam Wiggin (France), Isaac London (Ireland), Alex
 Montoro (Italy), Taichi Shinokobu (Japan)

17. Song of Life - solo by Isaac London

18. How Shall I Sing That Majesty - solos by Alessandro
 Mackinnon-Botti & Lucas Wood.

19. Silent Night - solo by Isaac London

Isaac London

Farewell speech – Taichi Shinokobu (he is so small, and quite
 young!)

20. In Dulci Jubilo

Encore - What a Wonderful World - solo by Isaac London


Tom Delgado-Little did not sing any solos in the first half, and they skipped "Ave Maria," so he may be feeling ill.


It was also noted that Ben Fairman and Eoghan McCarthy were absent.  Lucas Wood sang the high-D solo in "Voca Me," in place of the possibly ailing Tom Delgado-Little. Libera has acquired its very first Japanese singer, mini-boy Taichi Shinokobu. The Libera Passion site updated its list of performing group members. http://libera-passion.exprimetoi.net/t1110-apercu-des-membres-actuels-maj-decembre-2014
Libera's visit to Russia was also verbally confirmed at this concert; Alex Gula "performed" his Russian concert welcome and introduction as part of the concert.
TWITTER NOTES 





‪Former Libera virtuoso soloist Ben Crawley (1999 - c. 2013) tweeted the following, while current Libera member Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey appeared on the soundtrack of a film score (as reported by the French site Libera Passion).

 Ben See‪@momentsoundblur 9h i've done a little remix for acappella heavyweights ‪@swinglesingers - it is on their new EP - out now - ‪https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/clym-ep/id951688220?ign-mpt=uo%3D4 

Crawley, who became a Libera staff member for years before leaving the group to pursue his own musical career, still joins other singers from the group for concerts and services at St. Philip's Church. He uses the name "Ben See" (Ben C.) professionally to avoid confusion.


Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey











‪#Libera‪ member Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey (2010 -) singing on the soundtrack of the film 'Road' (2014) : https://soundcloud.com/koutafurby/ciaran-bradbury-hickey-on-road-film-soundtrack-excerpts 


LIBERA'S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS GREETING
Tiny Taichi Shinokobu stands between  tall choir-mates.



Delightfully inevitable and invariably informal, Libera's annual Christmas greeting this year showed the boys in backstage unbuttoned mode, probably during a snack break, since they're wearing the famous "backwards jackets" to protect their robes.


As-yet-unknown (but adorable) mini-boy














In this edition the greetings ranged from subdued to boisterous to goofy, to nearly-adult dignified, and gave fans a glimpse of several new mini-boys (singers-in-training.

As-yet-unknown mini-boy with newbie Merlin Brouwer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGKMlAQImqk&feature=youtu.be (Libera Christmas greeting, 2014)

This greeting was notable in that shy former descant soloist Matthew Rangel-Alvares (2009 - ) uttered more words on video than in his previous five years with the group.

Matthew Rangel-Alvares








On Christmas week, a Swedish site revealed the February 25th, 2015 release of a Blu-Ray edition of Libera in America. The site included its entire song list, revealing that the long-awaited new version of "Voca Me"was indeed present on the DVD, probably excluded from the main concert as being somewhat too esoteric for the American theme.



MORE LIBERA INSIGHTS FROM JOHN REXROAD

For John's observations on "Libera Life Lessons," go to:


On December 30th, the Official Libera website posted the following confirmation:
 News

Premier Concert in Moscow
December 30th, 2014 by Libera
Libera is honoured to be invited to hold its premiere concert in Moscow, Russia at the prestigious Moscow International Performing Arts Center on Sunday 18th January 2015.  We look forward to sharing our music with our many supporters in Russia and to making new friends.  Please share this information with those that may be interested.


Information from French fan Patrick: The real good site to order tickets is by using the site of the venue, the Moscow International Performing Arts Center

Once on the site, you can switch the language to English with a link located in the upper right corner.
it's a bit tricky but on this site you can manage to create an account and then to order tickets for the Libera concert


Moscow International Performing Arts Center


         
Svetlanov Hall, Moscow International House of Music
*************************************
End of Part 7B

For Part Eight: 
http://lib-erahistorical-timeline-part-eight.blogspot.com

**********************************


For Part One (introduction to Libera, extensive overview and 1981-2007), please go to: 

For Part Two (2008-2009):

For Part Three (2010):

For Part Four (2011):

For Part Five (2012):
For Part Six (January-May 2013)
For Part 6A (May-December 2013)
http://libera-historicaltimeline6a.blogspot.com/

For Part 7A (August-November 2014)

http://libera-historical-timelinepart7a.blogspot.com


I welcome suggestions, questions, corrections, disputations, official photo credits, and potential additions to this material at aahill@sonic.net. (Reports of links that are no longer active are especially welcome.)