Friday, January 1, 2016

What Libera boys do between video takes (Universal Studios Japan, 2015)
 Last  Revised/Updated on Monday, August 1st, 2016

If you are new to Libera and to this Timeline, you might want to check out these other sections:
(Please note: new additions are made to the END of each section, rather than the beginning.)

For Part One (introduction to Libera and to the Timeline, 
extensive overview & 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):

 For Part Seven (January-July 2014):

For Part 7A (August-November 2014):

For Part 7B (December 2014):

For Part 8 (January-March 2015):

For Part 8A (March-July 2015):

For Part 8B (July-December 2015):

(Odds and Ends)
(Libera Boys Return to Japan to accompany Mao Asada)
(Countdown to 2016 Philippine Concerts) 
(Mozart Requiem at St. Philip's)

(Summer Tour in Europe Announced)

Welcome to Part 9 of the Libera Historical Timeline. (As mentioned, those of you visiting for the first time might want to check out Part One). This time of year is usually very quiet in the Libera world, even more so this year as the boys recover from a tour of Japan (see Part 8B) that included two mini-concerts, three full concerts (all sold out), a number of interview/autograph sessions, and a TV performance, all sandwiched into about four days between two long jet flights. 

The boys, 8-15 years old, came through like champs, earning enormous applause and at least one standing ovation (a rare occurrence with Japanese audiences). They arrived home on their second Christmas Eve (International Date Line), and most probably did not wait up for Father Christmas.

Cassius O'Connell-White, Timothy Lee, Joseph Walshe and others sign autographs in Tokyo
Typical fervor at an interview
By the time they returned to London, the group's music video, "Santa Will Find You" had collected over 50,000 hits on YouTube...

"Santa" soloist Isaac London (red and white scarf) keeps cool in the midst of a staged snowball fight. (Santa Will Find You/solo by Isaac London/2015/3:57)

...and the 2011 video of "Carol of the Bells" had passed four million views


On January 3rd, it was noted on the Libera Dreams Fan Forum that Libera's superb 2013 rendition of "Carol of the Bells" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno was no longer available on the NBC site. Fortunately Libera enthusiast and scholar Jimmy Riddle had preserved it elsewhere at: (Carol of the Bells/Tonight Show with Jay Leno/12-19-2013/Courtesy of Jimmy Riddle/3:36)

December 19th, 2013: Tonight Show host Jay Leno and guest Judd Apatow stride onstage to congratulate Libera on their performance.

For all those who would like to know more about the individual boys of Libera, I once again recommend the wonderful Libera Passion site, stewarded by Patrick Fandelok and Quentin (aka The Furby). This site (in French, but fairly easy for non-francophones to decipher) maintains an up-to-date photo, media, tour and concert record of:

"Membres Réguliers" (Current Members) — Boys who have participated in the most recent concert or tour.
"Miniboys" — This is Libera lingo for young singers in training. Names are not paired with faces unless the boys have been positively identified by photo.
"Absents du Dernier Concert" — Singers who have performed regularly with the group, but were absent from the previous concert or tour.
"Anciens Membres" — Former Libera singers, going back to the 1980s, when the group was known as "Angel Voices."
"Staff" — Staff members (often Libera alumni) and their roles with the group.
• "Liens" — Family groupings of brothers or cousins who have been members of Libera.

If a name appears in blue, you can click on it to see additional photos and statistics on that singer. The site also hosts a fan forum with reviews, photos, and discussions.

On January 4th, Yuki, host of the bilingual Dear Libera site, published her impressions of the early part of the 2015 Christmas tour in her country. (Yuki’s blog on the 2015 Christmas Tour in Japan [includes videos])


On January 5th, (so much for this being a slow time of year) Libera Records of Japan announced that a number of boys of Libera would appear at the NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai/Japan Broadcasting corporation) Trophy figure skating special exhibition on January 9th, singing "I Vow to Thee My Country" to accompany a routine  by Olympic medalist Mao Asada. (The song is also known as "Jupiter" because its melody is taken from the "Jupiter" section of The Planets by Gustav Holst.) Asada used this selection by Libera to accompany the routine in the 2012 competition season.
Mao Asada performs to Libera music in 2012 (I Vow to Thee My Country/solo by Michael Horncastle/2012 “Jupiter” figure skating routine by Mao Asada/4:25)

On January 6th,  a "Dream Team" of eight Libera singers landed at Haneda Airport and traveled by train to Tokyo for the January 9th NHK event.
Singers returning to Japan were (L to R): Gabriel Collins, Taichi Shinokubo, Camden Stewart, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Lucas Wood, Sam Wiggin, Isaac London, and Alex Gula.


Also on January 6th, two upcoming "Valentine's Concerts" in the Philippines were announced, to take place in Manila and Cebu on February 16th and 18th, 2016.

A concert in Korea was also announced for April 1st. In 2015, the summer tour to that country had to be canceled because of an outbreak of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). 


On January 7th, a report from Libera Records Japan:

#‎Libera‬ ‪#‎リベラ‬ Today, the boys got on a train of Sanriku-Tetsudo 🚂, which became famous as a train line that NHK drama "Ama-chan" was set in. They heard the story about the 3.11 disaster from the president of Sanriku-Tesudou, and they had a moment of silence prayer for the victims at a station. After that they visited a temporary housing area in Kamaishi, and met local people there. The people requested Libera boys to sing something, then the boys sang A-cappella "Nearer My God to Thee" for them. Libera's singing made them so happy, and the boys also felt so happy by that! 🎶👼🏼🎶 Libera
(Information on the next few items was supplied by Libera Records Japan, Yuki, Lauren and Patrick Fandelok)
 At another outing on January 8th, The boys tried their hand at painting Japanese wooden dolls called kokeshi, Several of them inscribed their work with the Kanji characters for "peace," learned from Taichi Shinokubo. Later, following an evening rehearsal, they tried their feet at ice skating, and were snapped by an enterprising photographer.
Alex Gula, Taichi Shinokubo, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey

 Also on January 8th, it was announced that the boys would be singing "New Jupiter" a partly-Japanese version of "I Vow to Thee, My Country," produced by Mao Asada, to accompany Ms. Asada's figure skating exhibition routine. (Again, the song acquired its alternate title when a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice was set to the "Jupiter" section of a composition by Gustav Holst.) The last time Libera sang in Japanese was in 2009, when they sang "Sakura" during a concert tour in the Philippines. The venue for the January 9th performance was Morioka Ice Arena, with a capacity of 2000-5000 seats. The event was also to be televised.


It was also announced that another Libera mini-CD Called Jupiter would be released on February 17th by the enterprising Libera Records Japan. Contents:

Jupiter (as produced by Mao Asada)
Oath (a new version of Jupiter)
Home (a new song by Tagatsugu Muramatsu)

Mao Asada (in blue skirt) and young skaters, with Libera in the background
On January 9th, eight Libera boys did a marvelous job of accompanying a routine performed by Mao Asada and eight young skaters with a new arrangement of "I Vow to Thee, My Country."  This was a highly emotional production number inspired by the rebirth of Japan from the effects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in that country in 2011. Isaac London sang the opening solo and the last verse (the latter in Japanese), and Taichi Shinokubo sang the last line solo, also in Japanese. 

Libera boys take a bow (2016 performance of I Vow to Thee My Country by Libera accompanying figure skater Mao Asada in NHK Trophy skating exhibition/solos by Isaac London and Taichi Shinokubo/5:14)
Add caption

(L to R) Sam Wiggin, Gabriel Collins, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Isaac London, Taichi Shinokubo. Lucas Wood, Alex Gula, Camden Stewart.

The boys pose with Mao Asada, who holds a copy of the new Libera book and mini-CD. 

  On January 11th, the Libera Official Site published a calendar of upcoming tour events:
This is a screenshot; for live links, go to:

On January 12th, Japan Times online sports columnist Jack Gallagher wrote:

Mao mesmerizes: Mao [Asada] skated an exhibition program called “Jupiter” at a special event sponsored and televised live by NHK in Morioka on Saturday to rave reviews. The program was inspired in part by the “Miracle Pine Tree” that was the only one of 70,000 trees in Iwate Prefecture to survive the 2011 Tohoku disaster. The moving number began with a version of “I Vow to Thee, My Country” performed live by English boys choir Libera and showed Mao at her interpretative best. The song was created in 1921 from a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice that was set to music by composer Gustav Holst. It was played most famously in recent times at the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997.
One of Mao’s exhibition programs during the 2011-12 season was set to the same music.—Jack Gallagher

Libera also posted an impressive wide-angle photo of the group's December 20th appearance at Universal Studios Japan


On January 13th, Seoul Arts Management released posters for appearances in Korea, including several with a lighthearted approach. (Thanks to Jimmy Riddle)

 Isaac London is saying that "the tickets for the concert in Seoul will be released January 20th on the SAC [Seoul Arts Centre] and Interpack sites.

On January 14th, Libera tweeted a photo of six of the boys in a recording studio in Japan, possibly recording the mini-CD that accompanied their visit.

Alex Gula, Gabriel Collins, Lucas Wood, Camden Stewart, Isaac London, and Taichi Shinokubo. Missing are Sam Wiggin and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey


"I Vow To Thee, My Country" is not the only Libera piece Mao Asada has chosen to accompany her skating. In 2011, after the death of her mother, Asada skated a lovely tribute routine to Libera's "Ave Maria," (the Caccini/Vavilov version, not the Schubert), with solos by the marvelous Ed Day and Tom Cully. (Mao Asada skates to Ave Maria [Caccini/Vavilov version] in tribute to her mother/solos by Ed Day and Tom Cully 2011/3:44)


On January 17th, NHK broadcast a mini-documentary of the January 9th performance with Mao Asada, showing Asada meeting with the boys, and slightly different camera coverage of the performance, with more onscreen time for Libera. It explains the projection of the tree on the ice—this was the "Miracle Tree" that somehow survived the worst devastation of the 2011 earthquake/tsunami, and has become a symbol of Japan's recovery from the disaster. The blonde English-speaking woman is famed Canadian choreographer Lori Nichols. (Behind the scenes video documentary of the 2016 NHK  “Jupiter” exhibition performance featuring Libera/8:43)


In mid-January, The ever-resourceful Jimmy Riddle discovered and posted (on the Libera Dreams Forum) an interview with nine-year-old Taichi Shinokubo

Marka, a Japanese fan, did yesterday a very nice translation of Taichi's interview by Ideanews
I copy it here with her agreement. Thank you very much Marka - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On December 20, 2015, at Universal Studio Japan (USJ) near ‘’the best tree of light in the world,’’ we had a one- night concert of Libera, a boys choir from England, with angelic voices echoing. Before it began, I had had an opportunity to interview with Taichi Shinokubo (9) who is the first Japanese member of the choir. I would like to share the interview and the concert report.

The Christmas tree in USJ, which has started in November as usual, and has a Guiness record as ‘’ an artificial tree with the highest number of decorative illuminations, added 160,000 more LED lights and made a new record with 534,280 lights to make more shining for this day. In the light, Libera sang with ‘’the sweetest voice in the world.” They seldom sing out of churches or concert halls, so it was a great experience to hear their angel voices at this miracle stage.

The members of Libera are the boys who are 7 to 18 years-old living in South London, England, and have passed the hard audition. Despite of his small age,a Japanese member Taichi Shinokubo excellently plays many roles in this tour in Japan, for example, greeting and interpreting English to Japanese in the concerts, helping other members to order in the restaurant. He was born in London, but he likes to speak Japanese so we had a talk in Japanese.
Interviewer: Why did you decide to join Libera? Have you liked music for long?

Taichi: At school we often have singing concerts so we practice singing. The boy who suggested to hold a concert is a Libera member. Our teacher also recommended Libera to me and I sang La, la, la, …

Interviewer: In the audition.

Taichi: Yes. And I became a member.

Interviewer: What did you think when you passed the audition?

Taichi: Actually, I didn’t know what music they played.

Interviewer: You didn’t know Libera, did you?

Taichi: No, not so. But the teacher told me, “They go around the world,” I wanted to join.
Taichi with Oliver Mycka

 Interviewer: Which country have you ever been as Libera? You have come Japan in this summer, right?

Taichi: To America. And many places in GB.

Interviewer: How do you feel now before the Christmas concert?

Taichi: I’m anxious lest I should make mistake in interpretation. It makes me more nervous rather to speech than to sing.

On August 5, 2015, Taichi sang as a member of Libera and did a great job as an interpreter at the mid-summer Christmas concert in USJ. He says he likes to speak English among English speaking persons and Japanese among Japanese speaking ones. He talks in English with Libera member and in Japanese with his family and Japanese staffs. He might express the difficulty of being bilingual in such words. Taichi is a bright boy and he faithfully answer to what I ask him. I feel he is in the prime period to learn music, English and Japanese.

Interviewer: What is the best thing for you after you joined Libera?

Taichi: After the concert, many people said Taichi had played well, in the Libera facebook pages. That made me happy the best. Some time ago, when we were on a roller coaster, Japanese fans also called me, “Taichi! Taichi!”

Interviewer: That’s great! Everyone knows you! Today there are many Libera fans here for the concert. How did you feel when you were called your name?

Taichi: I said,” Hooray!!” I waved my hand to them!

Interviewer: What do you want to do as a member of Libera?

Taichi: I’d like to go to Philippines. And Moscow, to many countries.

Taichi is the smallest figure in the center of this photo of the mini-concert at Universal Studios Japan.

In Philippines there are also many avid fans as Japan. Libera has been there some times but Taichi has never been. As I asked why he wanted to go to Philippines, he said, ”It’s hot there so I may be able to eat kaki-gori (shaved ice topped with flavored syrup). My favorite season is summer!” I told him to try Philippines Halo-halo. Taichi’s favorite Libera song is the original music of Libera, ‘Angel’, which we can listen to tonight. He says he wants to sing more classical music and songs with beautiful melodies. To the question,” What do you want to do in the future?” he answers he doesn’t know yet. He’s only 9 years old now. We, Libera fans, will have many opportunities to enjoy his voice and interpretation for long in the future.

Libera and USJ have collaborated for the Christmas events every year since 2011. The USJ Christmas show of this year is “The Miracle Angels have given 3rd~ The Voice of an Angel ~”, which is no less glorious around the world than the Christmas tree with the Guiness record. The song “Angel” which is newly written for this Christmas concert is used in the climax of the show, which is awarded in the 20th THEA Award held by IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction, Virginia).


On January 19th, the entire backstage show from the NHK Trophy Exhibition was posted on YouTube, as were four previously un-posted videos from the Libera in America DVD.  (Entire show: Backstage at the 2016 NHK Special Exhibition program, including appearances by Libera/43:00)

How Shall I Sing That Majesty

Ave Maria

 America the Beautiful

Amazing Grace

On January 20th, Fans got a look at the cover for the "Jupiter" mini-CD from Libera Records Japan


On January 22nd, If the information (see link below) found by the indefatigable Jimmy Riddle was not an error, it seemed that Libera's Korean tour might end with a stop in mainland China, in the coastal city of Qingdao on April 5th
 Quingdao Grand Theatre

 Top Row: Sam Wiggin, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Isaac London, Alex Gula. Bottom: Leo Barron and Oliver Mycka.

On January 28th, the Libera boys published a lively blog account of their December adventures in Japan.

 Adam Izghouti responds to a question in Tokyo, as Ben Bywater, Oliver Mycka, Leo Barron and Joe Walshe await their turn.
On February 1st, an article about Libera's "Valentine Concerts"  appeared on the Philippines site,, leading with a photo of Isaac London and Sam Wiggin.

And on February 5th, a somewhat cheeky mention showed up on the website, followed by other online write-ups.

 On February 6th, a program on the making of the Mao Asada "Jupiter" TV special, with more focus on the boys of Libera, aired on the Japanese NHK network. It did not become immediately available online, but snippets and photos appeared on Twitter. A day later, three short videos appeared on YouTube, the last one featuring parts of the new Tagatsugu Muramatsu song "Home," which was to be released on the Libera Japan mini-CD, Jupiter, on February 17th. (Short sections of NHK Mao Asada special featuring Libera/January 2016/1:49/1.14/2:10)

The boys greet Asada-san.
Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Taichi Shinokubo and Isaac London during an interview on the NHK program
Meanwhile, Jun, a Korean fan, spied a billboard announcing Libera's spring tour in her country.
On February 8th, eight Libera boys appeared in a lively "countdown" ad for their February 16th concert. This happened daily for the week preceding the event. (Brief commercial for Libera 2016 Philippines concert at PICC/eight-day countdown/:20)

Eight Boys for an eight-day countdown: Marc Alvares, Ben Bywater, Alex Montoro (top) Leo Barron, Alex Gula, unidentified mini-boy, Camden Stewart (top), and Rocco Tesei.

Day Eight Countdown:

Day One:

Former shyboy Tadgh Fitzgerald displays an ebullient onscreen presence in the one-day countdown.

An announcement appeared in the Van Wert, Ohio, Independent, announcing the cancellation of a Libera performance which had apparently fallen through the cracks when the spring tour arranged by the now-dormant Libera of the US organization failed to materialize. A video apology voiced by three of the boys was sent to the venue, accompanied by the Libera video of "America the Beautiful."

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio sadly announces the cancellation of a season concert event.
Libera, scheduled for Sunday, April 3, at 3 p.m. was forced to cancel its tour date in the United States. Libra deeply regrets disappointing its fans but, due to circumstances outside of its control, was forced to cancel. Libera has created a video message to convey the group’s regrets (


(Many of the photos and much of the information here was/were provided by Patrick Fandelok of Libera Passion and Yuki of Dear Libera, both of whom were present for concerts and other events on the tour.)

On February 13th, the boys and entourage flew to Manila, to be greeted by host Roberto de Ocampo. (Short scene of boys in airport at Manila/:20)

Roberto de Ocampo is on the right in the blue shirt, walking next to Libera director Robert Prizeman.

Six new members were on the tour: Henry Cullinan-Hollihead, Peter Kielty, Gregor Lumsden, Mathias Montoro, Arthur Palmer, and Finn Wood. Mathias was the youngest at eight years old, Sam Wiggin the oldest at 14. Those from recent tours not present were Matthew Jansen, Cassius O' Connell-White, Mark Ustynovych-Repa, and Joseph Walshe. Alumni Kavana Crossley and Eoghan McCarthy served as stage managers.

On February 15th, the boys participated in a press conference that was later written up on the LifestyleInquirer website.

Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Tadgh Fitzgerald, Taichi Shinokubo, Isaac London and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti (Boys introducing themselves by name and age at press conference in Manila/2016 tour)
"LIKE their idols Nicki Minaj and Bruno Mars, these London-based choir boys are making sweet music, recording bestselling albums and performing in sold-out concerts.

THEY’RE just kids—some in their early teens—but the members of the internationally renowned London-based boys choir Libera said that joining the group had enabled them to become better persons.

They said that being in the group had made them learn to interact with others in a friendly way like being in a sports team or a big family.And they are no different from today’s typical kids who listen to pop and rock artists.Five of the 30-member choir—Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, 13; Tadhg Fitzgerald, 8; Taichi Shinokubo, 10; Isaac London, 12, and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, 13—sat down with the press a day before their scheduled performances tonight at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and on Feb. 18 at Centerstage of SM Seaside City Cebu.

“I like Years and Years (a British electronica trio),” said Botti. “It’s got nice melodies.”

“I like Royal Blood, it’s a bit loud and crazy,” said Hickey.

It’s Nicki Minaj for London, Bruno Mars for Shinokubo and Mark Ronson for Fitzgerald.

When the Inquirer asked if any of them would like to pursue singing full time in the future, the boys said “it’s not always easy to make it in the music business. A lot of us haven’t really thought about what to do next, but Libera is a great thing to do while we’re still making up our minds.”

Their concert repertoire is “a mix of choral music and pop… but not Nicki Minaj,” Hickey quipped.

Originally named St. Philip’s Choir—most members came from the parish choir of St. Philip’s, Norbury in South London—the group started calling itself Libera in 1999 when composer Robert Prizeman released a CD containing a song titled “Libera,” featuring the choir.

Libera is also the Latin singular imperative of “liberare,” meaning “to free.”

In the same year, the group performed the song on a Scottish television program, “Sunday Live,” and then released its own album also titled “Libera.”

Almost 20 albums later—many of them said to be best sellers—Libera has become a sought-after group worldwide.

Its officially a “registered charity” in the United Kingdom in which a board of trustees, consisting mostly of parents of members, makes all the decisions on Libera’s regular tours, usually three times a year.

The PICC and SM Seaside City Cebu shows mark the fourth time Libera will be performing in the country. The PICC date—a highlight of the Philippine-UK Friendship celebrations—is a benefit presented by the British Alumni Association led by its chair Roberto de Ocampo, who told the Inquirer that the previous Libera shows had been “sold out.”

This year’s beneficiaries include Caritas Manila, Children’s Hour and Foundation for Disadvantaged Children.

The Libera members said they joined the group either due to a natural inclination to music or out of curiosity.

Botti said he knew how to play the piano when he heard about auditions for new Libera members.

Hickey said he went to the auditions with “no idea I was good at singing.”

The boys said they’re not allowed to eat chocolates before a performance because it affects the throat.

Water and ham and cheese sandwiches are OK, they added, “but after a performance, we can get crazy and eat all we want.”

Since they know what the Philippines is famous for, the boys said they “would like to go to the beach. We haven’t been to a beach in a long time. It’s way too cold in England.”—POCHOLO CONCEPCION

Following the press conference, the group went to the Residence of British Ambassador Asit Ahmad for dinner and a performance for his guests.







 Lighthearted musicians included Eimear McGown (second from left), John Ormston and the ever-popular Josh Madine.


At this point, the only concert reviews came from (here edited) comments from Yuki and Patrick on Twitter. It was hoped that Patrick would write one of his fine full reviews upon returning to France.

• Both concerts were packed and extremely well-received. Oddly, there were no programs, for the Cebu concert, and Patrick mentioned the noisy air-conditioning at that concert, though the acoustics were otherwise excellent.

• Alex Gula, though on the tour, was apparently not present at either concert.

• The six newbies left the stage for certain songs, returning for others.

• Although Lucas Wood soloed beautifully in "Exultate," he was unable to sing his part in the much-heralded "Nearer, My God, To Thee." That song was not sung, its place in the program taken by a Philippine love song, "Usahay."  ( Usahay/Psalmi doe Chorale/3:54)
• The encore was "Bayan Ko" (My Country), a beloved song of the Philippines that Libera has performed on the two previous Philippine tours. Below is the 2009 first performance that evoked bursts of spontaneous applause. (Bayan Ko/Philippines Tour 2009/3:46)

• The following outstanding performances were noted: Lucas Wood in "Exultate;" Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti in "How Great Thou Art;" Isaac London in "Angel;" Taichi Shinokubo's high clear notes on the "Stay With Me" descant; and Alex Montoro's high-note singing overall.

• The songs returning from previous repertoire were "How Great Thou Art" and (after a long absence) Beethoven's "Sacris Solemnis." (Sacris Solemnis/solo by Ben Crawley/from 2008 Luminosa CD/4:02)

• Taichi Shinokubo spoke in Japanese during the "Wonderful World" introduction, and gave a "thank-you and farewell" speech in Tagalog, much to the delight of audiences.

  (Photo below courtesy of Patrick and the Libera Passion site)

The concert was followed by an autograph session, for which there were long waiting times.


The plane flight was delayed for two hours, but the boys arrived safely in Cebu.

Reception and photo op


Mathias Montoro, Henry Cullinan-Holliwell, and Gregor Lumsden with "Moose"

Finn Wood, Arthur Palmer, and Peter Kielty chill out before the Manila concert.

From a short video by Patrick following the Cebu concert

Patrick noted that when "Cebu" was mentioned in the song "Orinoco Flow," the audience burst into spontaneous applause.

It was also noted that four sets of brothers participated in this tour: Lucas and Finn Wood, Michael and James Menezes, Alex and Mathias Montoro, and Matthew (singer) and Josh (keyboard player) Madine.


...During the autograph signing in a hall with constantly changing colored lights...
Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Isaac London
...and a note from a gallant reviewer.

Compared with 2013, it was a very different Libera that performed at the PICC here in the Philippines on Tuesday evening and again tonight before a full house at the SM Seaside City Mall. Of the 28 on stage only 11 were also part of the 2013 tour group. Seventeen were new to the Philippines and six “newbies” were new to all of us. However, the quality of performance remains of the same superlative standard. It is difficult to believe that Sam Wiggin is now the oldest boy on tour. It seems like only yesterday that he was himself a “newbie” who we had no idea would prove to become such a star performer. The youngest of the group was eight-year-old Mathias Montoro – though Tadhg Fitzgerald was quick to point out that he too was eight.

The concert list has been reported elsewhere so will not be repeated here. Of note was the omission of “Nearer My God” at both shows and the addition of a new song, the ancient Filipino love song ”Usahay” (translation, courtesy of Yuki, is here ... 2582745088) and of course the expected encore of “Bayan Ko” – performed exquisitely and received, as usual, with rapturous cheering, applause and standing ovations.

Highlights for me were:

Isaac London’s perfect rendition of “The Prayer,” one of his best performances ever in my opinion. Applause “(Bayan Ko style”) in recognition and appreciation during the performance did not put him off his stride.

Alex Montaro’s effortless “Salvas” in”Salva Me.”

Taichi Shinokubo’s goodbye speech in Tagalog, very popular at both venues; also some great descants and Ah-Aahs in "Stay with Me."

“Sacris Solemnis” with high notes from Alex Montoro.

A fine solo performance of “Exultate” by Lucas Wood.

I have not sufficient words to praise Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti’s voice as it is now. Such richness of tone and vocal power must surely represent his peak. It could not possibly be bettered.

Taking a break: Tadgh Fitzgerald, Adam Izghouti, Peter Kielty, Oliver Mycka, Alex Montoro, Isaac London (with Kavana Crossley and Eoghan McCarthy behind him), Matt Madine, Lucas Wood, unknown, Camden Stewart, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, James Menezes, Sam Wiggin, Shay Balsekar, Marc Alvares, Gregor Lumsden. (photo by Yuki)

Watching the broad smiles of OliverMycka and Leo Barron expressing the sheer enjoyment of performing was priceless (or were they perhaps sharing a private joke?).

Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey’s comic timing – not forgetting his “amazing” and impeccable solos.

Finally, Merlin Brouwer and Camden Stewart leading the performance of “Ulahay” sung in the local Cebu dialect which they had only learned a few days before . Needless to say it was received with great enthusiasm and a standing ovation.

Thanks and congratulations to all, and especially to the newbies who maintained Libera’s tradition of excellence on and off the stage both as performers and as ambassadors for Great Britain. The signing session at the PICC went on until almost midnight but they had a cheerful smile and a friendly word for all - despite the late hour and inevitable jet-lag.

Similarly after a two hour flight delay and horrendous traffic jams they arrived almost 3 hours late (with empty stomachs) for the Cebu M&G. They could have easily cancelled but not to disappoint the loyal waiting fans they cheerfully introduced themselves and happily posed for photographs. Well done all – and also many, many thanks to Roberto de Ocampo, OBE, without whom the tour would not have been possible. —john45
On February 19th, the Libera Passion site put up photos of the current roster of singers (including newbies) at:

Patrick Fandelok posted a panoramic photo of all the boys onstage. This site allows one to zoom in on particular faces.He also transferred several of his phone videos to YouTube. (LiberaPhilippines 2016) (Libera leaving stage after concert in Cebu/2016/:25 (Libera boys entering and leaving autograph session in Cebu/2016/2:12)

...and the Libera Dreams forum updated their handy countdown clock that gives the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the next concert in Suwon, Korea.


A note from fan surpinto on the Libera Dreams Forum:

The Libera In America sound recording has been released in 96kHz/24bit on HDtracks. Just for the sake of comparison the CD is 44.1 kHz/16bit and the blu-ray 48kHz/24bit. That may not mean much to those who are not audiophiles (persons especially interested in high-fidelity sound reproduction) but it's a big deal that their music is being offered in this way. It is important to note that the sound mix on the video is not the same as on the CD; this can best be heard in the total lack of audience noise on the CD.

It has always been obvious to many of us just how good Libera has been at mixing their sound recordings. Many choirs simply put a few microphones around the group and try and record in a highly acoustic space and do little, if any, post-production. But Libera had every singly chorister individually mic'd in DC and then had a ton of other microphones all over the basilica. This then had to be mixed to perfection, which they did. Not only here but on their studio albums as well; though that is a different recording technique.

Hopefully, this offering will attract new fans among the hi-fi community! D

By the way, if you download this ($17.98) my advice is to make certain you download in FLAC when you choose the audio format, it's playable on most music players.

A note from Libera on the Official site:

We have set up a partnership with iTunes to deliver music downloads via our Web site. Click here to visit our online store. Select your store and if we have a partnership in your location you will see the iTunes download button. This can be used to purchase music by any artist, not just Libera - though we'd love you to purchase ours of course!

We earn a small commission on all music downloaded using our store.

The new Jupiter CD was released on February 17th: Its liner notes revealed  the soloist on the second version of "I Vow to Thee My Country to be 11-year-old Merlin Brouwer. The reviews from fans for the new Muramatsu song "Home," with solo by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, were mixed, with some citing the similarity between the new composition and two other Muramatsu works for Libera, "Song of Life," and "Angel."


On February 24th, the resourceful Patrick Fandelok posted a video of the Mandaue Children's Choir performing at the Libera meet-and-greet in Cebu. Photos of other extracurricular activities appeared on Libera's Facebook site. (Mandaue Children’s Choir performs “Bochong” and  “A Light of a Million Mornings” to welcome Libera at SM Cebu CityMall/February 17th, 2016/3:03)

Michael Menezes (L) and Alex Montoro try their hands (and feet) at dancing the traditional "Tinikling." (Photo by Nick)

On February 28th, the boys posted a lively blog about their adventures in the Philippines...
Sam Wiggin (L), Ben Bywater, Alex Montoro and Mathias Montoro play a game of chess at the  Balikbayan Handicrafts Store.

 ...and a poster appeared, announcing a new event:


On March 1st, Libera fan Nick posted two up-close-and-personal videos of the Manila and Cebu autograph sessions, with the boys answering some personal questions (and subtitles).

Mathias Montoro, Gabriel Collins and Marc Alvares sign a poster for eager fans.



On February 6-7TH, some interesting articles and posts about Libera events past and future appeared online. The Lifestyle section of the Inquirer, a Philippines site, published a down-home review of the SM Seaside City concert in Cebu (second article on page). 

The NaverMusic Korean website published a comprehensive article with (Korean) text, photos, videos, and a short promo video featuring Camden Stewart, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti (top in screencap below) Tadgh Fitzgerald, and Rocco Tesei. (Scroll all the way to the bottom for this one) (Long online article on NaverMusic Korean website promoting 2016 March/April tour)

The Libera Passion site published an interesting historical look at former visits to Japan with new high-definition photos. 
The 2005 crew of greats (Front, L to R): Sam Leggett, Michael Horncastle, James Vereycken, Michael Vereycken, Tom Cully, Ed Day, Callum Payne, Zach Lockett, Joe Sanders-Wilde. (Back row): Anthony Chadney, Joe Platt, Sam Coates, Steven Geraghty, Ben Crawley, Simon Lewis, Raoul Neumann, Jake Shortall, Chris Robson (High-resolution photo scans of Libera activities/programs/publications in Japan, 2008-2009)


On March 13th, Libera presented Mozart's Requiem with the St. Philip's Choir and accompanying orchestra.  All reports were enthusiastic. Attendee Moose Fan tweeted a YouTube video of another choir singing the "Tuba Mirum" section of the requiem, noting who sang the parts in the Libera/St. Philip's version.: … Sam Coates, Simon Beston, Camden Stewart, and Gabriel Collins did the respective parts. Wonderful.

Regular Libera follower John45 provided both a concise review and photos of the program with personnel:

This was a religious service and was sung by the full St. Philip’s choir but was also advertised as a “Libera” performance so I guess it is OK to report it here.
The “orchestra” was made up of hand-picked individual musicians true to the original score. They were positioned in front and conducted by RP. The full St. Philip’s choir behind consisted of 29 trebles, 5 altos, 6 tenors and 6 basses. There were also 5 juniors who for the most part occupied the front pew but joined the full choir for about five movements.

The solo quartet for “Tuba Mirum” was Sam Coates (bass), Simon Beston (tenor). Camden Stewart (contralto), and Gabriel Collins (soprano). This was one of the highlights for me.

For “Recordare” the quartet was Sam Coates (bass), “Big Ben” Crawley, (tenor), Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti (contralto) and Merlin Brouwer (soprano).

Final solo quartet for “Benedictus” was Simon Lewis (bass), Simon Beston (tenor), Isaac London (contralto), Alex Montoro (soprano.

The quartets moved to the front of the orchestra and arranged themselves in order of height (tallest to the left) which was very effective staging.

This was a magnificent and memorable performance by all involved and a great privilege to have been a witness to it. After the blessing Father Younis invited the congregation (who apart from an opening hymn had remained silent thus far) to show their appreciation. It was easy to tell that it had been bursting to do so. Enthusiastic applause went on for several minutes. Robert Prizeman then returned to the stage to conduct the choir in an a cappella psalm or canticle which was followed by more appreciative applause.—John45

All of the adult soloists were Libera alumni. It can be noted in the program that recent Libera singer Shay Balsekar has graduated to tenor, and Cassius O' Connell-White to bass. Newbies Emanuele Borrelli, Neo Parson, and Sejus Toussaint-O'Neill sang with the main body of the group, while Nathaniel Bates-Fisher, Sam Collins, Shea Duffy, Luke Jelley, and Romeo Tesei were listed as "Juniors."

Another longtime Libera fan, Johan, attended the service and had several pertinent remarks:

Less than a week before Good Friday, a Requiem is of course a proper piece to perform. It was announced to be performed by the Libera Choir, which seems a nice combination of the words Libera and St. Philip's Church Choir, because it was Libera-plus we heard tonight...the orchestra with strings, brass and percussion was altogether sometimes too much sound for this little church...The juniors joined with the choir in the "Dies Irae," the "Recordare," the "Domine Jesu," and one other time.

All in all, it was a grand performance. It's possible to comment that the church was not exactly suitable for it, but it was my Libera and my St. Philip's Choir, and I was moved...One thing I noticed repeatedly, and not only tonight, is how Robert Prizeman seems to recognize the real talents long before I do, which of course is not surprising. What I mean is that I have often wondered about the choice of soloists when they perform the first time in concert. Later they often prove to have been worth the opportunity given.—Johan

Libera's newest song, "Home," by Takatsugu Muramatsu, from the Jupiter mini-CD , also appeared on YouTube, with Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey soloing.

Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey (Home/solo by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey/Jupiter mini-CD/2016/5:08)

On March 17th, in honor of St. Patrick'sDay, Libera re-posted their exquisite version of "Danny Boy," sung in Guildford Cathedral in 2015.

Soloist IsaacLondon kneels, while Camden Stewart, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Ciaran Brasbury-Hickey, Sam Wiggin, and Alex Montoro provide harmony
(Danny Boy/Guildford Cathedral 2015/solo by Isaac London/2:59)


On March 18th, the hard-working wizards at the Libera Passion site updated the "current members" list, and posted profiles of the newest Libera boys (plus a photo of mini-boy Emanuele Borelli).


Introducing Finn Wood
Introducing Gregor Lumsden …
Introducing Arthur Palmer …
Introducing Mathias Montoro …
Introducing Peter Kielty …
Introducing Henry Cullinan-Hollihead … 

Libera Footnote...

Two Libera soloists who are often underrated by today’s fans (who depend on videos for their exposure to the talents of various singers) were Joe Platt and Anthony Chadney. Joe Platt was often hidden in plain sight because his extraordinary range was usually used for descant work, with his face blending into the chorus, and he seldom appeared in videos as a lead voice (although he was purely excellent when he did).
Joe Platt (The legendary Joe Platt [1999-2006]/9:16)

Anthony Chadney is known mostly for his solo/duet with talented second-voice Chris Robson on the 2004 video of Robert Prizeman’s “Voca Me.” This part, although well sung, didn’t begin to capture the wonderful “expanding” quality of his voice, evident on “A New Heaven,” and on just about every other song on the Free album.

Anthony Chadney (A New Heaven, solo by Anthony Chadney [c. 1999-2005]Free/4:10)

The beauty of three extraordinary voices came together in this gem from the 2001 Luminosa CD, with Anthony Chadney’s second-voice interpretation lending a whole new dimension to Ben Crawley’s solo, and Joe Platt soaring in the descant. (Attendite/Deep Peace/solo by Ben Crawley/second voice by Anthony Chadney/descant by Joe Platt/from Luminosa/4:16) 

End of Libera Footnote 

On March 22nd, a delightful "Come to See Us" video appeared on Libera's Facebook site, with enthusiastic commentary in both English and Korean by (L to R below) Tadgh Fitzgerald, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Taichi Shinokubo, Alex Gula and Leo Barron. Another showed up on March 25th, with Alex Gula making a purely ghostly appearance.  (“Come To See Us” video for 2016 Korean tour/:20  (Four-days-to-go “Come To See Us” video for 2016 Korean tour/ /:20)  (“Come To See Us” video for 2016 Korean tour/:20)


On March 28th, the Libera Official site posted a new gallery of photos taken in January at the Morioka Ice Rink in Japan, when eight singers accompanied skater Mao Asada in her original production of "I Vow to Thee, My Country."
In center photo, L to R: Camden Stewart, Isaac London, Gabriel Collins,Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Taichi Shinokubo (bottom), Mao Asada (top), Sam Wiggin, Alex Gula, Lucas Wood, Mao Asada's coach Penny Nichols. (Photo collage by Yuki)

Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Isaac London pose with Libera poster on Korean bus.
On March 29th, the boys of Libera presented their first concert of the Korea 2016 tour at the Gyeonggi ArtsCenter in Suwon, with 29 singers performing. The program photos below are by Patrick Fandelok of the Libera Passion site, who also tweeted bits of information on the concert. Missing from this tour lineup were Ben Bywater, Oliver Mycka, and Arthur Palmer. Returned were veterans Matthew Jansen and Cassius O' Connell-White. There was one tour "newbie," Emanuele Borrelli.


The Libera musicians (last three on list) were augmented by members of the W Philharmonic Orchestra.
The program and soloists were the same as for the recent Philippines tour, with the exception of the encore, a Korean song (sung in that language) called "Arirang." 

"Nearer, My God to Thee," which was not performed at the Philippines concerts, was sung here by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Lucas Wood, Sam Wiggin, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Alex Montoro. The concert was followed by an autograph session.


Concert photos by Adele Zhang
Further comments on this concert came from Libera Dreams correspondents John45 and tom413:

Speeches still identified Sam Wiggin as the oldest (Cassius O’ Connell-White and Matthew Jansen are both older) and Tadgh Fitzgerald said there were 31 on stage. I guess the absentees (Oliver Mycka, Ben Bywater, Arthur Palmer) must have been last minute-cancellations and someone forgot to change the script.—John45

Speaking of the script, there was one thing that happened last night that I've never seen before in a Libera concert. All of the speeches were subtitled into Korean on a screen in the back of the stage. Perhaps one of the reasons Tadgh couldn't adjust his numbers is that the translations wouldn't match what he was saying.

Having the translations printed out also changed audience response to one of the standard speeches. "We can't just sing the tune" got laughs that it doesn't usually get in English-only renditions and the bit about practicing blindfolded was met with silence.

Performance-wise, new for me was Taichi Shinokubo delivering the high solos on “Stay With Me” and the abandonment of most of the choreography for “Exultate.”—tom413


Crowd gathers for autograph session (Photo by Patrick)
Newbie Emanuele Borrelli signing programs.
The boys also pre-recorded an appearance for later broadcast on the program Star King. (Sanctus/Promo ad for Libera on Korean TV Program Star King/2015/:10)


Rocco Tesei and Alex Gula
On March 31st, Libera presented their second concert of the tour at Seoul Arts Centre, a large venue (2600 seats) which was filled to near-capacity. Patrick Fandelok noted that the song/soloist list was essentially unchanged from that of the Philippines Tour:

1- Joyful Joyful
2- Sanctus (final solo by Merlin Brouwer)
3- The Prayer
(solo by Isaac London)
 4- Salva Me (solo by Alex Montoro)
5- Stay With Me (solo by Merlin Brouwer, descant by Taichi Shinokubo)
6- The Wexford Carol (solos by Isaac London & Camden Stewart)
7- Amazing Grace (solo by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey)
8- How Great Thou Art (solo by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti)
9- Angel (
solo by Isaac London)
10- Exultate (solo by Lucas Wood)

11- Orinoco Flow
12- Angels We Have Heard on High
13- Song of Life
(solo by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey)
14- Wayfaring Stranger (solo by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti)
15- Wonderful World
(solo by Isaac London)
 16- Sacris Solemnis
17- Nearer My God to Thee (
Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Lucas Wood, Sam Wiggin, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Alex Montoro
18- Libera
(solo by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti)

ENCORE: Korean song "Arirang" 

(Photo by Yuki)

Patrick also tweeted that the singing seemed more energetic in this concert, perhaps because the stage here was closer to the audience, and that Director Robert Prizeman was actually bouncing in his seat during the lively "Exultate."

Yuki, of the Dear Libera site, praised the "Sacris Solemnis," and the farewell message in Korean by Taichi Shinokubo.
There was, or course, an enthusiastic autograph session following the concert: (Autograph signing in Suwon, Korea/2016/3:40)


Tadgh Fitzgerald, Gregor Lumsden and Camden Stewart pose with one of the many Libera displays in the Icheon Art Hall (below).

On April 1st, another well-received Libera concert was held in the Icheon Art Hall. There were some minor changes to the program and soloist roster, with Alex Montoro backing Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti on both "Wayfaring Stranger" and "Libera." "Nearer, My God, to Thee," in which Alessandro sings one of the five a cappella parts, was eliminated from this night's program. Because of the smaller venue, all the boys participated in a single post-concert autograph session, demonstrating their colorful signing techniques. 

Adam Izghouti, Rocco Tesei, Timothy Lee, Michael Menezes, Lucas Wood, Sam Wiggin and Alex Montoro in Icheon (Photo by Patrick)  (Autograph session at Icheon /Hirochi Kikuchi/2016 Korean Tour/5:13)
(Photo by Yuki)
Farewell wave in Icheon (Photo by Patrick)
Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti at the Daejon Arts Center
On April 3rd, the boys performed their final concert to a packed audience at the Daejon Arts Center, where the programs were cherry-blossom pink in honor of Sakura, the annual flowering of the cherry trees. 

Patrick Fandelok tweeted about a number of changes to this final program. Gabriel Collins brilliantly took Alex Montoro's place in singing the high "Salva!" descant in "Salva Me," and the choreography was altered to split the back line in half, with a gap in the center, presumably so that the diminutive Gabriel would be visible to the audience.

Lucas Wood and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey sang along with Merlin Brouwer on the formerly solo part  in "Stay With Me." The solo parts sung by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti in"Wayfaring Stranger" and "Libera" were doubled by Lucas Wood. "Nearer, My God, to Thee" was once again omitted from the song list.

Both "Sacris Solemnis" and the Korean encore "Arirang" were greeted with enormous enthusiasm by the crowd, which in both cases broke into applause mid-song, and awarded the group standing ovations.

The enthusiasm carried over into the autograph session. (Libera arrives for autograph session at Daejeon Arts Center/Korea, 2016/1:33) 
(Photos by Patrick)
 And a final note from Patrick:

Waiting for the bullet train from Daejeon to Incheon airport and looking back on the tour which was very successful in all respects. Great performances by Libera. Impressive venues. Very well attended by appreciative audiences. Well organised
Henry Cullinan-Holliwell delivered the speech usually done by Ben Bywater (absent from this tour) with great confidence and clarity. Korean heart sign delivered by Alex Gula and Leo Barron at the end of the concert was a big hit with the audience.

One singer (who shall remain nameless) forgot his white shoes in London and performed all the concerts in his stocking feet - which was probably a Libera “first.”

On April 5th, a pre-recorded segment of the Korean TV program Star King featured Libera singing "Sanctus" (with fairly bad acoustics), a snippet of the beloved Korean song "Arirang," followed by a shortened version of "Joyful Joyful." and a somewhat hilarious  "high-note"contest, pitting Alex Montoro first against a female Korean singer and then against Taichi Shinokubo. 
Alex and Taichi face off (Sanctus on Korean TV program Star King/2016/2:10) (Arirang/Joyful joyful/ on Korean TV program Star King/2016/1:15) Sing-off—Who Can Hit the Highest Note?/Korean TV program Star King/2016/1:21)

On April 8th, safe at home, the boys added four souvenir photos to their Facebook page.

Roll Call (L to R): Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Alex Montoro, Timothy Lee, Merlin Brouwer, Shay Balsekar, Emanuele Borrelli, Peter Kielty, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Michael Menezes, Tadgh Fitzgerald (front) Matther Jansen (back), Gregor Lumsden, Leo Barron, Cassius O' Connell-White (back), Camden Stewart, Adam Izghouti, Alex Gula, Matthew Madine (back), Gabriel Collins, James Menezes, Sam Wiggin, Henry Cullinan-Hollihead, Lucas Wood, Finn Wood, Isaac London, Mathias Montoro, Rocco Tesei, Taichi Shinokubo. (Patrick thinks that Leo Barron (holding "Moose") is the boy who forgot his shoes) (Four photos/2016 Korean Tour)

 On April 11th, four more photos appeared. (Four Photos/2016 Korean Tour)
Robert Prizeman (in sunglasses) can be seen in the background of this romp.
On April 12th, The Romsey Advertiser posted an article about Libera's April 23rd concert in Romsey Abbey.

It should be noted, however, that, although the group performed in Queen Elizabeth Hall in May of 2008, up to this point, they had never knowingly sung for royalty. (Libera at Queen Elizabeth Hall/Glory to Thee/solo by Ed Day[?]/May 11th, 2008/2:51)
 Plus more Korean tour photos...

Photo by Yorkie

Less than 5 days before the next Libera concert, in Romsey Abbey. The string section will be @ProInstrumental

Patrick also explained (in blunt financial detail on the Libera Dreams Forum) what it actually costs to stage a Libera concert on tour:

Good news, you can easily have Libera to do a concert in your town. What you have to do is just to pay for planes, hotels, meals, entertainments for 40 persons, Then you have to pay to book a venue, to rent audio and lights materials, to hire a staff of technicians and a group of musicians.

 Once you have paid for all this, then you can have Libera

Seriously, people don't think how much money it icosts to set a Libera concert... It's several tens of thousand Pounds. And in most of the cases the tickets incomes will not cover the expenses.

Rehearsal in Romsey Abbey on April 23rd, with all 29 boys from the recent Korean tour, and Ben Bywater, Oliver Mycka, and Arthur Palmer returning. (Photo by Sebastien)

On April 23rd, Libera performed a concert at Romsey Abbey, with no surprises in the set list (program photos by Yuki):

(Photo courtesy of Romsey Abbey)


So, yet again Libera surprised us with a short notice announcement of a concert in a far-flung corner of the UK.

Romsey Abbey doesn’t close for anything during the day, as it is the main tourist attraction in town, and that includes Libera rehearsals. So, those of us present were able to sit through the sound checks and practice of a few songs. It wasn’t as intensive this time and I suspect it was because the boys were well practiced due to the recent tour to Korea.
One song they did do a few times was “Nearer My God to Thee” due to a new arrangement and Camden Stewart replacing Sam Wiggin in the five-boy line up. They did a mic check by practising their scales, singing the numbers from one to eight and back again or a rising scale that sounded like ‘ma, ma, ma, ma…’ and then did a group warm up singing ‘ma, ma, ma’ in an ever higher scale with a piano accompaniment and then they did the ‘zinga mama, zing, zing, zing’ scale that they demonstrated in concert a few years back (as one of the speeches during the concert)

And now we get to the concert which is where I will struggle because I just relaxed and enjoyed the show. I can say immediately that “Sacris Solemnis” was my favourite performance of the night. It sounded perfect amidst the beauty of the thousand-year-old Abbey, the coloured lighting adding to the atmosphere and the blend of sound was perfect.

This is why I like Libera concerts in old churches; the architecture and song can just gel in a perfect and memorable way that you just can’t get in a concert hall. I think it was Alex Montoro on the piercingly high notes but hopefully somebody else can confirm that. There was a beautiful contrast between the main vocal line of the song and the harmony of the lower chant behind it, before finishing with a final “Gaudia” (who sang that???)

The staging had Robert Prizeman placed in centre stage just forward of the front audience row. The musicians, including Josh Madine on keyboards and piano, were to the audience right behind and to the side of the stage in the south transept, with very little view of Robert during the concert. The stage was small and on a number of the songs some of the boys would leave, even though they are all concert veterans.

Some things that I can remember of the night – missing shoes! Yes, it happened again. We also had a technical glitch with the first half speech made by Alessandro & Ciaran about where the boys live and walking around in robes (bad feedback so they switched off the mikes. We could hear them near the front but it was lost at the back so they repeated the speech in the second half). The technical issue resulted in a lengthy pause before the start of the next song (“Wexford Carol”). Fortunately the sound was fine when it counted for the singing.

(Photo courtesy of Romsey Abbey)

 There was also an issue with the “normal” plain lighting which would cut out at the wrong time, leaving everything in darkness. Wexford Carol had Isaac London starting, then Camden Stewart took up the song before the others joined in. I noticed that the flautist (who came to the front of stage) had a head mic on to pick up the sound.

A funny moment came at the start of “Exultate “– the flautist appeared on the right of the stage but where was the percussionist with his drum? The silence went on for ever and then a figure appeared having walked all the way around the back of the stage to take up his position front left with his drum. He turned to face the boys and puffed out his cheeks and raised his eyebrows to indicate what an effort it had been to get there. This really cracked up a few of the boys and Isaac and Cassius were still grinning and trying not to laugh well into the song.

“The Prayer” had the boys kneeling as usual and Isaac  London on the main vocal. He was introduced as having just turned 13. He still has his high notes but he also seems to have a deepening lower range, if it wasn’t in my imagination. Gabriel Collins sang the high “Salva”s in “Salva Me” and delivered them with confidence.

“Stay With Me” featured Merlin Brouwer on the main (Ed Day) part and Taichi Shinokubo did the high fill-ins (Liam Connery part). Merlin & Taichi have good voices, perhaps a bit soft at times during the song. After the boys cleared the stage for the interval Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey remained behind to introduce the charity that allow you to sponsor a child in the third world.

“Voca Me” started the second half and they didn’t hide Alex Montoro away for his high notes—he was in the ornately carved pulpit to the left of the stage. My personal choice in this style of venue is to start the second half with “Mysterium” – we have had some cracking arrangements of it down the years. “Orinoco Flow” was next. and I thought it had a slightly reworked instrumentation from that of previous versions, with some embellishments by the wind instruments in the second part of the song.

(Photo courtesy of Romney Abbey)

Another strong performance on the night was “Wayfaring Stranger” with a faultless vocal by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti who has a beautiful rich voice that is bang on the money at the moment. This is a very moving arrangement and a real Libera classic. Like Isaac London (and I think Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey) Alessandro is also 13 and whilst that age brings out the finest quality in a boys voice it also heralds the end of a glorious treble/alto career, but none of them are showing signs yet fortunately.

This was followed by the now familiar languages speech before heading in to “Wonderful World” with Isaac London doing his usual faultless vocals. “Nearer My God, To Thee” introduced a backing instrumental from the musicians; personally I prefer the previous a cappella version which was very effective with just the five boys on stage. Not that this was bad but it didn’t wow me like the first time I heard it performed in Exeter last year.

So, the encore was the Korean song “Arirang.” I’m honestly not sure about this one. It didn’t capture me at the time but walking back to the pub after the concert it was the song I was humming. so…

Oh, and just a final note, after the boys left the stage it was Kavana Crossley who swooped down to whisk “Moose” back to the safety of the choir room.—Yorkie

Below, Libera inside and outside of Romsey Abbey. (photos/2016 Korean Tour)

Ben Bywater, Peter Kielty, Gabriel Collins, Marc Alvares, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Michael Menezes, Henry Cullinan-Holliwell, Merlin Brouwer, Matthew Jansen, and Tadgh Fitzgerald in Romsey Abbey
 On May 6th, the Libera boys sang for an unusual occasion, the christening of the Viking Sea, the largest ocean-going ship ever to be christened at London's Greenwich Pier. The London Daily Mail reported:
Thousands of people gathered along the Thames today as London welcomed a 930-passenger luxury cruise ship that boasts a snow grotto and is set to become the largest ocean-going vessel to be christened on the famous river.
The Viking Sea, which measures more than two football pitches in length, was christened with a spectacular fireworks display depicting the colours of the two main runners in the Mayoral elections. 
Before the extravaganza illuminated London's skyline, the ship entered the Thames Estuary, passing Gravesend, Kent, and squeezing through the Thames Barrier in Woolwich, before it was photographed with sights such as the O2, Canary Wharf, the Shard and the City in the background.
The 745.4-ft long ship, owned and operated by Viking Cruises, had previously sailed from Venice via the English Channel and Atlantic and the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas.

Read more:

 The boys sang "Orinoco Flow," "Sanctus," and "Wonderful World," with Isaac London soloing. Other performers included Norwegian soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø, and the Olavskoret (The Choir of the Norwegian Church). (Fan recording of Libera singing “Wonderful World” at the Viking Sea christening/Solo by Isaac London/5/6/16) (Short Video of Libera watching fireworks/Viking Sea christening in London/5/6/16/:50)

On May 10th, Libera posted more photos from the Korean tour, and on May 14th, their usual lively blog with photos. (More Facebook photos from 2016 Korean Tour)

Matthew Madine and Cassius O' Connell-White blow ducky bubbles.

On May 29th, the following poster appeared:

   On May 31st, Libera added new photos taken at the Viking Sea Launching earlier this month. The Libera Instagram account can be found at:

Shay Balsekar and Alex Montoro
On June 12, St. Philip's Church presented "Music for a Queen," in celebration of Her Majesty's birthday. Libera enthusiast Patrick Fandelok, who attended, described as "a wonderful evensong [service] with songs rarely sung there." He declined to review it, indicating that it was very much a religious service, rather than a Libera concert. John45, who was also in attendance, reported:

As it was a religious service I will just list the music without comment, but have to report that "Zadok the Priest" by the St. Philip's Choir was alone worth crossing the Atlantic to hear.


Choir sang:
Veni Creator -Chant
I was glad when they said unto me - Parry
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace -Wesley
Jubilate - Britten
Blessed be the God and Father - Wesley
Zadok the priest - Handel

Choir and congregation sang:
All people that on earth do dwell - Vaughan Williams
The Lord's my shepherd - Irvine ("Crimond")
Jerusalem - Parry
National Anthem

Organ recital:
Orb & Sceptre Coronation March - Walton.

(Program photo by John45)

A FIT OF THE GIGGLES (Courtesy of the Libera Dreams Forum)

On June 14th, this amusing 2013 video appeared on Libera's Facebook page. (Filming a promotional video isn’t always easy for Cassius O’ Connell-White and Jude Collins/Armagh/2013)


At this point (6/19), Libera had not as yet announced plans for a summer tour. Amid much online speculation, Patrick Fandelok of the Libera Dreams site came up with an interesting collection of summer-tour data

Well, it seems there's no real link between the distance of a tour and the time before its announcement.
They used to be late for the announcement of the Summer tour, whether the tour location is very close or very far.

If we look back on the Summer tours announcements of recent years:
2010 : USA tour, announced on June 21 for a concert on August 1st, 41 days ahead
2011 : USA tour, announced on June 19 for a concert on Jul 27, 38 days ahead
2012 : Channel Islands tour, announced on June 21 for a concert on August 1st, 41 days ahead
2013 : Armagh DVD recording, announced on July 26 for a concert on August 9, 14 days ahead
2014 : Washington DC DVD recording, announced on July 1st for a concert on August 7, 37 days ahead
2015 : Korean tour (eventually postponed to 2016), announced on May 30 for a concert on July 25, 56 days ahead
2015 : Exeter concert, announced on July 4th for a concert on July 27, 23 days ahead
2015 : Osaka concert at USJ, announced on July 23 for a concert on August 5, 13 days ahead

Summer 2014 in Washington DC: Rocco Tesei, Shay Balsekar, Eoghan McCarthy (top), Alex Gula, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti (front), Kavana Crossley, Michael Menezes, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Matthew Madine.
it's difficult to speculate...

If we base on the calendar only, everything looks to be possible.
A short announcement does not preclude at all the destination.
They may as well go to the USA, the UK or even to Japan.

That said, taking into account the lack of signals so far from the US libera site, from the Japanese Libera Records site, of from the already known tour organizers in the US or in Asia, then it seems more likely that may stay in Europe and probably in the UK.

for this Summer my bets are :
- 75% on a UK tour,
- 10% on an European tour,
- 10% on a Japan tour,
- 5 % on a US tour.

Based on the data above, the average announcement time for a Summer tour is 32 days ahead.
If this was to apply perfectly, then a concert on Monday July 25 could be announced not earlier than in 3 weeks, on June 24.

Of course, an official announcement might as well happen right in the minute that follows the publication of this post.

On June 21st  Patrick also tweeted an update to his ongoing tally of CD compilations/music anthologies on which Libera appears. The list, which has  reached a total of 217 entries, does not include any official CDs released under the Libera name, but is always good for a smile or two.

Patrick also discovered an early (1998) CD collaboration by Robert Prizeman and the just-becoming-Libera group (still singing as “Angel Voices”) with a US Christian-music singer named Twila Paris. In two of the songs, the boys' voices are blended with those of other singers, but in "Father, We Are Here," they serve as Ms. Paris's sole choral background. Patrick wrote:

I didn't know Twila Paris, apparently she is famous in the US. She specializes in Contemporary Christian music. She won numerous awards and her songs often reached top charts in their category.
(Her page on Wikipedia)

The three songs in which Libera collaborated:
- 02. Father We Are Here
- 03. Come, thou Fount of Every Blessing
- 10. My Lips Will Praise You (Father We Are Here/Twila Paris Possession CD with “Angel Voices” [Libera]/1998/3:10)


On June 26th, Libera fan Jimmy Riddle posted/tweeted the following information:

Always remember .... It's never official until Libera themselves make it official.

That said, I have sourced some recent info that appears to indicate Libera will be involved with World Youth Day events in Krakow (Poland)
July 25-31, 2016. and will then make their concert debut in Germany on 2nd August at Pilgerkirche (Pilgrim Church), Vallendar-Schönstatt. ... nstatt.htm (Article entitled "German Debut of the Internationally Known London Boys' Choir Libera in Schönstatt/6/24/16) ... d7.6290945

The Pilgerkirche in Schönstatt ... =3&theater

Apart from the mention in the article above, I can't find much info about their involvement in Krakow for WYD but there are a series of events they could be part of. It may also involve Mark McKenzie and his work on the animated film "Max & Me," [featuring Libera on the soundtrack]. A post [on the Libera Dreams site] from March 2015 mentioned that the film would debut as part of World Youth Day activities.—Jimmy Riddle
 On July 4th, some Libera boys posed for "Happy 4th of July, USA" photos. On the left is an as-yet-officially-identified but familiar mini-boy (he appeared in the "Santa Will Find You" video, and the countdown to the February Philippines tour, but has yet to be seen as an official part of the touring group. He has tentatively been identified as Sejus Toussaint-O'Neill). On the right are (from top): another unidentified miniboy (thought by some to be Liberan Rocco Tesei's younger brother Romeo), Tadgh Fitzgerald, and Taichi Shinokubo.

On July 12, The official Libera site announced the concert in Germany, with no mention of any other European appearances.


On July 16th, Libera fan tom413 posted the following on the Libera Dreams Forum:

This tour promises to be a real adventure!

From what I have read about World Youth Day there should be huge crowds in Krakow; which is reflected in the availability and pricing for hotels during the event and flights out of town when it is over.I feel fortunate to be booked at only a modest premium above standard prices.

Details are still sketchy about what exactly Libera will be doing in Poland. Will it be one (or more) complete concerts or a small appearance as part of a larger event or events?
Either way I am looking forward to Libera's first performances in Poland and Germany.

The German location is certainly off the beaten path. Vallendar has a population of just over 8000 citiziens, though Koblenz (100,000) is very near... While it will take a little more effort to get there, the tickets are dirt cheap. Hopefully that encourages people to come
out and support the show.—tom413 

On July 18th, the following appeared on Twitter:


Members of the Libera Dreams Forum responded:

Indeed it will be a great adventure.
However, none of the European concerts will generate any revenue for Libera. Even with drastic economizing on accommodation and transportation there will still be considerable expenses. On the plus side, with an estimated 600,000 in attendance at the main events there will be considerable exposure and potential to increase their fan base. However, this will not meet the immediate expenses and now would be a great time to consider making a donation. Anything you are able to afford would be greatly appreciated.—john45

The reason why the Schönstatt tickets are so cheap is that they ccount on attracting more audience this way. I do hope it works! Anyway, everyone of us who will go and see Libera there should make up for the low cost and give a fine donation via the collection basket after the concert.—filarheni 
I think that soliciting donations directly like this is a good idea. Most fans, even dedicated ones, are under the false impression that with all the CD/DVD sales and concerts that they are financially covering their costs or close to it through those revenue streams. That is of course not even close to true. Even if sold out, the revenue from a given concert rarely covers the costs of that concert; even when in the UK. I am sure that if RP simply accompanied them on a piano and the sound system consisted of a few microphones, as most other choirs tend to do, it would not be so burdensome financially. But they set up a full sound stage, lighting arrangements, and an orchestra. Those things are not cheap. Not to mention that the choristers receive a top class music education and get to travel all over the world at no cost to themselves; which is as it should be.

I have just donated some money to them and hope that others will do the same. Thank you John and filiarheni for reminding us how important it is to do our part as fans and support them in this way.—surpinto

On July 20th, Libera posted details and information for donating to/sponsoring Libera activities on a site called sponsor seeker, which stated: 
"The ultimate aim is to achieve a total cash sponsorship up £250k per annum to cover the recruitment, training and touring of up to 45 boys."

On July 21st and 22nd, on the Libera Dreams Forum, fan maartendas (who planned to attend the concerts in Poland and Germany) wrote:

I suspect the concert in Germany will be like any other Libera concert and video will not be allowed. Libera performances in Poland have not been officially announced, but I expect there will be one or two shorter concerts in Krakow (on their own) and one, along with many other performers, as part of the final big event concert with the Pope in attendance. This latter will be in a vast area of open fields some 15 km from the city. Fan de LoK, Tom 413 and I have been assigned to area B11 which is one of the better locations - only about half a mile from the stage! Any video we are able to take will probably be of one of the jumbotron screens! 

Interior of Schönstadt Pilgerkirche

The German church says there will be 30 boys, so if you print the 32 names from the last concert, in Romsey in April (see here), you have most likely the 30 that will go to Poland and Germany

The church also reveals some of the songs that will be sung : 

- Joyful Joyful
- Salva me
- The Prayer
- What a Wonderful World
- Libera
- Morning has broken
- Stay with me

Here is what I've learnt: There is a so-called "Schönstatt-Bewegung" = Schönstatt movement, and it is present in 130 countries worldwide, as Wikipedia says. Their headquarters, or whatever it is called in English, is Schönstatt in Vallendar. Mary is in the center of their adoration...—maartendas

(Thanks to fans Patrick Fandelok, John 45, tom413, maartendas, Lauren and others for help with coverage.)

On July 24th, the boys tweeted some final-rehearsal photos. The boys identifiable in these included: Cassius O' Connell-White, Camden Stewart, Sam Wiggin, Merlin Brouwer, Matthew Jansen, Matthew Madine, Alex Gula, Rocco Tesei (all L to R in top photo); Gabriel Collins, Alex Montoro, Ben Bywater, Mathias Montoro, Gregor Lumsden, Timothy Lee, Michael Menezes, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, James Menezes, and an unknown boy. In the photo to the left below, Gabriel Collins can be seen standing on a stool or chair in the far back (5th from R), indicating that they were probably rehearsing Robert Prizeman's "Salva."

On July 25th, reports came in from fans on the scene or on the ball:

This source... suggests a Libera performance...on
July 28th, Thursday: Open-air concert features Poland’s acts Wojsko Polskie, Maleo Reggae Rockers, and Orkiestra AGH plus UK’s Libera in Rynek Glowny central square, from noon to 11 pm (free admission, WYD)
...and just when the lucky faithful attendees were contemplating the thought of spending 11hrs not knowing when Libera would take to the stage...

This PDF suggests they will be the last act on the night!....covering a time slot between 21:00-23:00. ... stages.pdf —Jimmy Riddle 


This tweet, from the WYD staff, shows a short video of the stage where libera will perform in 3 days.— Patrick Fandelok


Libera has just tweeted about a special WYD mini-site they've added on their official site :

So far there are two concerts announced, on Wednesday the the 27th  and Thursday the 28th. The Wednesday concert will be held at the
Święty Kazimierz (Saint Casimir's) Churckh in Krakow.


The WYD mini-site also provides the name of the boys. There are 28 on the tour:

The boys missing from the list of those who sang at their most recent concert at Romsey Abbey were: Shay Balsekar, Arthur Palmer, Henry cullinan-Hollinhead, and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey

The special page also gives a list of songs they will sing. 

It includes 'Abends' which is the german title of the song 'Prayer' they sang until 2009 with mini-James Mordaunt and Freddie Ingles. It seemes they have learnt the German lyrics! Wow ! (Prayer/duet by Tom Cully and Ed Day/Angel Voices Concert/2009/4:08)
 It also includes 'San Damiano' !! How long has it been since this one was sung onstage?— Patrick Fandelok

 Here is a Youtube video of Libera (then St. Philip's Boys' Choir) backing up singer-songwriter Sal Solo for a 1984 appearance on the British TV program Top of the Pops. The video features some delightful photos from the group's early days. (San Damiano/Sal Solo backed by St. Philip’s Choir (now Libera) in 1984/3:34)

"Creator," also known as "Sempiterna," was last videoed in 2005. (Sempiterna/Creator of the Stars of Night/2005/325)

On July 27th, Patrick tweeted an informal rehearsal photo from St. Casimir's Church

Following the concert at St. Casimir’s, a very tired Patrick Fandelok tweeted a list of songs and soloists. One notable change was that, with Isaac London now singing with the lower voices, the responsibility for most of the solo work had fallen on Alex Montoro, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, and Gabriel Collins, with Gregor Lumsden debuting on "Wonderful World." Patrick’s summary:

Joyful, Joyful – All
Sanctus – A new flute intro
Abends – Sung by Gabriel Collins and Alex Gula in German, then by all in English
Salva Me - Gabriel Collins on the high “salvas”
Prayer – Solo by Alex Montoro
Creator – (first recorded as “Sempiterna”) - Gabriel Collins on high internal notes
Voca Me– Descant by Gabriel Collins
Exultate – Solo by Merlin Brouwer
Angel – Solo by Alex Montoro

Photo taken during the concert, which obviously included some speeches between songs. Here Alex Gula (with paper), who is of Polish descent, translates a speech by Tadgh Fitzgerald (center).
San Damiano – A new introduction, with repetition of “Santa Maria”
Wayfaring Stranger – Solos by Alex Montoro and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti
Morning Has Broken – All
How Great Thou Art – Solo by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti
Sacris Solemnis - Alex Montoro strong on high descants
Wonderful World – Solo by Gregor Lumsden
Libera – Solos by Alex Montoro and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti
The encore was a short reprise of “Exultate.”

Here are excellent reviews from tom413 and john45 (photos no doubt to come)

Often in a multi-show tour, the first concert is not the strongest, but tonight's was really well done. If the other shows are better than this, the tour will be phenomenal!

The set list was as posted with the addition of an acapella piece entitled “Veni Creator” which was placed right before Libera.This concert also featured a number of new songs, new singers and new spokesmen due to the inevitable changes in the group.

Debuting with new solos tonight were Alex Montoro, Gregor Lumden, Alex Gula, Gabriel Collins, Camden Stewart, and Merlin Brouwer. Peter Kielty was a new speaker and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Alex Gula picked up extra speaking duties. Alex Gula was the official Polish translator as he read every speech to the audience in Polish after the speaker delivered it in English. 

Alex Montoro is this tour's most prolific soloist contributor and he was on his game. It was Gregor' Lumsdens first solo (and I believe Alex Gula's as well) and Gabriel Collins’ work on all notes super high also stood out to me in this show.

Despite all of the changes, they made it look easy tonight. I was very impressed that they did as well they did with all of the new materials and new roles. The concert itself was quite different from most past events that many of you may have attended. The church was very small and did not have a lot of seating capacity—but it was well filled. The restrictions on photography, recording etc. seem to have been lifted for this show. I had to advise my concert neighbor that I was not going to put up with him taking pictures during the songs; the shutter noise was too distracting. One woman even went up in front of the audience - twice - to record video on her cellphone, before a chaperone chased her away.

The response from the crowd was very enthusiastic, so much so that Libera could have easily done a second encore...unfortunately they were not prepared for this response and didn't have anything ready, instead leaving the audience wanting more....which should spark a lot of enthusiasm for tomorrow night's repeat performance in the City Square.—tom413

Brief notes on the first Krakow concert. Not in any particular order because I cannot remember the song sequence and there was no program.

First, the venue. This was a very small, but charming, Polish church (obviously for very small people as I could not fit in any of the pews other than the front two rows which had a deeper pitch).

The altar was just wide enough to fit the 28 choristers. There were four mikes in front of the group but personal mikes were not used. Musical accompaniment was keyboard, flute and percussion situated at the side of the altar.

It was inevitable that the day would eventually come, but it was sad not to hear any solo from Isaac London. He has provided so many magical moments over the years. Isaac’s rendition of “Wonderful World” would be a difficult act for anyone to emulate, but Gregor Lumsden did an excellent job and received one of the longest ovations of the evening. He has proved himself a worthy successor and I hope to hear more solos from him.

There was a new introduction to “Sanctus” (labelled as “Sanctus 2016” on the score).

There was also a new introduction to “San Damiano.” This was the first time I heard this song live and I was very impressed.

“Joyful, Joyful” was the same as usual, as was “Stay with Me” though the crossed-hands choreography was omitted.

Gabriel Collins had an outstanding evening performing the high solos in “Voca Me,” “Salva Me,” “Creator,” and the “Abends” duet with Alex Gula. Alex G had a busy night translating all the speeches into Polish. A new speaker was Peter Kielty, who delivered his speeches clearly and confidently. Well done, Peter.

A well-known, but concert first, a cappella chant, "Veni Creator,” preceded “Libera” which was sung in the usual manner, led by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Alex Montoro. Alessandro and Alex M. also led “Wayfaring Stranger” each at the head of the two diagonal columns (which did not meet for a final V formation as usual).

Camden Stewart sang the solo verse of “Amazing Grace” beautifully (Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey is not on tour).

Alex Montoro also had a very busy night, with excellent solo performances of “The Prayer” and “Angel,” and descant in many other songs.

The attendance was very good and the audience very appreciative. They were very reluctant to let the boys leave the stage and were demanding another encore (the first was an abbreviated version of “Exultate”) but it appeared none had been prepared. After a not-so-short vote of thanks by the parish priest they were eventually allowed to leave the stage.

Tomorrow’s concert will be in Market Square where the atmosphere with the thousands of exuberant pilgrims is quite amazing. If the rain holds off (forecast is not promising) it will be a truly memorable event. Whatever happens, at least the boys will stay dry.—John45


...included a live webcam covering the Market Square performance venue, posted by liberanna.

Dear Everybody!
If you think you can look on live television. Here is the link: ... owny_.html
(YouTube Livecam for Main Square in Krakow)
(I'm really sorry, but I can not find the stream with sound.)—liberanna (Reviews and very interesting links re the Krakow WYD concerts can be found on the last pages of this topic)
Rehearsal on the Market Square stage
Patrick Fandelok recovered enough to write this long and very detailed review of the St. Casimir's concert.The translation is very amusing in its scrambling of pronouns, but very readable and insightful. ... illet-2016 (Review of 7/27/2016 concert in St. Casimir’s Church, Krakow, Poland, by Patrick Fandelok)

The very active liberanna posted this marvelous playlist of all the songs that will be performed at the concert. (Liberanna’s video playlist of all songs performed at the Krakow Market Square concert)

Magellan provided another live webcam view of the Market Square ... nnice.html  

Mid-Concert, Patrick tweeted that the audience reception was wonderful, and the Market Square was packed, even on a rainy night.

Performing here are Marc Alvares. Sam Wiggin, Isaac London, Matthew Jansen (top), Finn Wood, Merlin Brouwer, James Menezes, Rocco Tesei, Gregor Lumsden, Alex Gula, and Adam Izghouti.

Camden Stewart, Michael Menezes, Isaac London, Matthew Madine, Alex Montoro, and Sam Wiggin, with Josh Madine visible playing keyboards in the background
Robert Prizeman directs from beneath an umbrella.

For those who watched the silent webcam it will be old news that Isaac London was back for the "Prayer" and "Angel" - but as part of a trio or quartet who assisted with the highest notes. Gregor Lumsden once again performed "Wonderful World" and confirmed his vocal skills. "Voca Me" was omitted - not sure why, and there was no encore despite the pleas of the substantial audience. Probably because of the very wet weather. Otherwise a similar program to last night - but with full orchestra and dramatic lighting and smoke effects. The boys remained dry, but Robert Prizeman conducted from in front of the stage underneath an umbrella which did not really give much protection. There were a number of technical issues and the acoustics were far from perfect but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the boys nor of the large and vocal crowd who braved the elements.—john45



A note from maartendas: Libera apparently will participate in the Prayer Vigil in presence of Pope Francis. The Youtube channel of the Vatican has planned a livestream for this event:
Update: according to the WYD Pilgrim Guide, the schedule of Saturday's events is as follows:
from 19:30 to 21:00 there will be a Prayer Vigil with the Pope
from 21:00 to 23:00 there will be an Adoration Concert

According to the service booklet from the Vatican, the Vigil will include a time of adoration of the blessed sacrament and silent prayer.

I assume Libera will take part in the Adoration Concert between 21:00 and 23:00.

Another possible feed of the Adoration Concert (courtesy of Yumiko) is
Add caption

On July 30, a huge crowd, including Pope Francis, assembled at Kraków's Campus Misericordia for a young people's prayer vigil.

The boys rehearse for their appearance.
A tweet from Lauren:
#Libera to sing to 1.6 million people at Concert of Praise in Krakow, Poland. Hopefully you can watch on Polish TV -

On July 31st, Libera forums were a-twitter with indignation and discussion about the concert in general, the choice of music, the botched sound, and the concert in general. An anonymous fan shared a slightly improved version of Libera's appearance. (Good attempt at reconstruction by “Anonymous” of botched-sound version of “Total Praise,” sung by Libera in the Concert of Adoration/WYD/Kraków, Poland/July 30th, 2016/3:06)

End of Part 9; 
For Part 9A (August 1st - Present, 2016) Please go to: