Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Libera on a New Christmas Album

EMI has released a new 2-disc Christmas album called "Songs of Praise and Radio Times Christmas Carols Album." Libera has 2 previously-released songs on it.

1. "Silent Night" - solo Tom Cully, Disc 1, Track 8
2. "The Lamb" - solo Benedict Philipps, Disc 2, Track 21

It is selling on Amazon.co.uk for 8.99BPS. Click here to see it. 

Christmas Services at St. Philip's Church, Norbury

Mr. Prizeman and many of the members of Libera attend St. Philip's Church in Norbury. The church website has posted the schedule of their Christmas services here. Give the schedule time to come up. When I did it, it was a little delayed. Thank you to Viabuona for watching out for this information.  :)

Sunday, December 12th, 9:45 a.m. - Toy Service where you bring toys to donate to the needy. How nice!

Sunday, December 19th, 6:30 p.m. - Festival of 9 Lessons and carols by candlelight, with full choir.

Friday, December 24th, 11:30 p.m. - Midnight Eucharist. Choral Eucharist to welcome the infant Jesus, with full choir. A joyful service to start the celebration of Christmas.

Saturday, December 25th, 10:00 a.m. - Christmas Day Family Holy Communion.

Sunday, December 26th, 10:00 a.m. - Feast of St. Stephen. No services or Choral Evensong at St. Philip's today. Joint service at St. Stephen's Parish Church.

So now you know how Libera members celebrate Christmas! It's very different than here in the U.S. We go to church on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights plus Wednesday night (youth group). All our choir numbers and special music/offeratories this month will be Christmas music. And we have a Christmas cantata on Sunday the 19th, which is Handel's Messiah every 2-3 years. But we don't have church on Christmas Eve! That sounds really nice!  :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

London & Beverley Screenshots

I made some screenshots from LibeLA's amazing video at the London and Beverley concerts. These are sooo good! And all the boys were so kind after the concert!

Tom Cully & Sam Coates working at the London concert.

Tom Cully after the London concert.

I think he's smiling at LibeLA cause she brought him chocolate!  :)

So cute!

Matthew, Alex, Josh

Sam, Matthew, Alex

Great picture!

My favorite cause Josh is looking at the camera!


Ben - I liked the pic better with LibeLA in it.  :)

Really cute pic of Ralph!

Sam & Tom after the London concert.

After the Beverley concert - Jonathan, Sere, Liam,
 Luke, Sammy & Jakob with Steven in the back.

Liam, Luke, Sammy, Jakob, Matthew R-A,
Carlos, Freddie, Barney? & Dylan.

Hope Jonathan is not waving good-bye for the last time.

Steven & Tom at Beverley.


Sam & Tom

Ben Crawley. Aww, is that a present from LibeLA?  :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kavana, Freddie & Robert Prizeman Interview

Classic FM radio aired an interview with Kavana, Freddie and Mr. Prizeman. Click here to listen.

Kavana and Freddie do a really good job speaking in the interview. And if they think their singing is easy and fun, it just shows what a great choir director Mr. Prizeman is!

In case the interview is removed or to help those who don't understand English, I typed out the introductory article and what they said in the interview.

UPDATE: The interview has now been posted on YouTube, which is helpful in case Classic FM ever deletes it. Click here for the YouTube "video."

Libera Conquer the USA
Friday, 26 November 2010 14:28

As it gets colder outside, could the heat be rising on the quest to crown the UK’s best young singers? With Isabel The Choirgirl on the hunt for a Christmas number one, Libera could be facing stiff competition in an outstanding field of artists.

It’s heartening news for young British singing talent, with quality and depth in the rudest health for years. Libera, the young singers from south London, have been leading the pack for some time now and continue to scale incredible heights.

When Classic FM spoke to them, they told us about their amazing feat of conquering America and how they’re coping with the enviable pressures of performing to the Pope.

Kavana: Hi. I’m Kavana. I’m 11. I’ve been in the choir 4 years now, and I origin from Thailand.

Freddie: Hello. I’m Freddie. I’m 10. I’ve been in the choir for 3 years. We all live in South London.

Kavana: At a younger age I very much enjoyed singing. And either most of the boys join through relations or even school. In fact I was at my primary school, and my music teacher called in, and I went for an audition, and they pick you. Well, not really, but it’s more like you get chosen. But it’s very good, because they let you use the most of your ability, and they make you turn into such a really good singer.

Interviewer: Now Libera have got quite high profile, so I guess this is a taste of being a rock star almost.

Kavana: (laughs) Yeah, it is. I mean we have fans, but it’s more the enjoyment of singing than the enjoyment of fame. I’m pretty sure both of us love going to Libera. I mean we get to see all our friends, we get to travel with our friends, and we get to have like something to do after school.

Interviewer: Now is it very hard work?

Kavana: Not really. I mean it does require a lot of effort, but I mean it’s like a lot of fun, if you understand. So it’s not boring at all. I mean it’s fun, even if it is long, it’s fun, it’s enjoying. It’s a hobby, do it with all your friends, and yeah, so it’s not an effort much at all.

Interviewer: And your plans for the future. Is this something, do you want to make a singing career of your life?

Kavana: When you are in Libera, you do think forward. You do think of, “Should I become a singer,” but most boys in the choir do want to become singers, because they’ve already had all this experience. And it just changes your thought in music.

Interviewer: And Freddie, was it the same with you? At what point did you start singing?

Freddie: I started singing 3 years ago in 2007.

Interviewer: And was it something that you’d always wanted to do?

Freddie: I did want to get better, but I never thought I was very good at singing. We do meet up a few times a week, but it’s not too hard to learn to sing with a group. If you’re taking on from someone else, it’s not too hard.

Interviewer: What do the other people in your class think about you being part of Libera? Do you tell them for a start? I guess there’s no hiding from it, is there?

Freddie: Not really.

Interviewer: Because they probably spot you on the television.

Freddie: Yes, they spot me on the television. Whenever there’s anything to do with Libera, they’re always watching. They always come to concerts when they can, and they think that I’m doing really well.

Interviewer: What do you like most about being part of Libera?

Freddie: I like doing the concerts, because you have the enjoyment of hearing all the music and the parts in harmony.

Interviewer: And Kavana, can I ask you again, because you’ve got a tour coming up, haven’t you, of cathedrals. Is that quite daunting if you have to perform in a place like that?

Kavana: It’s never daunting. I mean if anything it would be very much fun. I mean we get to travel at so many different places, get to see so many historic churches. I mean some people would think, “Oh, that’s boring.” But trust me, if you go into a really big church, you’ll stand by the architecture, and the accoustics sometimes, when you sing in it, it just sounds heavenly.

Interviewer: And of course you’ve got a CD as well. It must be great to be looking along the CD’s in you’re home and thinking, “Well, actually that one there, that’s mine.”

Kavana: (laughs) Yeah, it’s great to have a feeling that you know that you’ve got something to show of all this achievement. And it’s great to hear yourself on a CD singing. Yup, that’s me.

Interviewer: Robert, can I ask you, are they talking it down? Because it is a lot of hard work, isn’t it? I mean they all sound very confident.

Robert: Yes, I mean the thing about it is that they are all doing it of their own free will. It’s their hobby. They don’t have to be there. And so we have to honor that. It’s the only way I’d want to run it anyhow is that everyone actually enjoys the process of doing it. It is a lot of hard work. I mean they learn to read music properly. They sing quite a range of full choral music as well as all the Libera music. So they’re doing an aweful lot of different types of musical activity. And obviously when they go on stage, they know everything by heart. And they learn all of the harmonies. And they even move around on stage. I mean they don’t dance, but there is choreography involved. They might sing the Mozart’s “Requiem” or the Handel’s “Messiah” or something like that as well in a different context. So they have a fantastic range of musical activity, so we try to make it fun and also very varied really.

Interviewer: You travel the world. You appear in some of the biggest venues that can possibly be. So I guess you must have to pinch yourself because you’ve created something amazing.

Robert: Yeah, it’s funny that, isn’t it? I suppose that most things happen gradually. It sort of moves one at a time really, and then you suddenly think that it didn’t do it in one step, if you know what I mean. As you say, it is surprising sometimes. And like a couple of years ago we were out in the Yankee Stadium singing when the Pope visited New York. And there was about 70,000 people in the stadium, and we were actually the only British act that was performing at that. And you do think it’s a great honor, but you never perceive that that sort of thing could happen when we first started. And similarly with the sort of going around all the different churches and concert halls around the world where we do get an amazingly reassuring, a very warm welcome. It’s fantastic.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

London & Beverley Video!

Oh my word, this is the best video ever! This was posted by LibeLa who is from San Francisco. And she got to meet and take pictures with the boys including Matthew Madine!!! He's very smiley and looks so much like Josh! We get our first glimpse of him at 1:06. She got a great picture with the 5 cousins, Stefan, Ben, Ralph, Tom Cully, Sam Coates and Ben Crawley! Even Mr. Prizeman is talking in the background! Just watch!

Here's her report.

Hello my fellow Libera fans!

I'm back in circulation again after a long & tiring journey (10 hrs flight from London to SF). We arrived in SF Monday late night and I had to return to work the following morning. Good thing I was able to sleep on the plane and did not experience jet lag at all.

I will not give any more reviews re the concerts since they were already well-covered by the "experts."

I just wanted to share with you this video I came up with for the London & Beverley concerts. As we all know, the usual meet & greets and photo sessions did not happen in both UK concerts so sorry if there's nothing much to it especially in Beverley. Fortunately for us, we sat next to Josh's uncle & aunt (who were both so warm & friendly) and Jakob's dad (also nice!) in the London concert and we chitchatted with them for a while. They were extremely appreciative that we traveled a long way to see Libera's concert and they were unanimous in saying that fans like us should be given the chance to at least say "Hi" to the lads after the concert. We were extremely lucky that night since we were able to have our photos taken with some of the boys who were just hanging around the church waiting for their parents. Got good shots of the up and coming star Matthew Madine too. What a sweet & shy boy with the same cute smile as his older brother Josh.

Pardon us if we kept on repeating the same lines, "We're from SF, Great job! We'll see you again tomorrow!" Hahaha! Everything was happening too fast and we couldn't catch up. It was just super dooper exciting!

We brought some chocolates from San Francisco called Ghirardelli and shared them with the boys. Josh's Mom who by the way is really beautiful and accommodating suggested that we should also try English chocolates (specifically Cadbury).

I also had some memorable encounters with my all-time favorite soloist Tom Cully who was great in his new found role in Libera as the Sound Assistant. Even if Tom was busy running around, helping out and setting up equipment, he was still kind and polite enough to accommodate his adoring fans. I gave him a SF Giants baseball cap & a black World Series Championship shirt (FYI, SF Giants won the World Series this year against Texas Rangers) and it touched my heart to see him wearing the shirt in Beverley during the day.

I got Stefan (my new fave soloist) a very cute panda hat (from SF) but it was not given to him yet that night. I gave it to one of the chaperones but I wonder if he's ever gonna receive it. *sigh*

And lastly, I was also ecstatic to meet everyone: FDL (again), Yorkie, dani, Murkskis, et al. I was looking for Nicki but didn't see her. Sorry if I missed anybody but it was really nice to finally put faces to names.

You gotta love my white hoodie! Made it myself the last minute...

Enjoy the video. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

<3 LibeLA 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Video Player

Hey! We put up a new Christmas video player in the sidebar! Usually in the US, we don't start celebrating Christmas until after Thanksgiving (which is this Thursday the 25th), but I got excited about doing this, so please forgive me. :) The basic point of it is so that you can play the Libera Christmas songs while doing other things...that's what we're going to be doing! And nobody sings Christmas carols quite like Libera! 

There are 25 different songs, but some are repeated because I like all the different versions. It sure would be great if Libera would put out a new Christmas album. Maybe next year?  :)

I am very excited for Christmas to come! It's a really great time of year when we celebrate Christ's birth on this earth to grow up, die, and rise again so that we could be saved from our sins. That's the best gift of all. Hope this Christmas season is a great one for you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

London Arrival Video

This is a video taken before the London concert of Mr. Prizeman and the boys walking to the church.

Beverley Concert Review by Fan de LoK

Program cover for Beverley concert

Per Fan de LoK the concert was a great success, truly superb! The Minster is a huge, magnificent building but is all one level (no raised platform), so the technical staff did a big job of raising where the boys would stand so they could be seen and also putting up barriers to keep the boys from falling off the platform in the dark. While waiting, the early arrivers got to hear Steven Geraghty play 2-3 songs on the piano. Sam Coates continues as the sound technician with Tom Cully as assistant.

At 3:45 p.m. Fan de LoK and the other fans had to leave the church, and the doors were closed. It was cold and raining outside, so this was his first Libera concert waiting outside in the rain. The only thing that warmed the fans up was to buy big cups of coffee and hot chocolate from a shop down the street.

Libera entered through a side entrance. A small side building was their dressing room. Their rehearsal songs could be faintly heard. At 6:30 p.m. there were only 20 people in line. Most attendees arrived 10 minutes before the concert.

The Minster was full with 250-300 people. About 90 people had premium seats in the front 8 rows. It was very cold inside the church.

The order of songs and soloists were the same as the other UK concerts. After the 5th song, Sanctissima, Matthew J. left the stage to go to Mrs. Geraghty. He seemed to be having trouble with his eye.  Mr. Prizeman played the grand piano with Eternal Light, Ave Verum, Far Away, The Fountain, How Can I Keep From Singing, and When a Knight Won His Spurs. (Note: I really liked it when he played the piano with the songs also!) Kavana's high notes on Far Away were impressively powerful and accurate.

At the intermission, the minister asked that the time be kept short to 15 minutes. There were refreshments, a CD/Poster stand and the church bookstore was open.

For Mysterium, Stefan and Ralph were perched on the balcony of the organ! Ralph's solo in The Fountain was great as always. How Can I Keep From Singing was beautifully interpreted by Sammy, Stefan, Ralph, Daniel and Jakob. Ralph was again very good on When a Knight Won His Spurs. Mini James and Freddie as soloists on Love and Mercy make a really cute pair.

He wonders whether Josh's speech on his voice changing will be his last speech ever. We may not know until Epsom in March. Stefan did a beautiful job on Deep Peace (guess he's doing it all since James T. is not there).  He gave Daniel a "Bravo!" for his interpretation of Stay With Me! Mini James was awesome on Going Home! He's gotten better just since the Bristol concert. Surely one of Libera's major soloists for years to come! How Shall I Sing That Majesty with Stefan and Jakob was beautiful.

There was a standing ovation! Mr. Prizeman made a hand gesture which the string quartet mistook to mean, "Time to play the encore," and they started to play. Oops! Mr. Prizeman stopped them, because people were still applauding loudly. The encore was a shortened 20-30 seconds of Exultate.

Mr. Philipp told some of the fans that Libera's choice of UK cathedrals was partly based on the desire to reach the public in the far corners of England to allow more people to discover their music. Fan de LoK feels it is a very good approach, even for non-English fans like himself. He got to visit areas of England he would have never seen otherwise.  But still no firm word on Libera's plans for the Spring Tour in April.

I don't know about you, but I love to save the playbills and concert programs. These are the other pages of Fan de LoK's Beverley program. It looks a lot like the Atlanta program minus the individual boys' pictures but has the words to the songs and a few new pictures! They sold these for 1BPS! All 31 boys are listed in the program, but not all of them were there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eternal Light SOP Video!

Eternal Light has a video! YAY! Wow...Stefan's voice is AMAZING! So beautiful and clear! The song was performed for the "Songs of Praise" TV show, and the program that day was about British movie producer J. Arthur Rank, which explains the movie theme. The beginning is really cool fading from the movie reel with Stefan in it to the clear picture of him. He and Ralph sound really good together! Another amazing duo for Libera!

The video then fades to a movie setup where all the boys are working. Who's the poor kid sweeping the floor on the right?  :)

Cassius is getting his makeup put on, Daniel and Kavana are goofing off with the camera, (their faces coming around the side gave me a good laugh) and someone is explaining what to do to Ralph, Carlos, and Freddie. You can see Josh in the background!

Then we have the red ballerina slippers, which I didn't understand at first, but the post under the video says it is a reference to one of the movies that J. Arthur Rank produced called "The Red Shoes." Next we see Jakob laughing (I love that part, too).

Then some of the boys are standing around and talking and - thank you Libera for giving all of your fans what they wanted to see - Tom Cully!  :)

Then more references to "The Red Shoes" and I'm guessing another movie having to do with the old magazine Stefan is reading. And then we go to the beautiful panning view of all of the Libera boys singing with Stefan and Ralph on either side. Cassius and Kavana seem to be singing the high parts at 2:13. This video also did a very good job of showing us the boys I didn't get to meet in the US. 
                                            Sere is the littler brother.

                                            Mine is the older brother.

                                 Dylan is the little newbie in the middle!

                            Barney is the newbie in front of smiley Daniel!

                                All in all, a beautiful video! Thanks boys!

Left to right: Sam, Tiarnan, Liam, Josh, Sere, Luke, Barney, Daniel, Stefan, Freddie, Dylan, Matthew J., Kavana, Mini James, Cassius, Ralph, Mine, Sammy, Carlos, Henry, Matthew R-A, Jonathan, Alex, Jakob and Ben.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Beverley Concert

One of the new pictures printed in the Beverley program!
Thanks to Jimmy Riddle for posting it!
Cassius (didn't know he wears glasses! Nice!), Mini James, Matthew J. (cool sunglasses),
Kavana, Henry, Matthew R-A, Luke, Carlos & Sammy (more cool sunglasses).  :D

10:00 p.m. Per Jimmy Riddle, the turnout for the concert was fantastic, and the church was nearly full. The singing was exceptional, and it was one of the best concerts he's ever attended! The sound technicians did a great job; he could hear everyone's diction so clearly. 

Deep Peace was his favorite "in terms of the whole choir nailing it. Stefan's solo was exceptional and the harmonies were interwoven as one. It was pretty much a flawless execution." He said Carlos sang his Ave Verum solo with great confidence and clarity. Stefan and Jakob were good together on How Shall I Sing That Majesty. 

He noticed, as we had in Atlanta, that even though Josh sings his part in Time with Ralph and Alex, you can "still hear him clearly in his trademark voice. It's lower no doubt, but it's still uniquely him. Congrats to him for still being able to sing solo in a treble dominated setup." That makes me very happy to hear!  :)

9:30 p.m. Per Yorkie, it was a good concert with a good crowd of around 300+. No little newbies were at this concert, and Matthew Jansen had to leave the stage after the first song with some sort of eye problem that Mrs. Geraghty helped him with. Ralph was still struggling with a cough, but got through all his solos OK.

Stefan and Ralph did Mysterium from the front instead of Stefan walking down the center aisle. For Eternal Light, Stefan and Ralph sang the first 2 verses together but so closely that it sounded like one voice. Then Stefan sang the last verse by himself.

And again NO PHOTOS after the concert. The boys are staying in Beverley tonight.

7:00 a.m. Now it's on to the last UK Autumn concert! Beverley is a 3-hour train ride away from London, but Libera will probably take a bus or coach there. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Beverley Minster.

Beverley Minster

Friday, November 19, 2010

London Concert

Mr. Prizeman bringing some of the boys to the concert.
Photo by Fan de LoK.

10:00 p.m. Per Fan de LoK, before the concert there was a traffic jam near the cathedral, so Tom Cully, Steven Geraghty, Callum Payne and Andy Winter walked the rest of the way to the church. They later left and returned a few minutes later supervising a group of  young Libera boys in their blue uniforms and carrying their white robes. Some fans took pictures and videos of their arrival. Later some of the older boys arrived, apparently coming from school, because they still had their school uniforms on.

Their dressing room was near the cathedral entrance, and the fans could see some of the younger ones inside playing and spinning around in their white robes.

The concert programs cost 1BPS and were similar to those at Bristol and Chester but with a few extra, newer pictures!  :)  The first 9 rows were for premium seating, and those tickets were handled by Mr. Fontannaz, Daniel's father! The church filled quickly 35 rows back, so some had to sit over on the sides behind the pillars.

Robert Prizeman arrived and received lengthy applause from the audience. Stefan started the concert by coming from the side of the stage rather than walking up the center aisle. The stage was backlit by intense, blue lights which gave a beautiful and mysterious halo effect. Stefan sang the first 4 lines of Libera then hit the high note as he had in the Japan concert which we saw in the Japan Tour video. Then the others came in from the side to the stage.

5:15 p.m. Per Fan de LoK, the concert was very successful. Ralph, Stefan and Daniel had beautiful solos! The lighting on the white stone walls of the cathedral was gorgeous. There were many Libera family members present with a total attendance of 600-700. The song order was similar to the Bristol and Chester concerts, except the encore this time was Exultate. He says there were 31 boys singing. There were NO PICTURES at the end! Very sad.  :(  He said perhaps it was due to the late hour. They started 15-20 minutes late (probably to give time for those stuck in traffic) and had an extra-long intermission.

He also said that Matthew Madine and Jude Collins are very easy to recognize, because they look so much like their older brothers.  :)

4:30 p.m. Per Dani, the concert was wonderful. "Eternal Light was just amazing tonight. Ralph and Stefan were fantastic again, and Ralph is really nailing the high notes."

The church was very full with about 700 people there. There were 31 boys in total - 23 old and 8 new.  No James T. again, however.

They had a new encore - Exultate!

New boys are: Ciaran Bradberry-Hickey (haven't heard of him before), Jude Collins, Thomas Delgado-Little, Dylan Duffy, Ben Fairman, Luis Fernandes, Barney Lindsell and Matthew Madine! Woo-hoo!  :)

8:00 a.m. Yorkie and Dani are lined up for the best seats already! It is 2:00 p.m. there in London.

7:00 a.m. The concert is tonight at St. George's Cathedral! It starts at 7:30 p.m. London time!

St. George's Cathedral, London

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eternal Light on TV!

Libera posted on their blog this morning:

We will be performing our new song Eternal Light on BBC-1 this coming Sunday (21st November) on Songs of Praise at around 5pm.

So that SOP sneak peek WAS of Eternal Light! It's such a beautiful song! It looks like they filmed it in a studio rather than in an actual church. So will part of the video also include the outside filming they did at Primrose Hill and Chiswick House Gardens seen here.  Can't wait to see it! You know SOMEONE in the UK will post it on YouTube for the rest of us to enjoy!  :)

Filming inside a studio? for Eternal Light video.

Stefan singing the solo for one of the prettiest songs ever!
Sere, Luke, newbie Barney or Dylan, Daniel, Stefan, Matthew J.,
newbie Barney or Dylan and Freddie.

Did you notice those crooked candles in the back left?  :)
Looks like Tiarnan's curly hair, Ralph, Jonathan, Jakob? and Alex?