A girl named lucyjubilate from the Dreams forum got to go to St. Philip's Church for Evensong on December 5. She said,
"There were only around 15 people. On the 5th it was not the full choir, the men's choir was missing and only less than 20 boys presented (if I remembered right, the boys who presented were: Stefan, Daniel, Ralph, Henry, Luke, Freddie, Kavana, Jakob, Sam Leggett, Alex, Sammy, Matthew RA, Cassius, Carlos, Dylan Duffy, Mine or Sere Akbopome and the boy sitting between Tom and Ralph on Peace leaflets). But the boys did a great job all the same! Stefan and Daniel's high notes were quite amazing. And in one song which emphasized the lower parts I could hear Sam's voice clearly! He sounded really great so it's a pity we did not have the chance to listen to his solos on CDs. The only thing worried me was Ralph seemed to got his left leg hurt and was carrying walking sticks... and Jakob holding the music book together with him while singing. Hope he's much better when I see him tomorrow. I also saw Eleanor that day, she said one prayer and helped to collect donations. Mr Prizeman directed the boys and played the piano, he also played the organ at the end of the service and it was really beautiful!"
They have had a lot of snow in London which has made it difficult to travel. Yesterday morning's service was attended by paul30003, and he wrote,
"Well after a much delayed journey, I arrived at St Phillips at about 9.40 am, just 5 minutes before morning mass was about to start. I received a warm welcome, (I think my presence was especially welcomed as there was very few people at the service.) The church had a special guest, The Bishop of Croydon.
The service began and the choir stepped out from the vestibule, present where only 3 older members that I could recognise, they were, Josh Madine, EDIT: (I think it was Josh with very long hair.) Sam Coates, and Callum Payne. Bit disappointed that no other current members where there, but was hopeful for the evening service. The adult choir sounded wonderful, and was conducted by Mr Prizeman."
Lucy also went to the morning service yesterday, and she wrote,
"As for the morning service, this time only part the men's choir presented. Both Big Ben and Simon Lewis sounded brilliant with their solos. They sang Agnus Dei and Creator of the Starry Height, which had exactly the same tunes as Libera'a Agnus Dei and Sempiterna, but the lyrics were different. So those two Libera songs sourced from two traditional hymns? Or are the two traditional hymns also writtern by Mr Prizeman?
Then Lucy got to go to their Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols last night! She said,
"Hello guys! I'm back to my place from Norbury and I did have a great time! The service was awesome! Forgive me if you feel I am taking it as a Christmas carols concert... lol
I arrived at the church around 6:00pm and sat in the third line on the left half. By the time the service began the church was almost full and most of those attended were the boys' families. Mr Prizeman began to play the organ by 6:15 and the service started a little bit later than 6:30. As I have imagined the choir was almost "full" today. Everyone was there except Mini Ben... maybe he's too busy with school or failed to come for the bad weather. Jonathan, Liam and Tiarnan were wearing men's choir's robes and they looked quite handsome in them. It seemed Michael H was there but he got his hair cut I could hardly recognize him... Oh, and Ralph's leg is OK now for he could walk normally. Henry seemed to have caught a cold so he did not join the choir and sat among the audiences.
The nine lessons was about the Genesis and the born (birth) of Jesus Christ. Nine different people read different parts from the Holy Bible. And two of the readings were done by Sammy and the new boy Barney! And he sounded quite good. The others who did the readings seemed to be the families or local people. I counted the porgramme and they sang 17 carols in total! And we joined the choir to sing 5 (Once in Royal David's city, O little town of Bethlehem, Silent night, While shepherds watched and O come all ye faithful) of them. It feels quite good to sing together with the boys! Stefan, Ralph, Jakob and Daniel did most of the high notes. And the men's choir sounded brilliant, too. In one song (The angel Gabriel) Josh sang the solo with his low voice and it was really beautiful! The service lasted for about one hour and a half.
After the service a nice lady sat behind me asked me whether I enjoyed it (so she recognized I'm a Libera fan, lol). And this lady was Tiarnan's grandmother! She was really really nice and encouraged me to say hello to her grandson. But I know this was not a Libera concert so I asked her to introduce me... and she did! So this was the first time I ever spoke in person to one of the boys (hope I can go to a M&G someday...). And the boys' families are soooo nice and understanding.
So this is all that I can remember. And this will be one of the best memory I have ever had."
The songs that they sang for Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols -
Conditor Alme Siderum (this hymn had the same tune as Libera's Sempiterna but with different lyrics)
Once In Royal David's City
As Joseph Was A-Walking by Terry
Hodie by Sweelinck
There Is No Rose by Britten
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Lully Lullah (same lyrics with the famous Coventry Carol but a different tune, and Ralph's solo and high notes here were amazing)
O Magnum Mysterium by Lauridsen
The Angel Gabriel
And the Glory of the Lord by Handel from Messiah
Poor Little Jesus
While Shepherds Watched
Shepherd's Pipe Carol by Rutter
Mary's Lullaby by Rutter
O Come All Ye Faithful
I can't imagine getting to go to that Christmas carols service! To sing along with them would be heavenly! What a great start to the Christmas season. Makes you remember that Christmas isn't about shopping and gifts, baking cookies or a big Christmas dinner. It's a special time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! :)
Our nativity scene