Monday, January 31, 2011

Oliver Putland

OK, I know we all LOVE the current Libera members, but I am trying to learn my Libera history while things are quieter with Libera right now. So here is my next former member profile. If I got anything wrong, please let me know.  :)

Oliver Putland was a chorister and soloist in Angel Voices (Libera's old name) from 1987-1993. He was born in 1979, so that would mean he started singing at age 7 or 8 until he was 14! And what a voice he had!

The earliest video I can find of him is a Christmas 1991 appearance on a TV show called "Going Live." The St. Philip's Choir does the happiest version of "Winter Wonderland!" Oliver is the tallest one on the front row. He is wearing blue with gold tinsel hanging crookedly around his neck. To the left of him is Anthony Maher. Oliver jumps up and down around 1:03 and 1:08. lol  He makes it all look so fun!  :D

During the summer of 1992, Angel Voices/St. Philip's Boys Choir appeared on Alan Titchmarsh's BBC TV show "Titchmarsh on Song." It was a 6-part series exploring religious music-making in Britain. Oliver sang the solo for the show's opening song, "Praise to the Lord." If you click here you can watch all 12 of Angel Voices songs from the show. I noticed that Oliver is the soloist for nearly every one. His "O For the Wings of a Dove" is amazing!

Another video from these shows is "Pie Jesus." It has a short interview with Oliver at the beginning. You'll see Aled Jones there also! Oliver then sings from a church balcony. Daren Geraghty (Steven's older brother) and Anthony Maher join in.

Angel Voices also released an album in 1992 titled "Angel Voices." 

Of the 20 songs on this album, Oliver is the lead soloist for at least 14 of them. Some call this his solo album.  :) The same album was re-released in 1993 under a different record label.

Then in the summer of 1993, Angel Voices appeared on the TV show "Thora on the Straight and Narrow." This was a 4-part series where Thora and the boys explore the narrow path to Heaven and the wide road to Hell. This is a beautiful video of "Amazing Grace" with Oliver singing the solo at the beginning.

After singing with Angel Voices, Oliver went on to perform in musicals with the South Manchester Amateur Operatic Society in Manchester, England. Click here to read a review from 2004 that mentions him in "La Cage Aux Folles." I also read somewhere that he appeared in "Oliver!" but don't see him mentioned in that review.

This is a picture of him from around 2004.

Well, Oliver is apparently not just a talented singer. He grew up to become an artist and animator, too! He actually started working toward this goal when he was about 12 years old!

He has worked as an animator for 10 years. Part of that on the "Bob the Builder" cartoon! My 4-year-old cousin LOVES Bob the Builder! :D  He currently works for Aardman Animation which produces "Wallace and Gromit."

I know he has done animation for the shows "Shaun the Sheep"

and "Timmy Time." 

He has a really cool website you can view here, and a YouTube channel with some of his other animation on it. This is a clever cartoon he did called "Foley Flip."

It's really nice to see that a former chorister has gone on to do great things! :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Facebook Libera Fan Pages

There are several great Libera fan pages on Facebook. We've already mentioned the French one. The first one I want to mention today is one that my friend, Charmaine, from Malaysia started. You don't have to be from Malaysia though. It's for anyone interested in Libera. This page is in English. Just click here and "Like" this group. You can then join in on the discussions. She is also looking for some responsible people to help out with the page as administrators. :)

While looking at the Malaysian fan page, I noticed there is also a fan page from the Philippines.

I really miss the Libera 360 web site since it closed. I don't know if the same people are running this page, but this may be a great alternative for Filipino fans. Just click here to "Like" their page. It is in English, but sometimes you might see Tagalog.  :)

Next is a page for Libera fans in Indonesia. It is also in English. Click here to "Like" their page. Their current profile picture is different, but I really like the one above with the Indonesian flag and Libera. :)

And last but not least is a fan page from Mexico. This is great for all the people who speak Spanish! I love their profile picture, too. Click here to "Like" their page.

Remember, you can join any or all of these pages. We all love Libera!  :D

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Libera Video on the ClassicFM Hall of Fame

ClassicFM has posted a video by Ralph, Kavana and Cassius talking us through their nomination for this year's Classic FM Hall of Fame! But it's not Robert Prizeman! lol  Isn't that who we've been suggesting? Classic FM says, "If only they can get the composer's name right!"  :)

They are nominating Saint Saëns' "The Organ Symphony." Cassius says Saint Saëns "is a very weird name, but it's OK because he's French." Hahaha! Cassius is so funny tall! Oh my word! He grew so much! Seriously, he must be standing on a box.  :)

Kavana says, "As Libera, we've sung our own version of this piece. And, being old school, we've included the words of 'Gloria.'"

Cassius says, "But it's in Latin, so it's much different to other songs."

Ralph says, "I personally like it, because it's just so high and we can let our voices go free. But also in the orchestra version, it just goes WHOOSH! And it just blows your mind. And you just think WOW! It's like you've had a sip of ?" Sorry his accent is fooling me there. ???

Kavana says, "It's loud, it's dramatic, and that's why we chose 'The Organ Symphony' by Saint Saëns."

Then they proceed to argue over how to say Saint Saëns.  :D

Thank you to Fan de LoK on how to type the ë. It's Alt 137 (in case I forget).   :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Possible "Southeast Asia" Tour

I've been thinking about what Daniel and mini James said when they were interviewed before Christmas on the "Inspirational Breakfast" radio show. They said that in the New Year they would be going on tours to Southeast Asia and hopefully Canada. What does "Southeast Asia" mean?

The real definition of Southeast Asia is the countries on this map like the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Sometimes it can also include Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but it doesn't usually mean Japan or Korea.

Now it COULD mean they want to do another Japan, Korea, Philippines tour like last April. But maybe they will try a new country. It'll be interesting to see where they go.

Also, at the recent UK concerts people could buy Libera's new Peace Deluxe CD, even before it was available elsewhere. If they do go to the Philippines, maybe they will bring those impossible-to-find CD's and sell them there! That would make a lot of people very happy!  :D

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Peace Deluxe USA Price Update

Wow! has lowered the price of Peace Deluxe USA! It was $31.01, but now it is $16.98! The release date is still February 15, 2011. Preorders are being taken. If you already ordered it, don't worry. All preorders will get the lowest price as of Feb. 15. You can order it here.

All other updated prices are on my Dec. 8, 2010 posting.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vote for Robert Prizeman

Classic FM in the UK is having a Top Composers Contest, and you can vote! Just visit this site. 

In the first box type in "Prizeman." 4 songs will appear - Voca Me, Beata Lux, Sanctus, and May the Road Rise Up. I am not sure why it lists only these 4 songs, but that's what we have to choose from.

Now click 1, 2 and 3 by your 3 favorites, and click the "Submit" button.

Next a form will come up where you fill in your "First Name," "Surname" (last name), "E-mail," "Gender" (male or female), "Date of Birth" (day, month, year) and "Post Code." Click the first box that reads "I have read and agreed to the terms and conditions..." and click "Send."

The iPad contest is open to only residents of the UK and Northern Ireland age 18 and over, but you can still vote for Robert Prizeman. The voting is open through Friday, February 11. The results of the Top 300 Composers Hall of Fame will be announced April 22-25.  Mr. Prizeman is up against the likes of Rachmaninov, Mozart and Beethoven, but maybe we can get him on the list! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ben in O Sanctissima on SOP

In the middle of a cold winter comes this little ray of warmth and happiness! Libera appeared on the Songs of Praise TV show today! They sang O Sanctissima which was recorded in Arundel Cathedral in October.

Well, this video is all about Ben for me. It seems that the song was shortened a little from the version on the Peace CD, possibly to make a time limit, but that's OK. First, I love the effect of Ben walking back and forth in front of the sunlight at the beginning! Now you see him, now you just see a glow. I love when the camera zooms in on him, because I love to watch his dimpled face. He always has that little hint of a grin when he sings. Like he's up to no good.  :)

It's cool how they filmed through the balcony latticework looking down on the choir below. It's also fun to see who sings what parts when you watch the video. And is it me, or is mini James starting to look so old?!

It's so cute how Ben towers over all the little guys at the front! Dylan and Cassius are just peeking around Ben's arms. Remember when he was "mini" Ben, and HE was that little guy? :)  It makes you realize how big he has gotten.

Ben has always had such an amazing voice. He's had some great solos and is such a fun and funny member of Libera. I don't know if this is his last solo or not, but the feeling you get is that the little ones are being highlighted. They'll be taking his place someday. Not sure I'm quite ready for he and the older boys to go yet, but each will when their time is right.  :'(

Thank you Libera for another beautiful song and video! And thank you, Ben, for your years of great work in Libera! Hope we get to see you and your dimpled smile in the US again!

Friday, January 14, 2011

French Libera Fans on Facebook

I've mentioned the French forum for Libera fans before. It's called "Libera Passion." Everyone there is very nice and "passionate" about Libera. They have now started a Facebook page called "Libera Passion French Speaking Community." You can click here and "Like" this group then join in on their discussions. Their profile picture is above. I like that it looks like a Libera poster and that it says, "But Everyone Is Welcome." So join even if you don't speak French! You can just use Google Translator. They will have write-ups and photographs from concerts and share their knowledge about Libera. They are great Libera fans!  :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Helpful Websites

I'd like to highlight 2 websites that are very helpful in researching anything about Libera. Others may find them useful, too. (Even though I still can't figure out who those last 2 boys are in the Luminosa picture.) lol 

The 1st is "The Boy Choir and Soloist Directory," also known as BCSD, at It's a massive site with everything about every single boy choir or soloist known to man. :) Pretty much. First you can go to the Libera/Angel Voices/St. Philip's page here, and click on the country flag at the top if you want to change the language. This page shows all the CD's Libera has done. When you click on a song, it gives you that song's lyrics. If you click on a Libera soloist's name, it gives you his picture, profile and recordings he's done. BCSD also has lots of other great links on the right side of Libera's page.

The other site I love is Libera's World at This is a site that Inna put together. It has all available Libera videos from 1984 to the present. What a history lesson THAT is! She also has pictures of Libera members and a list of concert dates from 2005 to the present. Everything is so nicely organized, too!

I appreciate all the hard work that went into both of these sites! Thank you to them!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Andrew Hopkins

Here's another former choir member, only it wasn't Libera or even Angel Voices yet.

In 1970 a then 18-year-old Robert Prizeman became the choir director at St. Philip's Church, Norbury. Three of the boys from that early St. Philip's Boys' Choir went on to place in the Choirboy of the Year competition. Jonathan King was a finalist in 1976. Vincent Penfold was a finalist in 1982. And Andrew Hopkins won Choirboy of the Year in 1981.

This is a video of Andrew singing "O For the Wings of a Dove" on a TV show called Sunday Best in 1982. And it's kinda cool because he uploaded it to YouTube himself!  :D

Have to say I like the white robes they wear now waaaaay better! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jake Shortall

It's always nice to see what former Libera members are doing now. While trying to identify the boys in the Luminosa picture, I found some information about Jake Shortall. He was in Libera from 2002-2005, sang on the 2004 Free CD and the 2005 Visions CD, and performed in concerts in the UK, Japan and Korea.

2002 - Jake is on the right next to Joe Platt.

In this picture Jake is behind Michael Horncastle.

Jake is now 19 years old and does or did go to the Brit School for Performing Arts. In this YT video he is playing keyboards. I'm not sure who the 2 adult men are - faculty, talent scouts??? And is that a very tall Joe Platt in the audience at 2:04?

He was also a member of a 4-man band called Perfect People. He did keyboards and vocals. I'm not sure if they're still working together anymore. You can see their rather inactive MySpace page here.  I searched YouTube and found several older videos. Here's a live version of "What You're Told" from March 2009. Jake is the keyboard player with a green t-shirt on.

I rather like this recorded version of "What You're Told" from October 2009 better.

                           Jake is on the left in this picture.

I can't find anything more recent on him. He may still be in school. He's very talented, so it should be interesting to see what else he does.

Update: Thank you to Vivere for commenting on this post and letting us know that "Jake did attend The BRIT School WITH Joseph Platt. That was Joe with the onlookers at 2:04. As far as Perfect People goes, they're not performing at the moment, but Jake by himself is a Freelance Pianist/Singer and has even performed at the House of Commons. Both Jake and Joe graduated from The BRIT School back in 2009."

Good for Jake! That's just awesome and brill! (my new favorite word!) :D 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

SOP Preview

Here's a little preview of next Sunday's Songs of Praise until we get the full thing! Until someone uploads this to YouTube, click here.

As you can see, Ben is in front for O Sanctissima!!!!! This may be his farewell song to his days as a soloist. Josh had Lullabye, and Ben will have this one. Looks like Sammy, Tiarnan, Liam and Alex are visible in the back. Thank you to treble 53 at the French forum for the link! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Libera on Songs of Praise January 16!!!

Update: Libera just posted on their Facebook page

"Look out for Libera on BBC-TV on Sunday 16th January when the boys will be singing 'Sanctissima' in a 'Songs of Praise' from Arundel Cathedral."

So it IS O Sanctissima! Will it be sung by Ben?

On January 16 at 5:00 p.m. the BBC One TV show Songs of Praise with have a feature on the town of Arundel. "Sally Magnusson discovers the historical secrets of the Sussex market town, and introduces hymns from the Roman Catholic Cathedral and a sparkling performance from Libera."

I wonder if this will be the Eternal Light video that they shot outside or something else filmed inside Arundel. dani on the Dreams forum said someone told her Libera filmed "O Sanctissima" in Arundel in October. Can't wait to find out! Thank you to treble53 from the French forum for finding this! And thank you dani!  :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Presents

I got some Libera CD's for Christmas!!!!  :)

The top CD is Luminosa released in 2001. It has a really nice sleeve that the CD case fits into, kind of like the Peace Deluxe one. EVERY song on this CD is great! The soloists are Steven Geraghty, Ben Crawley, Sam Coates and Simon Beston.

The bottom left CD is Free released in 2004. The soloists are Ben Crawley, Joseph Platt, Christopher Robson, Anthony Chadney and Raoul Neumann. Andy Winter is one of the adults who currently works behind the scenes for Libera. His two sons, Andrew Winter and Ron Winter, are listed as singers on this CD.

The bottom right CD is Visions released in 2005. The soloists are Tom Cully, Conor O'Donnell, Michael Horncastle, Joseph Sanders-Wilde, Callum Payne and James Vereycken. This is the earliest CD that lists Josh Madine as a singer! :)

This is the picture inside the CD sleeve of Luminosa. Do you see anyone you know? I knew 4 and had to look up the rest. Thank you to lucy and anon for their help, too! Here they are:

Back row: Raoul Neumann, George Tarlton (love the hat!), Sam Coates, Robert Ogilvie, Steven Geraghty, Alasdair Gordon, Simon Lewis, Matthew Winter and Michael Gray.

In front: Joseph Sanders-Wilde, Joseph Platt, Ben Crawley and Christopher Robson.

Can anyone fill in the 2 blanks?

And I got some other great music for Christmas!

I love John Williams music! It has such great French horn parts!  :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 1st Anniversary to Me! :)

While there's a little lull in the Libera news, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish myself a happy 1st anniversary. It was actually sometime in December, but there was too much Libera news in December for me to selfishly highlight my anniversary. lol

One year ago I heard Libera for the first time! One day I got in the car to go home from school, and my mom told me that she had been forwarded this video. She kept talking about how amazing it was, and I thought, "Oh, it must be pretty cool." When I got home she played "Going Home" for me. I was amazed! I go to a school that has a HUGE emphasis on music, but none of our kids, especially our elementary boys, sing like THAT! :) The harmonies of the choir and Tom, Josh and (at the time Mini) Ben's solos just blew me away. So we Youtube searched "Libera," and so much popped up! We spent the whole night just listening to their music! I'm not sure I got any homework done! :)

A few days later we took a field trip to Borders after school and bought "Angel Voices Libera in Concert." We started buying more and more CDs and seeing new videos online, and pretty soon we thought that it would be fun to share what we had found with everyone. We knew there must be other Libera fans out there, so we started Mini Angels. We really didn't think that that many people would care about our blog, but it turns out that there are waaayyyy more fans out there than we realized! We've had visitors from 64 countries so far! :) I've really enjoyed getting to know all of the people out there and talking with everyone that loves the music of Libera as much as I do!

This is the video of "Going Home." It's missing Josh's happy, little "Hello" at the beginning, but it's in HD.  :D


Next I'd like to post a review written by Kristian from Denmark. He went to the Leiden concert taping on May 30, 2007 and describes it so well.

He saw them film 18 songs. The Angel Voices Libera in Concert CD has 13 (missing When a Knight, Always With You, Silent Night, Ave Maria, Sacris Solemnis). But the DVD has 15 songs (missing When a Knight, Silent Night, Sacris Solemnis). Silent Night is on YouTube, but I wonder whatever happened to When a Knight and Sacris Solemnis?

The review is a little long, but I just think it's so interesting to hear what it was like to be there with the cameras filming. We asked him if we could reprint it, and he said yes! Thank you, Kristian! :)

Ok, so this time I'll do a review, cos this was totally diffirent from the concerts..

I'll just start from when I got to the church, or this is gonna be too long..

I found the church in a small street, hidden by houses, so that it was only possible to see when i got on to the street. A beautiful church. It was being restored, which ment only the top of the chuch was visible.

It was 1½ hour before the doors opened and there were no one except for three children playing in the street. It was a beautiful weather so I sat down on a bench and strarted reading. (I had brought Narnia to indure the waiting).

After, I think, half an hour, Chris and John turned up. At first I didn't realise who it was (as I've only seen Chris' picture on myspace.. and that is not easy to recognise. lol). Then three Dutch people came and I thought it might be time to start queueing. I closed my book and joined in.. After another half hour there were about ¼ of the queue at Arundel.. That did make me worry that it wasn't gonna get full. But I was wrong.

When the clock turned 7.00 the door was opened and people made their way towards a table that had been set up for the tickets to be given out. When I got to the table, I gave them my name and in return I got a piece of white paper with nothing on it. ?? What was that supposed to be for, I thought.. And so did everyone else, judging from there faces.

We made for the front row, but was told to wait. They were going to call us in in smal groups to be seated. - So this might be what the pieces of paper was for. – So much for being there an hour and a half early, eh!

Blau Karten. That was what we got from the woman who were seating people. It didn't make any difference to ask for it in English. Still only 'Blau Karten'. Well, obviously that ment Blue carts, but what about the next coulor? Was that gonna be understandable as well?? We never found out, cos she was talking to hundreds of people, in what seemed to be a whisper. The first group of people were seated in the 6th row or something like that. The next group of people were to sit half way down the floor. It didn't look like there were any sence in what that woman was doing!!

At this point we were getting a bit confused. Everybody were. People around us looked pussled, either because they didn't understand a word, or because they couldn't hear owt. Someone started to walk in, cos they thought it was their coulor, and some with other coulors did the same, wich made everyone just walk in at the same time. We stood there for a moment. Then decided to go for the front row, since everybody els seemed not to care anymore about that non-English-speaking-whispering-woman.

We managed to get seats in the second and third row. (Me at 2nd row, 2nd from the left, in the left side of the church:-)

I was really excited that I made such a nice seat. One of the reasons to go to the -thought to be- same concert for the third time, was to make a good seat so that I could actually see the boys this time.

Now we could relax and have a look at the church. It was amazingly beautiful. There were candles around all the pillars and candels all over the chuch as well.. A 'smoke machine' was creating a lot of smoke which filled the church with a mysterious light – perfect for a Libera concert – It even made the light from outside (still light at 8 in the evening at this time of year) look as part of the setting.. B-E-A-utiful!! There were hundreds of lights and a lot of cameras – only one man 'on the floor'. The cameras all had a piece of paper with pictures of all the boys with names.J Obviously to make close-up's! Ah, yes, bring 'em on :D lol

There were a lot of mics hanging from the ceiling.. (Note for AV members: The boys didn't have mics on them as someone said. The soloists had earpieces as they did in the concerts.)

An orchestra of approx. 10 –20 musicians were located at the right of the stage. Violins and a drummer were the only ones I saw. I could barely see them because of a huge pillar.

A man – producer – came to the stage and told us a bit about this recording. He told us that it was NOT a concert, but a recording. This meant there were going to be a lot of interruptions. Though not during a song. (pheew:-/ ) And maybe we would feel the cameras were going a bit too close or getting in the way, or something like that. But he said that we just had to live with that. (the cost of the free tickets – they can do whatever they want)

He also said that they would record a couple of songs for a special Christmas show in America.. And the DVD will be released by EMI sometime at the end of 2007.

He announced that there would be an interval during the recording, because of the boys' age they were not allowd to do it in one takeJ cute little detail.. reminds us that this IS just ordinary kids..

Then we had to do some applaud. Just to see if we were good enough for the DVD;) We had to do a standing ovaision as well. It was a bit wierd to do that before we had even seen the boys.

While this producer were talking (which was mainly in Dutch) the boys were getting ready to go on stage. They stood waiting at the left, so I just sat there waching them instead of that crazy man speaking a language I didn't understand!

Finally they were told to get on to the stage. At this point I realised just how good seats we had. They looked even more angelic than usual because of the makeup. I could see every movement they did. How nervous some of them were, all the bad habits;-) their wonderful facial expressions while singing and all the lovely smiles...

The audience fell silent. I swear, you could have heard a mouse sneeze outside the church!!! Then the producer's voice came from the speaker:

"Standby for Sanctus in.. 3.. 2.. 1.."

...and we were all off to heaven for 3.08 min. The last notes played by Fiona. The lighting were beautiful, though not as 'Libera like' as the other concerts. It had to be much lighter for the cameras to get a good picture. But still breathtaking. When Sanctus was done, the music stopped and the producer brought Josh a note, walked off the stage and silence came upon us once more.. "Standby for announcement in.. 3.. 2.. 1.." Josh made his ussual announcement about them being Libera from South London etc.

Next came "Going Home". This was not sung by one soloist alone.. It was lead by Josh.. Very beautiful voice he has.. then Ben did a solo and Tom joined in.. I think I saw a fourth boy as well. Maybe Sam or Ed (he was partly hidden by someones head) A real joy to hear it live!

"Far Away" was next in line – Tom is still getting better every time he sing it..

For anyone who, like me, think it's very annoying that people start clapping before the music has faded out.. or worse.. before the song has finished, I can tell you that people did wait till the last note had faded from the great church hall.. Only in the last part of the concert people started earlier and earlier.. You could tell they were LOVING it!!! And who can blame 'em, eh?

Ed did "Abide With Me" as lovely as ever.. Also first time live for me.. sent shivers down me spine!!!

"Hi, my name is Sam. And this is my brother Alex....." Another announcement just like it was in the concerts. About the age differences, and introducing the next song.. "..and guess what't's called: 'Libera'" (my favourite quote, because of his accent.. the 'a' in 'called' pronounced almost like 'oo' in 'cool')

This version of Libera has become my favourite, because of Liam's voice alone. It is so strong on the high notes!! This song was one long shiver for me..

They now lined up in two rows. "Standby for Adoramus in .. 3.. 2.. 1.. " This is one of my favourite songs. But I have to say that I was a bit disappointed.. It was beautiful, yes, but there were just something missing.. Maybe it was the music.. I didn't really like the drums.. The 80's-ish drums from the cd is better ;-D

Again a Solo by Ed. "When A Knight Won His Spurs" – More shivers my way.. Beauty!

During this song I listened to the different parts the boys sang. It was really fun to see how some of them doesn't sing whole sentences. Like I noticed Tom sang something like "When a knight wooon.. spuurs in the stoor.. of old.." This was also a wonderful part of being up front. You could actually hear them sing live! Not just the 'live sound' from the speakers, but the real thing from the stage.. Because of that, I could make out where the different voices came from. Which meant I just listened to individual voices a lot of the time.. a rare thing to be able to put voices to names/faces..

Joe's solo was to follow, with Tom, Josh and Sam. This version of "Salva Me" was slightly different from what we've heard before.. In the last part of it, when they keep repeating "Domine Deus miserere mei" some backing boys (three at least, Liam being one of them, and possibly Oliver as well) sang "Domine Deus, Domine Deus" just before the leading boys sang "Domine ... etc." It gave a cool effect.. like: "Domine Deus, Domine Deus, Domine Deus miserere mei" You know what I mean, when you get your copy of the DVD;-) Just wait and see.. it was cool!!

"Lacrymosa" sung by Ben.. Ben would have been proud.. doesn't that say it all?

At this point we were supposed to have 'Prayer', but the interval couldn't wait.. So the boys just left us there.. hungry for more!.. So we had a little look at the curch.. in the back was a lot of mixing tables and another camera.. Sam Coates and Ian Tilley were to be found here...

When they got back to the stage they were clearly ready for another announcement, this time by, I think, Liam. He told us that MiniBen sang Lacrymosa, Miniben because they've got another Ben: BigBen. And this time Mr. Crawley came to the stage :-D very nice to see him on stage.. I tell you, he is TALL compared to those Minis.. Then Liam introduced Steven, Fiona and Robert Prizeman.

Now we got "Prayer" – I have never listened much to this on the cd, but it was beautifully sung by (so I've been told, I didn't remember meself) Tom and Ed.

Fiona Pears played the intro to "I Vow To Thee My Country" – and then the first noticable mistake from the boys – I blame the fact that they were being stopped every time they got into the songs and lost the nerves. And then they had to try and get the concentration back every fourth minute. Poor lads. Anyways, Tom started a bit to early. However, professional as he is, he just stopped singing and got back in at the right place.. without even a sign of anything being as it shouldn't.. I can't do anything but respect that kid!!!

The next song was another treat for me "Always With You" – This being my favourite song, I was blown away once more. And the choreography was wonderful. I can't say anything but go and buy the DVD!!

If anyone has wondered what has happend to the hoods.. This was the only time they used them.. or should I say it. It was time for "Stay With Me" by Ed, and Liam standing in the back with his HOOD on.. doing the high notes.. again, these kind of high notes are perfect for Liam – or Liam is perfect for them.. I dunno –

Tom was on.. again.. this time with "Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep" Once he started I was close to tears.. I love his rendition of this song. (Big)Ben sang this to perfection, but somehow I like it better when Tom sings it.. It's the way he interpret the lyrics. This is the moments from where you can tell these boys are truely professional. I would buy the DVD for this song alone..

Ben was to make the last announcement. Telling a bit about the tradition of the hoods.. If my memory serves me well, there was no 'getting lost in hoods' this time.. I hope I'm mistaken cos it's such a fun part.

Introducing the last song: "I Am The Day" sung by Josh and Sam.

This is a great song for the final.. When the last notes had faded, the audience gave them a standing ovaision et all.. they did a lot of bowing and we did a lot of clapping.. ;-)

Then it was time for the two Christmas Special songs..

First was "Silent Night"- Of course sung by Tom.. I don't know what to say about this, other than it was just like being in heaven on Christmas Eve!! Even though it was the begining of summer, it was just like Christmas had arrived early.. and I didn't mind skipping summer for this song! The lighting were all Christmas-ish, and I enjoyed the 10 minutes of Christmas with all my heart.

The second Christmas Special was "Ave Maria" by Ed, of course. Beautiful.. How can it not be when it's Ed, am I right?

With these done, it was time for the two encores... The first one being "Sacris Solemnis".

Now this song has become one of my top 10 favourites since I attended the first concert in March. I really love Fiona's 'solo' near the end.. the boys did a sublime job on this one.. when I say this was perfect, there must be some truth in it – cos I've been told there were no Sacris on Day 2.

The audience (remember, most of them might never have heard of Libera before) must have loved it, cos when the song was finished the hall exploded!! Standing ovaision again. People went crazy!! The boys didn't know what to do... they just stood there with their arms raised (as part of the choreography of the song) and they didn't know what to do.. The crowd was clapping like it was the final song, but they weren't supposed to bow yet as they needed to do one more song. The producer rescued them, when they were starting to look really confused, not knowing what to do. He actually had to tell people to sit down because there was one more song left.

"Libera" – the short version – began with the orchestra which sounded really good. Liam made, with the rest of the boys, a perfect and most wonderful close to the evening.

As the boys left the stage and people started to walk about, I felt like I had just been filled with the most wonderful feeling. And now someone had pulled the plug, and it all strated to fade away again...

I have told you how wonderful all the soloists were.. But please know that all the other boys were just as amazing as them. There would be no Libera without the non-solo boys.. then it would just be a wannabe boyband of 6 or 7 kids.. They are only Libera when everyone is present!

Here are all the boys who were there: (the order as in the program we were given)

Jonathan Barrington, Tiarnán Branson, Oliver Cole, Thomas Cole, Edward Day, Michael Horncastle, Zachary Lockett, Samuel Leggett, Alex Leggett, Thomas Cully, Liam Connery, Joshua Madine, Jakob de Menezes-Wood, Conor O'Donnell, Callum Payne, Benedict Philipp, Joseph Snelling and Michael Vereycken.

This was my account on the Leiden concert. Something I'll never forget (especially not if I can be seen, however briefly, in the DVD;-)

Thank you once again Libera

God Bless,


PS. I am as always sorry for any mistakes in my English..

And if anyone has a better memory than me, please do leave a comment.. and I will see that the mistakes are corrected.. Thanks.