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.


  1. Happy Libera anniversary! I just celebrated my 3rd one at a choir contest in October, I can't believe how long it's been! It's great that ya'll were able to get a CD/DVD so fast! I had to wait until over the summer (2010) to get one, maybe because I had kept my love of Libera mainly to myself until then. So glad that you discovered Libera, becasue I always love reading your blog!

    Also, thanks so much for posting this fantastic review! I felt like I was really sitting there! I will have to watch the DVD again tonight after my homework!

    Hope you and your family are having a great start to the new year :D

  2. Lovely review! So that's how you and your mom knew Libera! Nice one ;)
    I saw your message. And yes, hopefully we can see each other when I visit the States for the first time or maybe when you visit Malaysia, I can tour you. Ha ha :D
    I'm glad I met someone like you. Thx for being a good friend♥

  3. Thank you Rebecca & Charmaine! You're both so nice! :) I'm glad you liked Kristian's review. I loved it! I never know if I'm posting stuff people already know, so I just put what I like. We ♥ Libera!!!

  4. another good review... and i was savoring every word because i also have that libera video. thank you so much, kristian for sharing through lexi's page. my best regards.

  5. Wonderful post! Lovely Review! Actually, Wonderful BLOG! I too discovered Libera in early 2009 and have really grown to appreciate their music & their unique approach to "traditional" choral music.

    This post in particular provided a look into an aspect of the Lieden Concert DVD I had never considered. It was insightful and a real treat! :] Though I was a bit suprised that Sacris Solemnis (A favorite of mine!) did not make it onto the DVD.

    In the spirit of giving,I wanted to also share a bit of my photo editing skills and created a poster/flyer for you to post on your blog and to share with the entire Libera Community! It is in order to promote their upcoming concert tour at Epsom Playhouse. The link follows. I hope you like it.

    Epsom Flyer: http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd408/xtum/epsom_flyer.png

    P.S. Keep up the AWESOME work!

  6. Wow! Happy 1st Anniversary Lexi & Lauren! Kudos and THANK YOU to one of the BEST Libera fans and mother & daughter tandem I've ever known. Carry on with this wonderful blogsite and I wish you all the best in everything you do. And yessss, we <3 Libera!!!

  7. the power of libera music reaches more and more people every year,especially because of their supporters all over the world...
    happy new year to "mini angels"

  8. Happy one year anniversary! Thanks for your wonderful Libera blog. Keep it up! :)

  9. Thank you so much Mrs. Guzman, TumTum, Lala, Anonymous and Inna! You all are great fans! And thank you TumTum for sharing your Libera flyer! You did a great job! Are you going to the Epsom concert?! Hope I get to meet each of you at a concert someday! :D

  10. No unfortunately I will not be attending Epsom largely because I live Stateside as well and because I am a poor college student. But if the boys head over to our neck of the woods I'm sure our path's will cross.

    P.S. I forgot to mention in my last post Happy LIBERA-versary! lol.

  11. Hey.. What a nice blog you have here!!
    And happy Libera Anniversary :D I, myself, have known them since feb. 2006, so I have 5 years anniversary with Libera hahaha :P

    It's kinda weird seeing my own words on someone else's blog, but I'm glad you liked my review and you could use it (:

    TumTum - I was surprised (and disappointed) as well that Sacris Solmenis did not make it to the DVD, as this performance was the best and most beautiful I have ever heard in their concerts..

    Best of luck with your blog..

  12. Glad you like the blog, Kristian! And thank you again so much for sharing your review of Leiden! You can see by the comments above that people really liked it. :)

    I wonder if we'll EVER see Sacris Solemnis. I guess it all depends on who owns the actual video. Leiden was taped by PBS (Public Broadcasting Station - our commercial-free, government- and donor-supported station.) I would think Libera would still have some control over it though. Maybe my wish for 2011 should be to see it!