Monday, August 1, 2016

Part 9A: August 1st, 2016 to Present

Performing in the rain before thousands in the Market Square in Kraków, Poland during World Youth Day (week) in July of 2016, as Robert Prizeman directs from beneath an umbrella. (Photo by Anneloos-s)
Last Revised/updated on January 1st, 2017

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 (January-March, 2015):

For Part 8B (August-December, 2015)

For Part Nine (January-July, 2016):

Please note: new additions are made to the END of each section, rather than the beginning.

Table of Contents:

(Fall Activities) 
(Little Brothers and Miniboys)
("Wonderful World" Backstage Video)
(Libera Footnote: Why "Miniboys?"
(New Christmas Mini-CD announced)
(2017 Japan Tour Rumored/Announced) 
(Pre-December 2nd-Concert Activities)
(Concert reviews and photos)


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.


Welcome to Part 9A (!) of the Libera Historical Timeline, and to all those new Timeline readers who became curious about Libera through the World Youth Day concerts in Kraków, Poland. If you are new to the world of Libera, I recommend that you check out Part 1 for an overview, introduction and history of the group.

I would not normally split a tour like this, but, as happens with these unusually long single posts, instability was beginning to set in. In the interval between countries, here are a few photos and relevant notes:

Performing in Market Square, Kraków (Exultate/solo by Merlin Brouwer/videoed by a fan, Frank Petlitskiy, with very jerky camera from audience at Market Square, Kraków, Poland/July 28/2016/3:40)

Musicians in the mist

Performing in the Concert of Adoration (The venue's collection of photos of Libera’s visit and performance at St. Kasimir’s Church, Kraków/July 2016)  
According to Sound Director (and former Libera singer) Sam Coates, the group arrived at the artists' catering facility just in time for a personal drive-by by His Holiness Pope Francis. (Photo by Sam Coates)
On August 1st, the official Libera site gallery added new photos taken during this spring's Philippines and South Korea tours, including many informal moments.

Alex Gula helps Rocco Tesei with his "backwards jacket." The boys do this before pre-performance meals and snacks  to avoid staining their pristine white robes. The hoods act as crumb-catchers.

Add caption

Stage Managers Eoghan McCarthy (front) and Kavana Crossley, both former Libera singers, take a selfie with a rare photo appearance by chaperones Eleanor Lewis (in red)and Barbara Geraghty,mothers of former singers /current staff members Simon Lewis and Steven Geraghty.


On August 2nd, The boys sang their  first-ever concert in Germany at the Pilgerkirche (Pilgrim Church) at Vallandar-Schönstatt. According to Patrick Fandelok. The church was well filled. ... nstatt.htm (Article entitled "German Debut of the Internationally Known London Boys' Choir Libera in Schönstatt/6/24/16) ... d7.6290945

Libera tweeted: Online programme for our concert at Schoenstatt Pilgrims' Church tonight :
NOTE: The site featured information on Libera, and a pull-down feature linking to the words of each song.

According to a multitude of tweets from attendees, some of whom had been unfamiliar with Libera,the concert was fully attended, wonderfully received, and resulted in numerous donations collected by four boys with baskets at the doors, each attended by a Sister. The other 25 sat at tables where CDs and DVDs were available for sale, "giving autographs and kindly making photos with the public," according to Patrick Fandelok, who took the following photos (none were (officially) allowed during the concert):
On August 3rd, Libera enthusiasts john45 and Johan contributed well-observed reviews of the Vallendar concert.

Well, the best was saved for last. Not that the previous two concerts were flawed in any way (other than by the rain in Market square) – but despite their long bus trip from Krakow (arriving at 1:00 AM) the boys were truly on top form at Vallendar. Yes, there were a few barely disguised yawns but it did not detract from a superb performance all round.

The venue itself was excellent. A circular modern church with a tent shaped roof providing excellent acoustics. All set in idyllic surroundings with babbling brooks, forest glades, lush shrubberies and manicured lawns.

Once again the weather was damp, but it did not deter the enthusiastic crowd which almost filled the 1200 capacity church.

Program was the same as before – however there were no speeches, other than brief welcoming words (in German) from Peter Kielty and Mathew Jansen. Moose did not participate!

Some changes from Krakow - Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti sang “Wayfaring Stranger” alone, and was truly at his best – a highlight of the evening for me. Camden Stewart sang “Angel” beautifully and was not fazed by an unfortunate very loud feedback sound glitch. Adam Izghouto accurately provided many of the high notes. I believe the first time his very pleasant voice has been heard alone. There were also more prominent backup roles for Ben Bywater, Leo Barron and Rocco Tesei.

  Three of the four winsome donations collectors were Tadgh Fitzgerald (L), Alex Gula (top) and Gregor Lumsden (bottom). (Photo by Patrick)
As soon as the concert ended, (after two prolonged standing ovations and much cheering) Gabriel Collins, Tadhg Fitzgerald, Alex Gula and Gregor Lumsden headed for the doors with collection boxes which, by the time I reached them, were already overflowing with Euro bills – mostly 20s and some 50s. Of course, it would have been remiss to favour one collector over another – so it proved to be quite expensive.

The four were then joined by the rest of the choir who stood at the tables where CDs and DVDs had been briskly sold at the interval. There they signed autographs and posed for photographs. It was all very informal but overseen by the watchful eyes of the Chaperones and the Sisters.

Overall, this tour seems to have been a huge success and I hope we can now look forward to more concerts in Continental Europe.—john45

Libera in Vallendar, Germany, by Johan

Libera had a wonderful concert in Vallendar in a wonderful venue. The church is oval shaped and almost completely made of wood, which made for beautiful acoustics. The downside is that it is a bit remote for foreign fans and away from big cities with large audience potential. Nevertheless the church was well filled.

The lighting by Luke Avery this evening was kept simple, mostly aimed at the wall behind the boys and on the boys. Just like on the Libera in America DVD the concert started with:

Joyful, Joyful. The orchestra was a bit smaller than in America, but otherwise the performance was just as good. This song always bring tears to my eyes, so beautiful.

Sanctus. One of Liberas rock-solids, executed well as always. The higher notes were done by some of the younger boys, I think Adam Izghouti and Leo Barron. The final “sanctus” was by Merlin Brouwer.

Speech. The speeches by the boys were done in German. Peter Kielty was the first to try, but unfortunately it did not work out. Matthew Jansen took over and told the audience about Libera with a loud and confident voice. Very impressive. He also said Matthias Montoro was the youngest at 8 years and he himself was the oldest at 15.

The Prayer. Always an impressive song. Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Camden Stewart, Alex Montoro, and Isaac London in front did the 'solo' part, previously done by Isaac alone. Of course the first part of the song was performed kneeling down.

Salva Me. Very beautifully executed. As usual the soloist for the high salvas to the left behind the choir, this time it was Gabriel Collins, he did a very good job of it.

When at Night I Go to Sleep. The first part was done in German: Abends wenn ich schlafen geh. This was done by Alex Gula and Gabriel Collins, supported by half a circle behind them with amongst others Camden Stewart, Alex Montoro and Merlin Brouwer. The whole choir 
then continued in English. Always a song that touches the heart.

Stay With Me. Beautifully done, Merlin Brouwer took the solo, Taichi Shinokubo the high notes in this. It was during this song that I noticed how much Gregor Lumsden looks like Isaac London, as they were standing nearly next to each other.

Amazing Grace. The boys in two half circles, the front row kneeled. Camden Stewart did the solo on this. With all the boys clearly visible now, unlike with most of the other songs, I noticed one person missing from the published list: Henry Cullinan-Holliwell  was not there.

Sempiterna/Creator.  a well known song, mostly in Latin. In front were Ben Bywater, Gabriel Collins, Alex Montoro and Adam Izghouti, Gabriel did the high notes. 

Angel. A beautiful song that gets me emotional. Camden Stewart did the solo and did it well. Unfortunately for him just then some microphone started to give troubles and Sam Coates had to mute most of them for a moment before gradually turning them on again. Camden and the choir carried on singing nonetheless. One of the beautiful aspects of this song is the bell-like accords on the piano at the beginning and the end. Tonight there was no piano, but Josh did it well on the keyboard.

Exultate. Last song before the interval. In addition to the choir onstage were the percussionist to the left and to the right the flute player from the orchestra. Merlin Brouwer did the solo part; he did well, but still has to find some more confidence I think.

Flautist Eimar McGeown with Libera Director Robert Prizeman

Voca Me. The boys on the stage look in all directions, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti stands in front for the final “Voca me.” Gabriel Collins does the high descant.

San Damiano. It’s a long time since I heard this song; I do not know why they do not sing it more often. The boys stand in four groups. I think there were some new arrangements, it ended with “Santa Maria.”

Speech. Cassius O’Connell-White explains (in German again) that “San Damiano” was chosen because the place where we are is also a place of pilgrimage.

Morning Has Broken. Sung by all, with flute solo.

Wayfaring Stranger. The stage is a bit small, but the boys managed to form the usual two rows. Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti did the solo starting from behind. Unlike his former fellow soloists he can still do it.

Sacris Solemnis. Started with a beautiful red lighting on the wall behind the boys. A beautiful song by the whole choir. As in other songs I noticed especially here the use by Robert Prizeman of the the different qualities of the voices of the younger and the older boys. In this case the high notes came from a group of young boys to the right, notably Leo Barron, Adam Izghouti and Taichi Shinokubo.

How Great Thou Art. Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti started with the solo, followed by the choir. Very beautifully done.

What a Wonderful World Isaac London did a miracle on this in the past, so who will it do now? It is Gregor Lumsden, and does it brilliantly. He has still to grow a bit, but WOW. We will hear more of him.

Isaac London, Camden Stewart and Michael Menezes at the autograph tables.(Photo by Patrick)

Speech. Cassius O’Connell-White and Tadgh Fitzgerald announce the last song and thank the audience for their presence. Auf wiedersehen!

Again a song was added that was not in the program. My neighbour Maartendas informed me it was called “Veni Creator.” A beautiful song sung in Gregorian style. I like more like that! It was immediately followed by

Libera. Well known to the fans, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti comes to the front for the solo.

Surprisingly after the concert the boys came out, some to collect donations at the exit, others to sign items for the public. Not very organised like we see sometime on videos from the Far East—the boys are in the middle of the people. As Gregor Lumsden was at the door collecting I choose him to do my donation and compliment him on his solo, compliments he accepted gracefully.—Johan

Gabriel Collins collects donations
(Photo by Patrick)
 The MEET & GREET! (by Maartendas)

Marc Alvares, Oliver Mycka, Lucas Wood, and Leo Barron signed autographs.

The Meet & Greet was completely unexpected and also highly unusual in terms of the informal setting. It gave a lovely buzzing atmosphere that the boys seemed to enjoy.
It was my first ever M&G so a lot of impressions.

- I got to ask Merlin Brouwer in person if he has Dutch roots and he does.

- I talked to Alex Gula who told me that he wasn't feeling well during the shooting of the Washington DVD but that he went on tour anyway – and he made that last statement with visible pride,

- I got to compliment Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti on his solo in “Wayfaring Stranger,” which moved me deeply. To be honest, it actually brought me to tears, but I felt too shy to say that to him at that moment.

-I also complimented Camden Stewart on his performance because he faced a technical difficulty in the sound system during “Angel,” but didn't blink or budge one bit. He even lost the amplification of his voice for a few seconds so you really had to listen carefully to hear him, which actually gave his solo an extra layer of intensity. Through it all he stood there and sang. I think he would've stood and sang even if the roof of the church had collapsed. That's the spirit!

James Menezes (L), and Peter Kielty look on while Taichi Shinokubo engages with a young admirer. (Photo by Ingrid)

- Next to Camden was Isaac London who no longer sings solos all by himself. He did sing the main solo part in “The Prayer” together with Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Alex Montoro and Gabriel Collins – and sang the very last word “safe” all by himself, which I found very moving, as a sort of mini swansong to the times that have gone by.

So I told Isaac how much it moved me and that I hope it stays with him as a memory of that night.  Since I figured it probably will be his last solo spot on stage, I felt I should let him know it struck a chord.]

- I was also able to thank Matthew Jansen in person for his solo in “I Vow To Thee in Arundel,” way back in 2012. I was so glad I could do that. He told me it is quite hard to sing – something with musical lines twisting and going in different directions. I also complimented him on his German and he told me he gets German lessons in school.

-While getting autographs I also stopped by [Assistant Musical Director] Steven Geraghty, who was happy to sign my program and engage in conversation about the tour. He told me the WYD was a very powerful experience that the boys were also enthusiastic about. Especially the massive crowd at the Vigil, with all the lights in the distance, had made an impact. I asked if they had met the Pope and he told me that the Pope had passed them in his vehicle while they were having lunch outside and the boys ran after him! 

The bigger boys stood in back to help out the younger ones not used to interacting with the public. Finn Wood, Merlin Brouwer and Ben Bywater. (Photo by Ingrid)

The biggest surprise in terms of the interaction with the boys came from Matthew Madine. He is almost as tall as me now and our eyes caught and he said “Hello.”.So I just sort of said “Hello” back, didn't really know what to say because I didn't have anything particular prepared to say to him, like I did with some of the others. But I remarked that we have almost the same height, which he acknowledged, and then out of the blue he says: “You know all the songs!” And I was completely taken aback by that. “Yes, you were mouthing along to all the songs!” And I did, it's what I do when Libera sings live, I start playbacking. But I never thought they would actually notice that! So I said “Yes, that's right. I hope it wasn't distracting?” But he said it wasn't. He was just completely surprised that someone from the audience would know all the words—Maartendas

More reviews can be read at (Topic: Continental Tour Summer 2016, Pp. 10-11)


Don't miss this Facebook from Hans Schippers :) …

Matthew Jansen and Cassius O' Connell-White (Photo by Schippers)

There are beautiful photos from Mawi on the German fans forum :) Krakow: … Vallendar: …

Three stages of Libera participation: lower-voiced veteran (Cassius O' Connell-White; median-aged singer (James Menezes) and tiny newbie (Mathias Montoro). (Photo by Mawi)

The Pilgerzentrale Schönstatt has posted nice photos on its Facebook: …


Thank you for donations for our visit to Europe. We still have bills so gifts are still welcome.

On August 6th, a YouTube video of the entire Krakow WYD Concert of Adoration was posted; Libera appears in two songs. Note that their featured song, "Total Praise,"is in the original botched-sound version. (YouTube video of the entire Concert of Adoration in Kraków, Poland WYD/July 30th 2016/1:58:44/ Libera sings at 1:41:45 and in the final song “This I Believe,” at 1:53:47

On August 16th, Patrick Fandelok of the Libera Passion site continued his 
exhaustive compilation of non-Official-Libera CDs with the following discovery of a very brief (:51) 1994 podcast featuring "Angel Voices"(the pre-Libera group):

Patrick's complete listings of both actual Libera performances on CD and their participation
on the CDs of others  (in French, but easily decipherableable) can be found at:

  On August 17th, the following announcement appeared on the OfficialLibera site:


A Christmas Concert

August 17th, 2016 by Libera

We have announced a Christmas Concert.  We will be performing in St George's Cathedral, Southwark in London on 2nd December.  Tickets will be available from Ticketsource early in September.  See our Events page for details.

On August 20th, the following was posted ont the Libera dreams Forum by Surpinto:
Hey everyone,

I do not believe that this information is well known but for fans in the United States you can now donate to Libera every time you buy anything from Amazon at no extra cost to yourselves. DAmazon Smile is a charity program in which, when you shop from Amazon, 0.5% of the purchase is donated to a charity of your choice. The Libera of the United States affiliate participates in this program. The only catch is that you must use the url ....otherwise it doesn't count.

Here's how to set it up:

Step 1: Go to and login with your regular Amazon account; or make one if you don't shop at Amazon.

Step 2: Amazon will give you a list of the most common charities - ignore this. Type "Libera" into the search.

Step 3: You will get a list of charities with the word "Libera" in them. Pick the one called "Libera of the United States" which has an address in St Louis (merely the address of the bank).

And you are all set

Now you just have to remember to use the url whenever you shop! If you use the regular Amazon url your donation will not go through; you must use the smile url.

We can do this people! Let's get Libera back to the United States 0.5% at a time! —Surpinto


 Sam Coates (now soundman and assistant music director of Libera) and Liam O' Kane open the earliest video of "Sanctus."

In late August, while Libera geared up for their next series of activities, fans rediscovered this excellent video assembled by a talented enthusiast. It provides a look back at the earliest transition to Libera from "Angel Voices," as well as a presentation of how one of the group's signature pieces, Robert Prizeman's ongoing and ever-changing adaptation of Pachelbel's Canon in D, "Sanctus" (originally called "Locus Iste') has been modified over the years. For a continuation of the "Sanctus" story to the present day, see "A Sanctified Diversion" in Part One of this Timeline (link at top of these pages).  (Angel Voices/Libera versions of “Locus Iste/Sanctus” from 1999-2010/ video by ssnarashi/3:48)

On August 27th, Libera posted their introduction to a blog about their adventures and concerts in Poland and Germany.

Unflappable soloist Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti at the final World Youth Day concert

Check out the first instalment of our Libera in Europe blog

On August 28th, Part One of the Libera in Europe blog appeared, beautifully written and full of photos. It was a delightful and up-close look at the Libera side of a major event. 

In a scene oddly reminiscent of their last appearance at a papal event, the 2008 Concert of Hope at Yankee Stadium (below), the boys are forced to squint into the light during a sound check.

2008 Libera singers Thomas Cole, Joe Snelling and Zach Lockett

  Visiting the Leaning Tower of Suurhausen

On September 1st, yet another segment of the European Tour blog appeared, detailing the second visit to Germany and the performance at the Schönstadt Pilgerkirche. This lively blog revealed many more details of life on the road, the presence of a new Libera chaperone (Alex Gula's mother Angelika, who is fluent in Polish), and a few hints as to the identity of the writer (a soloist, two younger siblings, and not older singers Cassius O' Connell-White, Sam Wiggin or Matthew Jansen).

On September 6th, yet another Libera blog section appeared, this one authored by the angelic-looking Peter Kielty (second from left in photo below), and recounting his onstage experience with an unexpected guest.

On September 9th, ticketsource/uk announced the sale date for the December 2nd concert at St. George's Cathedral,


Libera Footnote From the Past
In 2010, Libera brought crowds to their feet during the group's first appearance in the Philippines with a rendition of "Bayan Ko," a beloved  song of hard-won freedom and love of country, sung in Tagalog. Two versions of the performance, with Ben Philipp as soloist, spontaneous applause edited out, and historical re-creations added, subsequently appeared as videos.

Some of the "Bayan Ko" singers: James Threadgill, Jonathan Barrington, Ben Philipp, Liam Connery, and Jakob De Menezes-Wood.

(Bayan Ko Videos, 2011, with English translation of lyrics and scenes from the Phlippines’ history and present day/3:36 & 3:21)

On September 16th, the Libera Passion site updated their overall listing of current Libera members (including photos and histories) with a profile of relative newbie Emanuele Borelli.

Emanuelle Borelli
(Overall listing)

On September 18th, the following video clip, taken by a Polish fan, appeared on the Libera Dreams Fan Forum:

 On September 19th, Jimmy Riddle posted the following update on a Libera activity, appearing on the soundtrack of an animated film.

Marc Alvares, Camden Stewart, and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti help create a soundtrack.

Libera are credited with contributions on Kubo and the Two Strings soundtrack see Libera Dreams site
On September 20th, a fan going by "Humanbeing97" released two videos taken at the concert held at the Pilgerkirche at Scnstadt-Vallandar in Germany in early August. The sound quality is especially good for a live concert.
Gregor Lumsden (at left) solos in "What a Wonderful World. Alex Montoro, Rocco Tesei and Isaac London are next to him. (Performance at the Pilgerkirche at Vollander, Germany, August 2016/Veni Creator by the ensemble/Libera with solo by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti/5:40)  (Performance at the Pilgerkirche at Vollander, Germany, August 2016/What a a Wonderful World/solo by Gregor Lumsden/4:15)

On October 1st, the OfficialLibera site posted a delightful gallery of photos from the July/August tour of Poland and Germany. This collection includes many backstage, rehearsal, and recreational moments, as well as some outstanding individual portraits of the boys. 
Sightseeing in disguise
Taichi Shinokubo, James Menezes, Camden Stewart and Leo Barron in front of the stage on which they performed in Kraków's Town Square
Tadgh Fitzgerald 

 The ever-ebullient Alex Montoro, with Lucas Wood and Merlin Brouwer in the background

On that same day, four slightly soggy-but-charming boys also posted a "thank you"video to fans who helped with financial support for the 2016 European Tour.
 Thankful boys are (from L.): Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Alex Gula, Taichi ShinoKubo and Gregor Lumsden. (Message of thanks from Libera for support for the 2016 European Tour/0:43)

On October 3rd, Libera fan mawi posted a St. Philip's/Angel Voices CD appearance from 1988.

Some days ago I found a hint to the album "Monuments" from the German tenor Peter Hofmann, when I searched for "St. Philips Choir". And yes, the St. Philips Choir and Robert Prizeman are mentioned in relation to "Song of Joy", a well known song of the Angel Voices from the album New Day.

Monuments was released in 1988, two years before "New Day". The Choir is singing alone till 1:18, followed by a melody that you certainly know from "Joyful, Joyful." And it's all a little bit slower.You can find Monuments as CD, MC and LP.—mawi (excerpt from Monuments CD, by Peter Hofmann, featuring the St. Philip’s Choir/Angel Voices/1988/:30)


On October 18th, Libera tweeted the following photo, featuring (from L.) Sam Wiggin, Lucas Wood,  Rocco Tesei and Taichi Shinokubo, about to unveil some new Libera Miniboys. The popular guess from fans was was that these were the younger brothers of those pictured.



On October 19th, Libera posted a video of the backstage and onstage action during their sound check and nighttime Market Square concert in Kraków, Poland. Although the sound is choppy due to cuts from song to song, this is an entertaining mini-documentary. (Libera in Kraków/”backstage” video from the Rynek Glowny Market Square Stage/2:43)

Sam Wiggin, Lucas Wood, Rocco Tesei, and Taichi Shinokubo present their little brothers as Miniboys

On October 20th, four Libera big brothers "unveiled" their smaller siblings as Miniboys. At this point, Romeo Tesei (2nd from right) was the only one whose name was known to outsiders.


On October 23rd, "Linkable Al" posted this 2012 YouTube tribute by a fan known as "Coach Dave" to the quiet genius behind Libera , Robert Prizeman. (Tribute to Robert Prizeman by Coach Dave/2012/4:14)

On that same date, a clip appeared on YouTube describing the process of recording a classic Beatles song for the soundtrack of an animated feature set in an entirely different culture. Libera is featured throughout the soundtrack and appears here at 3:21, toward the end of the clip. (While My Guitar Gently Weeps/Kubo and the Two Strings: Covering a Classic/Clip/solo by Regina Spektor/2016/4:08)

A description of the plot of Kubo:

An epic action-adventure from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.

On October 24th, Libera tweeted a wonderful series of photos, along with the news that they were currently "recording some new songs," possibly for a new album in the making.

Merlin Brouwer and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey (background) in the studio with Alex Gula and Marc Alvares.

Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti in foreground

 Gregor Lumsden and friend study a score.

Gregor Lumsden consults with Libera sound maestro Sam Coates.


On October 28th, Libera tweeted a brief video clip tantalizingly entitled "Libera Moments 1: Canteen Cassius," with Libera chaperones Eleanor Lewis (L) and Barbara Geraghty reacting to Cassius O' Connell-White's antics. The boys in the foreground are Adam Izghouti and Mark Ustynovych-Repa. (Libera Moments 1: Canteen Cassius/10-16/0:08)

On October 31st, Libera tweeted photos of all the current miniboys, complete with gaps in teeth and chocolate on mouths, but no IDs by name as yet.


On November 2nd, Libera posted a lively YouTube selection shot backstage during the making of their "Wonderful World" video, opening it with somewhat startling rock music.

Marc Alvares gets a costume adjustment. (Behind the Scenes at the filming of “It’s a Wonderful World”video/solo by Isaac London/11-16/3:40)

SKATING TO LIBERA (Belgian Figure Skater Jorik Hendrickx using Libera’s “Voca Me” in his 10-23-2016 Skate America performance [from 2:55 to 4:04 of an 8:43-minute program])

 On November 7th, Libera tweeted a set of photos from "a typical day at a Libera photoshoot."

(L to R) Ben Bywater, Gregor Lumsden, Leo Barron (Front), Oliver Mycka (Back), Taichi Shinokubo, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti (Back), Alex Gula (Typical day at a Libera Photoshoot/11-07-16)
Libera Footnote: WHY “MINIBOYS?”

Some of the more recent readers of this timeline might wonder where the term “Miniboys” came from. It evolved over a decade, from the ongoing need to identify different singers with identical first names when giving choral instruction. In 2000, for instance, if Robert Prizeman said: “Joe One, you have to enunciate more clearly,” he was speaking to soloist Joe Platt, rather than to “Joe Two”—soloist Joe Sanders-Wilde.

Joes Two and One at a rehearsal break c. 2001

In the same era, nicknames were also used, for instance to differentiate between Samuel “Sam” Coates, Samuel “Sleg” Leggett, and Samir “Sam Ab” Abouelfaid. Variations on names—Tom/Thomas, Mike/Michael, Alex/Lex were also common.

Then, in 1999 and 2002, the second and third of the popular Austin Powers spy-spoof films featured an unforgettable character called “Mini-Me.” This tiny clone of the films’ arch-villain Dr. Evil was played by little-person actor Verne Troyer.

The “Mini-me” meme was still very active in 2005, when little Benedict Philipp showed up to try out for the group. Since legendary former Libera soloist Ben Crawley was still very much on the scene (and 6’5” tall), the new boy was quickly dubbed “Mini-Ben.” In 2009, when diminutive Ben Fairman appeared on the scene, he declined to become “Mini-Mini-Ben” and became “Nano-Ben”


In 2008, the incoming boys included two Jameses (Threadgill and Mordaunt), and the tiny Mordaunt became “Mini-James.”

By about 2010, the in-joke had perhaps begun to seem a bit stale and cumbersome to carry on on an individual basis, and the name game reverted to variations (e.g. Sam/Sammy), first names used with initials, as in the 2016 Libera with Alex G(ula) and Alex M(ontoro), or nicknames (Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti goes by “Ali” to avoid confusion with the Alexes).

The “mini” designation, however, has come to be applied to any and all of Libera’s small singers-in-training during the probationary period before joining the main touring/recording group. Miniboys, who may or may not graduate to official status, begin their training at about seven years of age, and generally perform in home-based concerts, where they’re listed on the program as “juniors.”


The boys pictured on the CD cover are Isaac London and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti.

On November 9th, Libera fan Surpinto provided the following information on the Libera Dreams Forum:

A new CD has been announced titled "Libera at Christmas" DJimmy Riddle broke the news on Twitter so all credit for the original find goes to him. The CD will be released this Friday, November 11.

This latest album is being released through the independent record label Invisible Hands Music (IHM) which has an advertisement for the CD on its website. At the present, a physical CD appears to only be available from the Invisible Hand online shop, or from Amazon UK. Amazon US only allows one to preorder the digital music, not a physical CD. However, both Amazon UK and IHM will ship to the US, and I presume elsewhere in the world for those who desire a physical CD - shipping costs seem reasonable for both but Amazon is a little cheaper.

It remains to be seen whether those songs which were also featured in last year's EP are all the same recordings or whether they have been redone. The tracks are:

  1. Carol of the Bells
  2. Silent Night
  3. Santa Will Find You
  4. Wexford Carol
  5. Hymn to Mary

The CD is available for purchase at:

The music is available for download at:

On November 10th, two tweets appeared: one included a Universal Studios Japan ad for their 1026 holiday production, featuring vocals by Libera singing "Angel Wings," the second mentioning a new tour date: May 2017 in Japan.

(Angel Wings/30-second ad for 2016 Universal Studios Japan Christmas show)

Oliver Mycka and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti 

On November 11th, Libera Fan Surpinto posted the following review of the Libera at Christmas EP on the Libera Dreams fan forum:

Carol of the Bells, Santa Will Find You, and Wexford Carol

Since these are the same recordings as were released on last year's Holiday EP, I posted my reviews of these recordings at that time. However, I seem to never tire of "Wexford Carol"; this recording and song are simply amazing and is one of my all-time Libera favorites. Despite the mixed reviews, I do personally enjoy "Santa Will Find You". COTB is still their most popular song on YouTube with over 4.6 million views :shock: so including it on the album makes perfect sense.

Silent Night

Let me start by comparing this arrangement with those recorded previously. The arrangement with Tom Cully (from the "Angel Voices" album and "Peace" the deluxe edition) has the beginning as a solo part, and then subsequent refrained/repeated lines end on a solo (i.e. "Christ the Saviour is Born" and "Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth"). The live arrangement from "Angels Sing - Christmas in Ireland" has only the refrains, and not the beginning, being solo parts as sung beautifully by Thomas Delgado-Little.

This arrangement has the beginning as a solo (just as in "Angel Voices", Tom Cully version), the next refrain ("Christ the Saviour is Born") is sung by what sounds like, to me, to be two voices, and the last refrain ("Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth") is sung as a solo. I agree with those who earlier wrote that the soloist is likely Alessandro. His voice has a huskier quality, if that be the appropriate term, than either of the Tom's. This changes the sound of this song from what we have all been used to. Also new in this version is an instrumental introduction of the main melody at the beginning. Overall, I would say that it is a good arrangement and well done.

Hymn to Mary

Isaac London gets wired by Jonathan Barrington.  

With 3 of the 5 songs ("Santa", "Wexford Carol", and "Hymn to Mary") having a major Isaac solo, I think that he will certainly go down as one of the top soloists in Libera’s history. The entire song is sung by him alone with only the orchestra and piano as accompaniment. It is a very sweet song and done beautifully. The song appears to have been originally written and performed by Beth Nielsen Chapman. After listening to the two versions side-by-side I think, without doubt, that the Libera version is superior. This is not the first time that a song they have borrowed from elsewhere and arranged for themselves exceeded the original. Overall this is an excellent song, very calm and peaceful, and it was a wonderful choice for release.
In summary, this is an excellent album to be given as a holiday gift to someone who is unfamiliar with Libera or has not heard many of these songs before. For those of us who are serious fans of the group and have heard most of these songs before on recordings I believe that the last track alone more than makes up for the re-release of the old stuff.—Surpinto


On November 13th, an anonymous fan posted a YouTube video of "Hymn to Mary," from the new Libera at Christmas EP.  It features Isaac London with an exquisitely simple solo with piano accompaniment, and no Libera backup, and an elaborate photomontage. (Hymn to Mary/solo by Isaac London  from 2016 Libera at Christmas EP/3:02)


November 13th was also the 7th anniversary of a remarkable 2009 Libera extracurricular appearance, as described below by fan Jimmy Riddle.

You see, there's a lot Libera do that doesn't always reach the masses. Well not immediately anyway. )
Enjoy...the song is called 'The Road To Domestos' at the very end the guy credits Libera too.

The mind boggles. I can barely believed this worked, but it so did! The crowd (and not your typical libera concert one at that) loved it and there was lots of positive feedback expressed in the comments and also on this forum

There's a website here were you can download the concert, but I've tried and the torrent seeds aren't there at the moment.

There were actually some beautiful descants in there amidst all the chaos lol Is there nothing Libera can't do??

Carter USM (purposely abbreviated) are quite a colourful band shall we say. They reached the height of their fame in 1992.
The website tells you more

According to Fan de Lok at the French Libera Passion site, there are now about 219 CD  releases of compilations (independent of official Libera releases) that include tracks by Libera. A fan named Kay discovered a notable one:

Angels At Christmas
 59 songs spread over 3 cd's

Issued by Demon Music a BBC Worldwide Company

The First CD is Christmas Songs.

I think this and the other two are from the BBC archive

The boys are credited as The Saint Phillips Boys Choir.
This is actually a 4CD set.—kay
Another fan, Robolib7, identified the contents:
Cd1 is the Angel Voices 3 CD;
CD2 is the
Angel Voices 1 CD ("Silent Night" has been omitted to avoid duplication)
CD3 is
Angel Voices 2 ("Pie Jesu "and "Gaudete" have been omitted to avoid duplication)
These early pre-Libera CDs contain some superb singing and outstanding solo voices; they are available at Angel voices at Christmas - Amazon


On November 18th the Official Libera site announced a new look and update, for which Oliver Mycka was the poster boy.

Around the same time, another track from the new Libera at Christmas EP appeared on YouTube, a lovely new version of "The Wexford Carol," with Isaac London soloing. (Wexford Carol/solo/duet by Isaac London and ?/from Libera at Christmas EP/2016/4:39)
And from the 2011 Christmas Album, a bonus version of old favorite "Gaudete," with a different lively orchestration. (Gaudete Upbeat Version/Bonus track from Libera: The Christmas Album/2011/2:55)

On November 25th, fans posted two interesting re-visits of Libera's summer 2015 trip to Japan for the world premiere of Takatsuku Muramatsu's "Angel Wings" at Universal studios Japan. The first, posted on Libera Dreams by Jimmy Riddle, is of a TV appearance  of the group, featuring an interview (sadly, without translation) with a surprisingly poised little Taichi Shinukubo. The second is a fascinating series of informal photos taken backstage and during playtime by "Linkable Al," made into a video slideshow posted on his Facebook Page.

The boys enjoy a show at a water park. Note the tape some of them are wearing, presumably to set their hair in place for a videotape or photo session. (Libera on TV in Japan/interview with Taichi Kuboshino/2015 summer visit for Universal Studios Japan "Angel Wings" premiere/1:45) and   (Video/stills of Libera backstage and playing during Japan 2015 summer visit for Universal Studios Japan "Angel Wings" premiere)
Fan Sebastién contributed a tweaked version of the new-Miniboys photos (boys still not positively identified by name), incorporating all of the newbies into one shot.

 And on November 29th, fans Patrick and Sebastién posted this handy key to identifying Libera members before the introduction of new Miniboys on December 2nd.


Pre-concert photo session with Ben Bywater, an impish Gabriel Collins, and Peter Kielty.

OnDecember 1st, JimmyRiddle retweeted a link to a video clip of promo snippets in which 80's Pop Icon Marc Almond covers and re-imagines Libera's "Always With You." While Libera has covered pop tunes in the past, this was one of the first instances of a popstar covering an original Libera/Robert Prizeman song. This small segment goes from 11:15 to 12:46.

A tweet from Marc Almond
Always with You is a song originally by young choir ensemble Libera and probably has a Christian theme but I looked at it from another angle.


On December 2nd, Patrick Fandelok tweeted some pre-concert photos, revealing the song list, the new group , the staff list, and the words to the newest song. He later summarized the groupings:
The choir was divided into four groups:

  • 28 boys who were present at the last concert (Germany), along with the return of Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Arthur Palmer.
  • 5 miniboys already seen at the last St George's concert (December 11th, 2015), and at other recent London concerts.
  •  8 or 9 newbies performing in their first concert, of which a number were little brothers, and with the addition of Joe ––––, who was not credited in the program.
  • 2 absent : Cassius O’ Connell-White and Matthew Jansen.

Marc Alvares
Leo Barron
Nathaniel Bates-Fisher
Emanuele Borrelli
Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey (returning)
Merlin Brouwer
Ben Bywater
Cassius Collard
Gabriel Collins
Samuel-Francis Collins
(little brother of Gabriel)
Tadhg Fitzgerald

Alex Gula
Adam Izghouti
Luke Jelley
Peter Kielty
Timothy Lee
Isaac London
Gregor Lumsden
Matthew Madine
Alessandro McKinnon-Botti
Fyfe McGaughrin
James Menezes
Michael Menezes
Alexandre Menuet
Alex Montoro
Mathias Montoro
Oliver Mycka
Arthur Palmer (returning)
Neo Parson
Koji Shinokubo (
(little brother of Taichi)
Taichi Shinokubo
Camden Stewart
Laurence Taylor 

Rocco Tesei
Romeo Tesei (little brother of Rocco)
Sam Wiggin
Victor Wiggin (
(little brother of Sam)
Oliver Watt-Rodriguez
Finn Wood
Lucas Wood
Theo Wood
(little brother of Lucas and Finn) 
Joe ??  

Set List (19 songs) :

San Damiano

Speech by Peter Kielty and Alex Gula

Silent Night  (solo by Alex Montoro)
Stay With Me (Solo and descant by Merlin Brouwer and Taichi Shinokubo)
Angele Dei (new) (solo by Alex Montoro)

Speech by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey 
 Carol of the Bells (Solos by Gabriel Collins, Alex Gula and Romeo Tesei)
Voca Me (Solos by Alex Montoro and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey)
What a Wonderful World (Solo by Gregor Lumsden)

Speech by Gregor Lumsden and Leo Barron

In Dulci Jubilo


 Joy to the World
Still, Still, Still (Solo by Camden Stewart) 

Speech by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey)

Angel (Solo by Camden Stewart)
Wayfaring Stranger (Solo by Alex Gula)
Angels From On High 

Speech by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Alex Gula, Finn Wood,Victor Wiggin and Alexandre Menuet, Oliver Watt-Rodriguez, Tadhg Fitzgerald, Alex Montoro, and Taichi & Koji Shinokubo 

Salva Me (Descant by Gabriel Collins)
God Rest You Merry Gentlemen

Voca Me (Solos by Alex Montoro & Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey)
Total Praise (Duet by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Alex Montoro) 
Libera (Duet by Alex Montoro and Alex Gula) 
Encore: Exultate (Solo by Merlin Brouwer)

The Libera Passion site tweeted all the names of the new boys, with positive IDs of the four "little brothers"  of singers Rocco Tesei, Taichi Shinokubo, Sam Wiggin and Lucas and Finn Wood (bringing the total of Libera brothers up to seven sets), while Sebastién tweeted a first look at the 2017 Libera calendar, and Patrick commented on the newest song of the evening.
  (Angele Dei for soprano and choir/2:53) 

On December 3rd, Patrick Fandelok tweeted a collection of photos revealing the identity of the newest Libera singers (more will appear with reviews; all photos by Patrick):



There was the usual stage set up for St George's: strings and percussion to the side of the'stage left and piano (Josh Madine) and wind section to stage right. Robert Prizeman was in the centre using an iPad for the music score and a Bluetooth page-turner.

“San Damiano” had a nice instrumental intro and a quite different arrangement to the one on the old pre-Libera album. I particularly liked the part where they sing 'heart & soul' in a chant, like point and counterpoint. Then we had “Sanctus” with Merlin Brouwer supplying the finishing 'Sanctus'.

Peter Kielty & Alex Gula then did the first introductory speech welcoming us to the concert and mentioning that the main group would be joined for some songs by the mini-boys. The next song was “Silent night,” with solo by Alex Montoro. For this song they lined up in two semi-circles, one inside the other with Alex in the front and centre (my notes say they were kneeling)

Merlin Brouwer

The mini-boys joined the group for “Stay With Me.” There were nine of them lined up on either side of Robert Prizeman - the ones on the right were very close to the audience and in severe danger of having their cheeks pinched by one fan who will remain nameless (to spare her blushes) who was quite smitten with their cuteness! As per recent concerts Taichi Shinokubo sang the descant and Merlin Brouwer the main song.

As the new song, “Angele Dei,” started, the boys were organized in four slightly curved groups/lines; the two back groups were facing forwards and inwards and the front two groups were facing inwards with their backs to the audience (forming a sort of circle but with gaps between the groups). At their centre was Alex Montoro, who delivered a fantastic vocal on what was perhaps the standout song of the night. This is a really great new song that builds up from a quiet vocal and then rises up to a crescendo before falling softly back accompanied by a gentle humming from the group. It ended on a hushed “Amen.”

Alex Montoro

Next, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey explained that what I thought were mics were in fact 360-degree virtual-reality cameras that they were using to film some of their songs (so we can expect some videos to appear at some point). Alessandro also said that “Angele Dei” had only been written a few weeks before by Robert Prizeman. Ciaran mentioned the places the boys live and that it isn't normal for boys to wear robes, and then he demonstrated the hood on his robe.

“Carol of the Bells” had solo parts by Gabriel Collins & Alex Gula but it was little Romeo Tesei who stole the show with his reprise of the "Ding-dong, ding-dong ending!  [It was discussed by a number of people that Romeo might be the youngest boy ever to sing a solo in a Libera concert, assuming him to be younger than Isaac London (now singing with the lower voices), who sang the last line to the Tagalog Christmas song "Himig ng Pasko" at the age of eight years and nine months during the Philippine tour of 2011.] (Himig Ng Pasko/Philippines Tour 2011/final solo by Isaac London/3:15)

“Voca Me” showcased the great lighting affects. The song started with the stage quite dark and back lit by a deep blue and then purple that shone through the haze created by the smoke machine. Alex Montoro sang the high descant, while Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey supplied the finishing 'Voca Me'.

Gregor Lumsden sang “What A Wonderful World,” and finished the song very strongly. He then gave a speech with Leo Barron, in which he told us that there were over seven harmony parts at one point in the song and he described how each boy had a different treble part allocated to them according to their vocal range, starting from the very highest first trebles and then dropping down to first, second, thirds, fourths, fifths to the altos. Leo talked about learning the lyrics and practicing stage positions blindfolded.

“Sempiterna” definitely had Gabriel Collins singing the high 'Ahh's' and the first half concluded with “In Dulci Jubilo”. At this point I'd like to mention the regular percussionist (Jon Ormston) and flautist (Eimear McGeown) who often join the boys on stage. They seem to have a great rapport with each other and the boys, and they are clearly enjoying themselves, judging by the huge smiles.


To start the second half we had “Joy To The World” with the mini-boys. Then came “Still, Still, Still,” with the boys forming two semi-circles, the inside one kneeling, and Camden Stewart singing the second verse. Given that we had only a few of the older boys on the night the deep voices were surprisingly impressive on this song.

This was followed by a speech by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey. Alessandro talked about the trip to Poland and Germany, and performing in front of over a million people (which got a round of applause). Ciaran introduced their mascot “Moose,” who was festively dressed for the occasion in a collar of baubles. Camden Stewart was on good form and he followed up with the solo on “Angel.”

Soloists Camden Stewart and Alex Gula

The church was bathed in gorgeous green lighting for “Wayfaring Stranger,” and Alex Gula lived up to the high standard set by the previous soloists with a flawless vocal. The staging was the familiar V shape with Alex starting at the back and them slowly walking through the group to take up the position at the front.

After “Angels From On High,” we had Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey.  introducing the various backgrounds that the boys come from. We had Alex Gula (Poland), Finn Wood (Mexico), Victor Wiggin and Alexandre Menuet (who spoke their part together and said they were mini-boys from France), Oliver Watt-Rodriguez (Spain), Tadhg Fitzgerald (Ireland), Alex Montoro (Italy), and Taichi & Koji  Shinokubo, the happiest boys ever from from Japan! They all wished us “Merry Christmas.”

For “Salva Me,” Gabriel Collins did the high 'Salva' parts (he did a lot of the highest notes on the night} and the rising and falling hand movements were back. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” saw the stage lit up in a very Christmasy red glow. We then got to hear “Total Praise,” which they had sung at the event held in Poland. Hearing it live was a vast improvement over the low-quality feed from the Internet. It started with Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and I think Alex Montoro, and as the verse progressed other boys joined in.The rising “Amen” finish on this song is exquisite.
Gabriel Collins

Tadhg Fitzgerald did the final speech, thanking us for coming, introducing “Libera” as the first song written for the group, and wishing us a 'Happy Christmas'. During “Libera,” Alex Montoro and Alex Gula sang the lead solo parts as a duet.After the standing ovation the concert finished (somewhat inevitably) with “Exsultate,” with solo by Merlin Brouwer.

Another great concert to finish off the year, and of course we know that the tour to Japan is billed as a promotional one so that brings the prospect of a new CD. On a final note I'd just like to thank all the people who make the concerts possible, not just Robert and the boys, but all the guys setting up the Cathedral who are there from the early morning and were still clearing up at midnight. We couldn't enjoy these shows withoutthem.—Yorkie


Libera fan Johan, as usual, contributed his original observations; to see his entire 
review, please go to the Angelvoices Forum in Yahoo.

Libera's Christmas concert was great and full of surprises. First there was the programme, in a completely new style, designed by Katy Kielty (mother of Peter?) and not Andy Winter as before, resulting in a more feminine style I think. Then the large number of boys (42), but that was also because the (9) miniboys were no longer mentioned separately from the main group. Then the surprises already mentioned on the Libera Facebook page, like the souvenirs and the mini-CD on sale. The last seem to be the result of a new management as Steven Philipp apparently is now living in the USA. I suppose this is the company of the Taiwanese man, Richard, who is now managing the group:

Angele Dei. This was a new song and brought about another surprise as some technicians moved some equipment around before the song and the boys took a completely new formation with some boys in a relatively small circle in the middle, most boys behind them in a half circle and Alex Montoro in front of all that for the solo parts. 

The reason for this new formation was explained by Alessandro Mackinnon Botti and Ciaran  Bradbury-Hickey. It seems the pieces of equipment moved were 3-D cameras and one was put in the middle of the circle of boys. We will have to wait and see what this results in. Later during the concert the technicians intervened a few more times, but a full circle was not done again.

What a wonderful world: and what a wonderful soloist for it: Gregor Lumsden. He did it in Germany as a promising new soloist, but now was excellent, not yet like Isaac London, but he is getting there.

Gregor and Leo Barron then explained the musically intrinsic practices of the song, with seven layers of harmonies and what was to be done by the singers. All far too complicated to me but Gregor obviously knew what he was talking about, he will be a good music teacher in the future.

Wayfaring stranger offered a great surprise with Alex Gula as the soloist. I never understood why he was not given a solo before and now I understand it even less. It was beautiful, Alex has a clear and yet warm voice and already being experienced he made a perfect performance. I was so happy for him.—Johan


The lyrics for the new song “Angele Dei” are:
Lumina - Guberna - Angele

Angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God's love does commit me here
Ever this night be at my side
And every day of my life with me abide
To light and guard to rule and guide
Angel of God, watch over me this night
My guardian dear never lose me from your sight
As shadows fall stay ever at my side
and every day of my life with me abide
To light and guard to rule and guide
The video version [of the Angele Dei] that is going around is not really like Robert Prizeman's new version (he is credited with the music in the programme) I can't find anything remotely similar to this new piece.—Yorkie

I was wondering if this was in fact by choice? I noted Robert walked towards his music stand, looked surprised that his music was not in place, turned and walked away. He then returned with the "new technology" - a backup to the old hardcopy perhaps? Not that it matters either way, it was just something I picked up on.—tom413

Sam Wiggin

I learned with some sadness that this was to be Sam Wiggin’s last Libera concert. We are lucky that many of his solos have been recorded. I do hope there is a recording of “Nearer my God” somewhere in the Libera archives waiting to be transferred to a CD.Yes, he has natural talent, but it also takes a lot of hard work and dedication to produce performances of such a high standard. Thank you Sam.—Dani


On December 9th, Patrick tweeted a live rumor; the ensuing discussion on the Libera Dreams Forum is worth reading.

Libera is said to be part of a Live Video show on Facebook, on new year's eve. Read more on the Libera Dreams forum: 


Libera @ No.18 Kennedy Center Honors: 20 Greatest Performances of All Time via @goldderby 

 Meanwhile, Johan
noted the release of a new Aled Jones CD, One Voice at Christmas. Once one of the world's finist boy trebles, now an impressive tenor, Aled duets, as on his previous album One Voice, with his younger self, with Libera singing in the background.  This was the group's fourth appearance on an Aled CD, and their third Christmas-themed recording with the fabled singer.  (30-second SoundCloud clips of new CD by Aled Jones; Libera is most evident on "O Holy Night.") 

On December 13th, Libera released a lively video taken backstage at the shoot for "Santa Will Find You" in 2015. (Behind the scenes at the video shoot for “Santa Will Find You”/2015/2:35)
  On the same day, Sabine Honigbiene posted a video of the autograph session following the December 2nd concert. This one is notable in that all of the boys are identified by printed captions as they sign. (Autograph session with miniboys and IDs of singers 
following concert on December 2nd, 2016/5:34) 

At about this time, Libera's  2011 recording of "Carol of the Bells" hit over 5,000,000 views. (Carol of the Bells/2011 video/solos by Stefan Leadbeater, Ralph Skan and Cassius O’Connell-White/3:04)


On December 16th, Patrick Fandelok posted the following information on the rumored (now actual) Japan concert tour planned for the spring of 2017:

The dates of the concerts have been released by tour organizer Kajimoto (read here in Japanese and in English)

They will perform 3 concerts in two cities :

  • Tokyo
    May 29 (Monday) 19: 00
    May 30 (Tue) 19: 00
    Venue: Bunkamura Orchard Hall

  • Osaka
    June 2 (Fri) 19: 00
    Venue: Osaka International Conference Hall (Grand Cube Osaka)
  • Bunkamura Concert Complex

The Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo is quite large, it hosts 2,150 seats.
This prestigious venue is well known by Libera, they already performed there in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Interesting fact : Including the two 2017 performances, that theatre is by far the venue where Libera performs the more concerts.
They will have performed not less than 10 concerts there !! )
The next more popular venues are the St George Cathedral RC, Southwark with 6 performances, and the Arundel Cathedral and St. John's Church Upper Norwood with 5 performances.

The International Conference Hall in Osaka is also known by Libera, they performed there last year for a Christmas concert, on December 21. The main Hall has a capacity up to 2,754 seats (!!)


On December 24th, the Libera boys posted a long and entertaining blog about the Christmas concert at 
St. George's Cathedral on December 2nd. (Libera Blog about the Christmas Concert on December 2nd, 2016)

  Neo Parson gets ready.

Alex Montoro solos.

Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, James Menezes, Michael Menezes, Neo Parson, Lucas Wood

Also on Christmas Eve, the Libera boys posted their briefest video Christmas greeting ever.

Taichi Kuboshino and Tadgh Fitzgerald wish us a Merry Christmas. (2016 Christmas Greetings from Libera/:32)   

On January 1st, it was announced that the America's Got Talent Facebook broadcast on which Libera was slated to appear had been delayed due to technical difficulties. It was rescheduled for the night of January 1st at 9 PM.
Kaden Bart Rockett and sister Brooklynn, the young hosts of the program.

End of Part 9A For Part 10, please go to:


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