Saturday, August 2, 2014


(Last Revised/Updated December 17th, 2014. Note: December activities are now covered in Part 7B [link below])

Those who are new to Libera and to this Timeline might also want to check out its other sections:

For Part One (introduction to Libera, extensive overview and 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 7 (August-November 2014)

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


(Rehearsal photos)
(Destiny Video Game Soundtrack)
(Washington DC Blog)
(Fall/Winter Concert Plans)
(QVC TV Appearance)

Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey lays a poppy wreath on the grave of his  great-great uncle Stanley Bradbury.

Welcome to Part 7A of the Libera Historical Timeline, which begins with songs performed by Libera on the BBC Songs of Praise WWI remembrance program Outbreak of War, broadcast on August 3rd, 2014. The segments of the program involving Libera (including alumnus Liam Connery [2005-2011]) were made available on YouTube on August 4th. (The individual songs are posted below for re-viewing by those who don't wish to go through the entire program multiple times.)

Liam Connery (Songs of PraiseOutbreak of War/August 3rd, 2014, Libera segments/18:19)


"You Are There" was filmed at Flanders Field Museum in Ypres, Belgium, with Isaac London singing the solo. (You Are There/Songs of Praise 100th Anniversary of WWI/Solo by Isaac London/2014/1:54)

 "We Are the Lost" with Sam Wiggin soloing, was filmed at The Casements Arches underneath the Ramparts, 100 meters from The Menin Gate where the Wipers Times newssheets were typed in Ypres, Belgium. ("Wipers" was the English-speaking soldiers' pronunciation of Ypres)

Sam Wiggin  (We are the Lost/Songs of Praise 100th Anniversary of WWI Remembrance /Solo by Sam Wiggin/2014/2:16)  
 "Rest in Peace" with Tom Delgado-Little singing the solo, was videoed at Sanctuary Wood (Hill 62) Museum, Ypres, Belgium, where the original trenches are still intact.

(Rest in Peace/Songs of Praise 100th Anniversary of WWI Remembrance/Solo by Thomas Delgado-Little/2014/3:08)

A fourth Libera music video was included in the program: the touching "Lullabye," originally recorded with solo by Josh Madine in 2010.

A break during the filming of "Lullabye" in 2010 (L to R:) Henry Barrington (2008-), Ben Philipp (standing) (2007-2011), Kavana Crossley (2008-), Freddie Ingles (2010-2012), James Mordaunt (2007-2011), unknown actress, Sammy Moriarty (2008-2012), Carlos Rodriguez (2008-2013), Josh Madine (2005-staff), Cassius O' Connell-White (2010-), and Matthew Rangel-Alvares (2010-). (Lullabye by Billy Joel/Solo by Josh Madine/ Peace CD/2010/4:05)

LIBERA FOOTNOTE: All three of the above songs have been featured on Libera videos before, often as part of commemorative programs. The original soloist  on "Rest In Peace" was adult singer (and composer of the song) Peter Skellern. Libera recorded a separate non-video version in 2008. Skellern originally composed the song in memory of those who died in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, and in related acts of terrorism on September 11th, 2001.  (Rest in Peace/Solo by Peter Skellern 2005/3:55)
2005 video with Libera backing "Rest in Peace" composer Peter Skellern (at piano in lower right) at the Great Western Railway Steam  Museum, Swindon, UK (Rest in Peace, Libera version/Solo by Tom Cully/New Dawn CD/2008/4:30)

Robert Prizeman's “We Are the Lost” was first recorded on Libera’s Visions CD. Prizeman set to original music John McCrae’s “In Flanders Field,” also incorporating words from Robert Binyan’s Poem “For the Fallen,” and a line from Isaac Burns’ hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” to create a poignant memorial to all fallen soldiers. It includes scenes (all in London) set at Grosvenor Place/Hyde Park Corner, the Borough War Memorial, Paddington Station, and the Imperial War Museum. (We Are the Lost/Solo by Michael Horncastle/2005/4:19)

Tom Cully (2002-2009) soloed in 2008 on "You Were There" (the original title of the song, which was commissioned for a Japanese TV miniseries).  (You Were There/Takatsugu Muramatsu, composer/Solo by Tom Cully/2008)/4:14)

End of Libera Footnote


On August 5th, Libera tweeted a series of photos of the group sightseeing in Washington DC before their August 6th video session at the basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and it was possible to see members of the singing lineup. Over-16 alumni seen were: Sammy Moriarty, Sam Leggett, Tiarnán Branson, and Daniel Fontannaz. Recent returnees visible included Eoghan McCarthy, Anthony Blake, Kavana Crossley and Henry Barrington. Newbie Rocco Tesei was also present, and Dylan Duffy, who had been on the most recent tour, was absent. From the photos, it could be seen that 30 singers had made the trip.

First-time (and youngest) tour member Rocco Tesei (center) poses with Michael Menezes, Cassius O' Connell-White and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey

On August 7th there were numerous tweets and posts of rehearsal and pre-concert photos. It was obvious that the usual strict rules about photography had been somewhat relaxed, with Libera and fans tweeting numerous photos. Attendees were allowed in fairly early, and there were comments about the relaxed atmosphere that resulted from the PBS professional teams doing much of the set-up and adjusting. There was a large music section, with five violins, two violas, two cellos, flute/whistle, clarinet, oboe, horn, two percussionists and Libera staff members Josh Madine and Steven Geraghty on keyboards. (Links to Twitter sites with photos of Washington DC DVD concert, by Patrick)
Lighting by Jeroen Jans

Photo by Yuki


On August 8th, a long-time fan who goes by tresser_tresser produced a highly detailed review of events, from the technical rehearsals and concert filming to the meet-and-greet following. Here it is, lightly edited:

Lighting Rehearsal at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, August 6th, 2014. The lighting designer for this concert, Jeroen Jans,  also created the lighting effects for the Leiden Concert DVD in 2007 (see Part One of this Timeline).

First of all, I'm going to provide the song list, in the order performed (not counting repeats).  We were told the order on the DVD may not be the same.


- Joyful, Joyful
- How Can I Keep From Singing
- Be Still My Soul
- Morning Has Broken (trio by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Isaac London
- America the Beautiful (solo by Isaac London)
- Wayfaring Stranger (solo by Sam Wiggin)
- Wonderful World (solo by Isaac London)
- Amazing Grace (solo by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey)
- The Prayer (solo by Isaac London)


- I Vow to Thee My Country
- Ave Maria (solo by Tom Delgado-Little)
- How Great Thou Art (solo by Sam Wiggin)
- Rest in Peace (solo by Tom Delgado-Little)
- Sanctus (solo by Bertie Smart)
- Song of Life (solo by Isaac London)
- How Shall I Sing the Majesty (solos by Lucas Wood and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti)
- Voca Me (duet by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Lucas Wood; descant by Tom Delgado-Little)


Photo: Warner Classics
Alvares, Marc
Barrington, Henry
Balsekar, Shay
Blake, Anthony
Bradbury-Hickey, Ciaran
Branson, Tiarnan
Collins, Gabriel
Crossley, Kavana
Delgado-Little, Thomas
Fairmen, Benjamin
Fontannaz, Daniel
Gula, Alexander
Jansen, Matthew
Lee, Timothy
Leggett, Samuel 
London, Isaac
MacKinnon-Botti, Alessandro
Madine, Joshua 
Madine, Matthew
McCarthy, Eoghan
Menezes, Michael
Montoro, Alexander
Moriarty, Samuel 
Neidermaier-Reed, Jakob
O’Connell-White, Cassius
Rangel-Alvares, Matthew
Smart, Bertramo
Stewart, Camden
Wiggin, Sam
Wood, Lucas

Josh Madine primarily played keyboards, but  joined the boys as a white-robed singer for "Voca Me" and "Be Still My Soul."

Program photo of some of the "big people at the back," from the 2013 Armagh DVD filming: (L to R) staff member and alumnus Simon Lewis, Alex Leggett, Daniel Fontannaz, Sam Leggett, staff member/alumnus Steven Geraghty, Josh Madine.

Musical Director:  Robert Prizeman
Assistant Musical Directors:  Sam Coates and Steven Geraghty
Keyboard:  Joshua Madine and Steven Geraghty
Sound Mixing and Production:  Sam Coates
Stage Management:  Jonathan Barrington, Luke Avery and Simon Lewis
Lighting Director:  Jeroen Jans (the same artist who lit the
Angel Voices: Libera in Concert DVD)
Tour Coordination and Chaperones:  Barbara Geraghty, Eleanor Lewis
Concert Management:  John Rexroad and Steven Phillip
Production Co-ordinator:  Andrew Winter

I did not recognize any of the names for the other instrumentalists there.  I overheard someone say that they recognized one of the instrumentalists from some other performance in the DC area and that they thought that local musicians may have been recruited.

There were a number of volunteers associated with that were acting as ushers, passing out programs, helping distribute gifts to donors (the mooses and tote bags) and other such activities.  The lady that seemed to be in charge was named Lauren [from the Mini-Angels site], and one gentleman I believe was Fan de Lok [of Libera Passion].  I rather suspect that many of the folks I saw in red volunteer usher shirts are also members of these groups and/or Libera Dreams.

Lauren, half of the Mini-Angels dream team

See Lauren's Twitter Here:

My Own Experiences: First Day (Wed the 6th):  Technical Run-through

I showed up pretty early, maybe around 5 PM, and was somewhat surprised that I could just walk right into the main part of the basilica, where I found them setting up for the concert.

While the technical people swarmed the place testing and practicing with the lights, cameras etc, a number of other members of the general public were also walking around.  Some were fans that I talked with, while others were people there to see the Shrine without knowing there was preparation for a concert.  I rather suspect that some of them showed up later that night and the following night.  I spent much of the time talking to other fans and enjoying the effect of the lighting tests on the building.

Libera rehearsing in the Basilica  (Photo by Lauren)

I also went downstairs  and saw that the boys were in the basilica cafeteria. I saw a few of them walking down the hall wearing the backwards dark hoodies over their white robes as they do to keep the robes clean while eating.

For the technical run-through itself, announcements to the audience were handled by a Dutch individual who described himself as the stage manager for the night. He told us to expect a number of starts and stops, as well as repeats.  Indeed, unlike a regular concert, they did not have smooth and immediate transitions between songs, nor did they turn off the lights and make the boys find their way in the dark. 

(Photo by Lauren)

Between takes the boys were mostly allowed to relax, and we saw a great deal more wiggling, stretching, etc. than is the norm for a concert.  They also did some songs or parts of some songs more than once, as well as repeating some of the in-between song speeches. 

I recall that the boy who was given the challenge of saying "The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception" had quite a mouthful and sometimes didn't get it all out entirely correctly.  I think they may have also had some challenges adjusting for various technical issues, and possibly some of the background noise from outside (including the occasional emergency vehicle sirens) as well as compensating for the massive amount of echoing in the Basilica.  You could also hear Robert Prizeman giving verbal instructions to the boys through the earpieces they were all wearing.

However, none of this was detrimental to my perspective. I knew not to expect a regular concert and was expecting more repeat takes than actually happened.  Anyway, needless to say I thought they sounded lovely.  My one critique would be that I thought that on "Wonderful World" and "The Prayer," there were times were I was having problems making out individual words and the expression could have been been better.

Second Day (Thursday the 7th):  The Concert

(Photo of audience by Yuki)
Again I showed up early, and again, much to my surprise, I could walk right in.  At no point during the night did anyone ask to see my ticket.  I showed up just in time to see Libera doing some rehearsals and pick up shooting for a few of the songs, as well as some of the speeches.  These takes of "The Prayer "  and "Wonderful World" sounded much better than the night before, and even tad bit better than at the concert latter that night.  There were some times they asked for quiet in the building because they were recording some of it. Again, they had to do a couple takes of some of the speeches.  Still, I suspect that some of this rehearsal will end up on the DVD .

This rehearsal was even more informal that the technical run-through and between takes some of the boys were getting a bit rambunctious and even chattering. I heard some boys talking loudly and other boys reminding them that everyone could hear them.  The boys were also using their hands to shield their eyes from the spotlights, and you could tell they were getting hot.

I also suspect that the boys were laden down with hairspray because some of them seemed to like feeling each other's hair.  Adults would come on stage to adjust their hair and the earpieces or apply something with a brush.  An incident that stands out was one of the boys sneezing into his hand and then trying to figure out what to do with the result.  One of the ladies in the wings ran out with a tissue.

After the rehearsal I went down a bought a bunch of merchandise, in addition to the CDs and the
Angels Sing DVD, they had multiple styles of T-Shirts and hats, as well as a grey hoodie with a stylized L on the front and "Libera" on the back.  They were also selling signed and unsigned photobooks, a full-sized wall calendar, lanyards, wrist bands, two sizes of moose, small UK and US flags, and probably a few other things.  The vending was operated by the staff of the Basilica's's gift shop.  I picked up the complementary moose that the volunteers were handing out to donors.Before the concert,one of the priests associated with the basilica blessed the event with a prayer. The actual concert started a bit latter than the announced time of 7:30. Again, the Dutch gentleman made introductions, with the audience clapping while we were being filmed; he also  led a cheer for Libera as they came out.

(Photo by Yuki)
 I won't say a lot about the music or who sang what and who said what.  Needless to say that despite a few minor imperfections that we can expect of any event, the music and lighting was marvelous, as Libera always is, and the boys were very charming, as usual.

The main departure from a normal concert was the between-the-songs routine.  Instead of keeping the mystique by having the boys transition between songs in darkness, they kept the lights on the whole time.  Sometimes the transitions were slower then they would be in a regular concert, because they needed to make sure that all the cameras and such were in place for the next song.  This produced a certain amount of between-shots wiggling and stretching amongst the boys but less so than the night before and certainly no chatter or minor roughhousing as in the tech rehearsals.  Also, Steven Geraghtly frequently came out between songs to make sure all the boys were perfectly aligned.  

There were fewer  repeats than in the technical run-through, but they did repeat part of "Joyful Joyful" (the first song of the concert) just before intermission. They also had to re-record of part of another song because of  truck noises from outside.

While some of these departures from normal concert routine decreased some of the  ethereal mood of a regular concert, I had no complaints because this was a chance to see more of the practical aspects of Libera filming. I think that in the end everyone understood that the requirements of filming were different from the requirements of a regular concert, and that people found things like Steven adjusting the boys to be more charming than annoying.

At the end Libera got a massive standing ovation.  When we finally sat down, I think everyone was expecting an encore, but they just waved and left the stage.  Given that it was 10:15 PM by that time and that the boys had to get a bite to eat and then sign autographs, I can't blame them.  I also think that PBS did not want the concert to be longer than they can fit in their allotted time, and the technical folks wanted time to take things down.  I heard from a security guard on Wednesday that the crew was planning on having everything taken down and packed up that night.

One thing that they did do that was nice was have us cheer for the musicians right after the boys left.

Photo by Yuki
After the concert I went down and got in line to have the boys sign my program.  We waited a little while, but not particularly long.  According to the program they were getting a bite to eat after the concert.  I suspect they were also getting water and restroom breaks after having to stand under the lights for so long.

The boys showed up in their usual blue-shirted outfits. All of them were there at one time.  
I moved through the line pretty quick and didn't have extensive conversations with all the boys.  I did ask them all their names, except a few I recognized.  Tiarnán Branson said that he was 18 and one of the oldest there.  I failed to immediately recognized Kavana, who has grown up quite a bit and changed his hairstyle.  I said that I remembered when he was first staring out, and he said "That's right, my first tour was in America," referring to the 2008 tour when I saw them in in Pittsburgh. 

Robert Prizeman was directing the singers and musicians from the first row of the seating area, and did not do any keyboard work. The only person I saw doing keyboards was Josh Madine, who did both piano and electronic keyboards; he was marvelous.  Steven Geraghty is listed on the program as doing keyboards, but I mostly saw him help with stage management. 
I didn't get home until after midnight.—tresser_tresser


Hello to everyone from my nation's capitol of Washington DC! It's time to talk about another DVD filming! Yes, that's right! There's a new DVD coming out in March 2015 from PBS! We're going to get so spoiled! The filming of this DVD was a two-day-long process, and it was a little different from the one last year in Armagh. The boys did a "practice concert" on Wednesday where just the stage was filmed, and then they did the big concert on Thursday with a full audience of about 1,500 people and all the camera shots that go along with that. I was able to go to both of the concerts, and they were both spectacular
The filming was an interesting process. The flow is very different from your normal concert. Libera would perform a song, we would clap, and then we'd all sit quietly (while the boys stood patiently) and wait to make sure the director was happy. Sometimes he asked for all or a part of a song to be shot again, and different camera angles were used. We could hear the production team talking to each other through their microphones. Our assistant director, Andre Teelen, was from Holland, and he didn't really prompt us to clap longer as in Armagh, but he did explain if we had to wait awhile. Once the director said everything was good, Robert Prizeman would wave to the boys, and they would take their positions for the next song. There wasn't as much fussing with hair and makeup as in Armagh (that seemed to be after every song), but sometimes Steven would come out to reposition a boy or fix a microphone.

There were ten cameras in the Basilica, including the tall jibby-jib, cameras on the floor and front pew, cameras in the balconies, a handheld camera, and a steadicam! That was fun to watch! I can't imagine lugging that heavy thing around for all that time! The steadicam guy ran across the stage or down the aisles while another guy squatted down and followed him around holding a black box. He was electronically adjusting the focus so the first guy didn't have to let go of the camera. It was fun to talk to them about how all of the equipment works!

There were 30 boys listed in the program as choristers. As in the last DVD filming, we had a lot of our big boys back up on stage! Tiarnán Branson, Daniel Fontannaz, Sammy Moriarty, and Sam Leggett were all there—Sam has beaten his own high score for being the oldest boy to sing in Libera! He's now 19 years and 10 months! We got another nice surprise when Josh came off the piano to don the white robe and sing in two of the songs! We had some who are not newbies to the stage, but this was the first big tour for them - Shay Balsekar, Timothy Lee, Rocco Tesei, and Camden Stewart! They did so well! Camden's dad was even able to come see him perform!

Libera performed 17 songs. The assistant director told us they would not necessarily be in this order on the DVD. There was no encore, but we did get 2 new songs!

1. Joyful Joyful
Robert Prizeman wrote a new arrangement of this hymn and introduced it for the first time in April in New York City. It was a really happy and invigorating opening to the concert. The beginning of the song was allnew with a nice flute part.

2.   How Can I Keep From Singing (Tom Delgado-Little sang the high notes.)

3.   Be Still My Soul
       Josh put on a white robe and sang for this song. On the second verse, everyone sang quite low, even the treble boys. Tom sang a new, beautiful high part. Really lovely.

4.   Morning Has Broken
       Here's where the lighting started to get really amazing. On this song it looked like sun rays were coming out! Wait til you see it! Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Sam Wiggin, and Isaac London sang by themselves at first.

Speech – Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Ben Fairman explained that this is Libera's third PBS concert, but it's the first one they've ever made in the USA.

5.   America the Beautiful - NEW SONG
       This is a very patriotic song in America, and Libera just made it spectacular! Isaac London sang by himself at first then with Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Sam Wiggin. Tom Delgado-Little and Lucas Wood sang the high part. There were red lights shooting out from the altar with a stripe of white light coming out of the center. As the song went along it got more and more powerful until it swelled on the last verse, when all the boys moved to the center of the stage. Gabriel Collins was so into the song that he didn't realize everyone had moved and just continued to sing from his spot on the left side. At the end of the song, everyone clapped then Steven came out and put him back in position. It was so adorable that everyone clapped and cheered again. I'm really glad that Libera did this song because my great-uncle and great-aunt came and he is a retired US Navy commander. They came to the concert with a large group of their friends who are also retired US military officers. One was a 3-star general! He told us he loved the concert!

6.   Wayfaring Stranger
       This song is stunning! Sam Wiggin soloed the first verse from the back of the stage then the full choir sang the chorus. Sam then slowly walked forward while singing the second verse, and the choir formed a "V" with Sam front and center. This song has such amazing harmonies. It's just gorgeous. You're going to love this one when you see and hear it!

Speech – Cassius O’ Connell-White and Ben Fairman told us that Rocco Tesei is the youngest on stage at age nine. Cassius is "old" at age 12, and he's been in the choir for five years. Then six boys spoke in the language of where their family is from - Alex Gula – Polish; Lucas Wood - Spanish (Mexico); Tom Delgado-Little - Spanish (Spain); Sam Wiggin - French;  Isaac London - Gaelic (Ireland); and Alex Montoro - Italian. They said their names and what parent had heritage from another country. They each finished with the line "It's a wonderful world" in their language.

7.   Wonderful World
       The solo by Isaac London was fabulous! This was a new song in April.

8.   Amazing Grace
       This is another song that was new in April, and it may make you cry. They filmed a close-up of Josh playing the piano at the beginning. There were red lights shining up the pillars of the altar. Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey has a beautiful solo on the next to last verse.

9.   The Prayer - NEW SONG
       You may know this song because it's been sung by Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, and Josh Groban. Now it's Libera's turn. The boys started out kneeling. Isaac London sang the solo then beautiful harmonies joined in. This one is stunning and made many people cry.

In 2010 Libera joined a roster of distinguished musicians in performing this song for a CD benefitting the victims of an earthquake in Haiti. The result is exquisite.

Sammy Moriarty, Ralph Skan and James Threadgill at the recording session (“The Prayer”/Classical Relief for Haiti//various artists/2010/4:34)


10. I Vow To Thee My Country
       The first verse was sung by Tom Delgado-Little, Alessandro Mackinnon Botti, Alex Montoro, Lucas Wood, Sam Wiggin, and Isaac London. Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Matthew Jansen sang the "ooh's." Tom sang the last "And all her paths are peace" with Ciaran harmonizing with him.

11. Ave Maria
       Tom Delgado-Little was in the center with 11 boys kneeling behind him. Tom's solo was so pure that it was like a crystal bell. Just amazing!

12. How Great Thou Art
       Sam Wiggin sang the solo on the first verse. His voice reminds me a little bit of Josh Madine’s voice. It's very smooth. The song builds in volume and intensity. It's very moving.

Speech – Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey  and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti introduced the next 2 songs.

13. Rest In Peace
       This song was written after 9/11. Tom Delgado-Little sang the solo. Sam Wiggin sang the “aah's.”

14. Sanctus
       Bertie Smart sang the middle "ah's" and the last "Sanctus, sanctus." Lucas Wood sang the high part. There was a beautiful green light effect.

SteadiCam Photography(Photo by Luke Avery

15. Song of Life
       Really great solo by Isaac London with the rest joining in on the chorus.

16. How Shall I Sing That Majesty
       This song was stunning! Lucas Wood and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti sang the solos with Tom Delgado-Little on the high part. 

17. Voca Me
       Josh Madine was back singing for this song. There was a moving white light shining out from the altar. Tom Delgado-Little was in the back by the altar to sing the high notes. Matthew Jansen sang the "Lacrymosa" solo. He has always had a great voice. It's a little lower now but still great! As you know, this song just builds and builds until there's an ecstatic peak, then Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Matthew Jansen sang the last, quiet "Voca Me." 

Next came the longest standing ovation I've ever seen. The assistant director didn't even have to tell us to stand up and clap. We just kept clapping and clapping! After a while, the boys coaxed Tom Delgado-Little to move forward to the front of the stage, and the crowd started loudly cheering and clapping some more! I think the boys really realized how great of a job they had done and how much the audience loved it. When we finished clapping, we sat down to await the director's instructions. But there were none. No retake needed on that one! Robert Prizeman dismissed the boys and they waved to the audience as they left the stage. And the audience clapped again.

There were a lot of Libera souvenirs for sale (they should also be on sale on soon) in the lower level of the Basilica. That's also where the Meet & Greet was held. The Meet & Greet was listed in the program, but the line for it was not super long. I know for sure there weren't 1,500 people waiting. I think some people didn't go to it because it wasn't announced during the interval or they had to catch their train home. This was a Thursday night, so many probably had work the next day.

Thank you to Libera staff and boys for all your hard work and for coming to the USA again to make another DVD for all of your fans to enjoy! Can't wait until March 2015 to see it! These were the most amazing concerts ever.   
        by fan_de_LoK

Photo by Jeroen Jans

America The Beautiful -
Solo by Isaac London
The singers were placed in a wide arc, with the smallest at each end, with Isaac London just outside the arc in the center. 
The pace was slow and composed, There was a gradual crescendo, with Isaac solo on the first verse, then the chorus with progressively more power. 
Beautiful deep red lighting. The instruments were a strong presence, including drums cymbals, and strings, for a grand finale on the last verse and last chorus. The arc moved and they came to place shoulder to shoulder, aligned in two rows, facing the audience. 

The song will certainly be significant to the American public.

         Funny detail: on the left side of the first arc was little Gabriel Collins. He was so focused on the song and looking at the audience that he forgot the movement at the end and found himself isolated on the left of the stage. Gabe realized nothing until Robert Prizeman motioned to him. Then Steven Geraghty went on stage, put a hand on Gabe’s shoulder, and gently steered him to his place in line. Gabe didn’t take his eyes off of the audience, and the other boys were half smiling and laughing. It was fun on the merits but also moving to see how delicately Steven had moved little Gabe. The audience around me said 'awwww' and applauded this touching moment. 
I do not know whether they will have footage on the DVD, I hope they'll put in the bonus sequence.

Wayfaring Stranger - 
Solo by Sam Wiggin.

Another highlight of the concert. 
Beautiful lighting in white and dark blue. 
They boys were in two rows diagonally pointing toward the center of the stage ( \ / ), with Sam at the back near the main altar. 
The smaller boys were at the front, increasing in size toward the back , except for little Gabriel Collins and Rocco Tesei, who were in 3rd or 4th position. 

Sam started the song alone and did all of the first verse from the back of the stage 
The second verse was sung by the choir and Sam, as he slowly walked up to the center of the two lines, tapering likeAve Verum, but in reverse order of size. 
The last verse was sung powerfully by the full chorus, again with strong emphasis on instruments, including increased drum rolls and cymbals.

SteadiCam Photography(Photo by Luke Avery

Speech by Cassius O’ Connell-White and Ben Fairman. 
They spoke of the various ages in the choir, including Rocco Tesei, who has just turned nine and listing the other ages, with the boys raising their hands when their age was called, including Matthew Rangel-Alvares,, Eoghan McCarthy, Henry Barrington, and Kuba Niedermaeir-Reed. (The bigger boys—Sammy Moriarty, Sam Leggett, Daniel Fontannaz,Tiarnán Branson, etc., left the scene before the speech.) 
They mentioned their London home, but also indicated that several members come from families of various origins. At this point, six younger boys spoke a short sentence in the language of origin of their family, 
There was Alex Gula (Polish), Lucas Wood  (Mexican Spanish), Thomas Delgado-Little, (Spanish), Sam Wiggin (French), Isaac London (Irish Gaelic), and Alex Montoro (Italian). 
Certainly this was consistent with the diverse origins of the American people, and it should be found in the trailers preceding the March release of the DVD.

Wonderful World 
- Solo by Isaac London.

Isaac sang the first verse and soloed on different phrases and sang with the chorus on the rest, 
I found all very airy, light, and delicate, Isaac was wonderful on this song.

Amazing Grace

Piano intro by Josh Madine. 
There was a soloist on the resumption of the first verse at the end, perhaps Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti. I was surprised because the verse started with everyone singing, as the previous ones had, but for the last words everyone was silent and just a soloist remained, it made a nice effect.

The Prayer 
- Solo by Isaac London

If you do not know the song, here is the original version by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. 
On the musical intro I noticed that the flautist uses a small flute recorder like a pennywhistle. 
I remember that Isaac's solo on the first and last verses began and ended smoothly, with beautiful effects on violins and drums.

Then there was the intermission, assumed to be 15 minutes long but had to be much longer than that. The stand of souvenirs was stormed, and there were long waiting lines to buy objects, and queues before each stand. Next to the stand was a very long dining table with 30 seats in anticipation of the upcoming book signing after the concert.

We were asked to sit in the same places as in the first half, because the songs may be in a different order on the DVD than in the recording session. The boys returned to the stage to applause.

I Vow To Thee My Country

Sadly, there was no soloist—Matthew Jansen did this song so well. 
Several boys the first verse simultaneously, but my memory is too vague for me to name them, and I missed the one that sang only the last sentence ... 

Ave Maria (Schubert Version) - 
Solo by Thomas Delgado-Little

A highlight of the concert. 
11 knelt in an arc, with Tom standing alone in the center. 
Tom sang the whole song solo. He was completely alone on the first part, then the others accompanied him with beautiful harmonies on the second part, and all sang a common Amen. 
A very nice performance from Tom applauded (discreetly) by some of the musicians, including one percussionist who watched admiringly throughout the song.

Photo by Jeroen Jans

How Great Thou Art - 
Solo by Sam Wiggin

Another highlight of the concert. 
 Sam’s timbre is excellent for this song. He sang the first verse solo, then others joined him for the chorus and the following verses. 
There were a lot of effects and variations in volumes of both voices and instruments. There was a passage where the boys sing a cappella without instruments, and it ends with a big powerful instrumental and choir apotheosis, it's pretty spectacular. 
I even asked if there was an organ in the Basilica playing at the end.

Speech by Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti and Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, who presented the two songs that followed, including 'Rest in Peace,'  which they mentioned was written by Peter Skellern for the victims of September 11 in New York and “here in Washington,” and 'Sanctus.' 

Rest in Peace 
- Solo by Tom Delgado-Little

Piano intro by Josh Madine. 
Tom sang the verses solo and the others joined in the chorus. 


The boys were ranged in their classical formation of a large arc. 
Bertie Sart was prominent in the harmony section, with high parts sung by Tom Delgado-Little and maybe Lucas Wood  
Bertie sang the final two “sanctus” alone —it was not a single long one as before. 

Song Of Life – Solo by Isaac London

Isaac sang solo on the verses, and everyone on the choruses 
Piano intro by Josh Madine. 
Maybe I'm wrong but I think everyone wass kneeling on the song, including Isaac. 
In any case, there are two kneeling songs, Ave Maria and this one I think.

How Shall I Sing That Majesty – solos by Lucas Wood and Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti

This was the penultimate song, 
Descants by Tom Delgado-Little. 
Very spectacular to see and hear, again with a lot of instruments, drum rolls and cymbal sounds.

Voca Me - Duet by Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Matthew Jansen; descants by Tom Delgado-Little.

The others were divided into two compact groups on the left and right of the stage. 
Tom positioned himself at the back of the stage, in the center, before the altar. 
The two soloists, Ciaran (left )and Matthew J. (right). Ciaran and Matthew were isolated in the center, just in front, turned three quarters. They sang the solo parts together. 

There was lengthy applause at the end, forseveral minutes, with all the audience standing and shouts flying here and there.The boys stood on stage smiling with sparkling eyes, and seemed very happy and proud of such a crowd and such enthusiasm,

During the applause Robert Prizeman nodded and Sam Wiggin turned and gestured toward Tom Delgado-Little, who remained at the back of the stage after Voca Me. The applause for Tom increased gradually, and exploded when he led one of the groups to the front, under the light of the follow-spot.

I wondered who would last longest, the spectators or the boys.
After several minutes of applause people stopped and sat down. With the boys still on stage in full light and Robert Prizeman sitting at his desk, it was believed that there would be an encore. There wasn’t
On Robert’s signal, the boys began to leave the stage on both sides waving goodbye enthusiastically to the audience, and laughing atthe comedy of the situation, while the applause and cheers again resumed for a moment.

The autograph session took place in very good conditions; the Basilica team was a model of efficiency throughout the preparation of the event. This was my third tour in the USA and like the previous times I was surprised to see that only a small part of the audience comes to the signing. If we were in Asia, we have virtually 100% of the audience, it would last for hours and the boys would be divided into groups to go faster. Here we had all thirty, together and it lasted a good half-hour.

Ben Fairman, Tom Delgado-Little, Lucas Wood, Sam Wiggin, and Alex Gula (Photo by Yuki)

An autograph session was held after the performance, with videos taken by various fans. One of them, by Enjay Sea, showed this appealing moment, with Ben Fairman tousling the hair of a sleepy Marc Alvares, who had been caught napping on the table by a fan. Tom Delgado-Little reacts.  (Meet-and-Greet autograph signing after DVD-recording concert in Washington DC/2014/7:35/video by Philip Van) (Meet-and-Greet autograph signing after DVD-recording concert in Washington DC/2014/2:13/video by Enjay Sea) (Mini Angels post re Meet-and-Greet autograph signing after DVD-recording concert in Washington DC/2014)

Another fan, Yuki, posted a gallery of rehearsal and concert photos at

(Photography by Libera Staff and Boys, Luke Avery and Brenda Ladd)

Posing in front of the White House: (Front) Michael Menezes, Shay Balsekar, Alex Gula and Rocco Tesei. (Back) Eoghan McCarthy, Kavana Crossley, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey and Matthew Madine

Unusual photo of the boys wearing their own playclothes

For those who still were still having trouble at this point distinguishing which boy was which, Patrick of the Libera Passion site created this handy chart. On the same site, readers will find an up-to-date roster (including a note of regulars who missed the concert), with photos, nicknames and live links to further information. There is a similar section
for former members.

The second part of the boys' blog described the concert proceedings with both liveliness and wit, while the third described post-event activities before returning home.
Cherubim and Seraphim Rest between takes. (Photo by Luke Avery)

Lots of fussing to install hairband microphones

Sound director Sam Coates (1996-present) sets up for the challenge of dealing with 30-31 singers and orchestra. More backstage photos can be seen at

Lighting Director Jeroen Jans Contributed a number of magnificent photos:


Photo by Tristram Kenton

The very versatile Libera soloist Tom Delgado-Little followed in the footsteps of another of the group's impressive multitaskers, Stefan Leadbeater (2008-2012) by taking to the opera stage in the role of Miles  in Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw, in this case with the Glyndebourne Opera Company in England. Like Stefan, Tom received a number of positive reviews, as did the opera in general.

Here's a video explaining the production and showing Tom in the role of Miles:  (Insight into Turn of the Screw/Glyndebourne Opera Company/2014/2:53)

Tiarnán Branson (2006-2014) received a prestigious choral scholarship to
Magdalen College, Oxford University.  This requires academic as well as musical 
excellence, and the Magdalen Choir follows a performance schedule similar to that of Libera.  
Former Libera soloist Liam Connery (2005-2012) also matriculated at Oxford in the fall term.

An interview with former Liberan Tom Cully (now recording under the name of Jamie Isaac) appeared on the Clash music site. Like a number of Libera alumni, Tom/Jamie was at this time attempting to distance himself musically from his Libera days.

Tom Cully, c. 2003
Jamie Isaac in 2014 (2014 interview with Jamie Isaac [Formerly Tom Cully, Libera soloist 2002-2010])

James Threadgill in 2014

James Threadgill in 2010

Libera alumnus James Threadgill ( 2008-2011) (also beginning to distance himself from Libera with the occasional use of the name "Jimmy Folklore") demonstrated his growing skill in musical composition on a SoundCloud site that also featured the work of alumni Daniel Fontannaz (2007-2013) and Sam Leggett (2004-2011, with guest appearances in 2013 and 2014 concert DVDs).


In mid-October (Libera’s version of “Carol of the Bells” appeared as background 
for a 'Christmas is Coming” promotion for the QVC shopping website/2014/1:00)

Around the same time, Libera's "Panis Angelicus" (version #1 below) appeared on a Downton Abbey Christmas CD.

At this point, the group had recorded this classic liturgical piece at least once in each of its incarnations—St. Philip's Choir (1903-1987), Angel Voices (1987-1998) and Libera (1999-present). (Three versions of Panis Angelicus)
1) Solo byDaniel Fontannaz, 2010/Libera/Peace CD)
2) Solo/harmony by Oliver Putman

and Anthony Maher/Angel Voices 1 CD/1992)
3) Solo/Harmony by Jaymi Bandtock and Sam Harper/St.Philips’ Choir/Sing Forever CD/1987)

The Libera Passion site added to its list of Libera songs included on compilation CDs and MP3 cuts (there were 189 at this point). This ongoing list does not include Libera appearances on the CDs of other artists (e.g. Aled Jones, Andrea Bocelli, the Berlin Philharmonic), but are mostly songs previously issued on "official" Libera recordings. Some of them are a bit strange

by PaulWSpaceRockDodger » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:08 pm

Sam Coates, Steven Geraghty and Ben Crawley as Libera choirboys, c. 2000. The fourth boy is Anthony Chadney.
Three former Libera members have made an interesting contribution to a recent (2014) Deutsche Grammophon CD entitled "Die Chorjungen" ("The Choirboys"). The CD features three boy sopranos from Germany's Augsburger Domsingknaben who sing 14 songs, four of which are accompanied by an English male choir assembled for the recording of the CD in Germany and the UK. In the CD's information booklet (such booklets are one of the reasons why I still like CDs!), Sam Coates is listed as the "vocal contractor", which perhaps means that he was the one responsible for assembling the English choir to accompany the Augsburger boys. The list of the choir members includes three former Libera members: Steven Geraghty (alto), Ben Crawley (tenor), and Sam Coates (bass). Another example of Libera "graduates" making use of their musical talents!

For more information about this CD, see ‪


The following announcement had appeared earlier in the year:

Mark Mckenzie is honored to have orchestrated and recorded a 50-minute, Eight- movement symphonic and choral suite entitled "Destiny: Music of the Spheres" for composers Martin O’Donnell, Michael Salvatori and Sir Paul McCartney. The music was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios using a 106-piece orchestra, large choir and the famed London boys choir LIBERA with Sir Paul McCartney attending. 

Libera fan Jimmy Riddle covered the subject thoroughly on the Libera Dreams Forum.

Re: Destiny - Music of the Spheres
by JimmyRiddle » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:42 am
‪The complete Destiny Soundtrack can now be purchased on iTunes....and at present also on Japan's amazon site m ... B00NYAJYBE m (other outlets might become available after iTunes exclusivity expires)

‪It's also been posted on YouTube... (Soundtrack for Destiny: Music of the Spheres/2014/2:18:51)

... I've detected Libera;

01:10 (The Traveler)
07:07 (Excerpt from the Hope)
26:50 (The Journey Home)
34:50 (Tranquility)

...after that they are mixed in with the other mass choirs...

Please note these are just extracts from the in-game soundtrack and is not related to the orchestral suite 'Music of the Spheres'...the release of this composition has been thrown into doubt after Marty O'Donnell (composer) parted waves with Bungie (Game Developer) earlier this year… — Jimmy Riddle

This would be Libera's second appearance on a video-game soundtrack. Steven Geraghty had sung on a Japanese video game in  2001. Note that the song "You Were There" is entirely different from the song of the same name recorded by Tom Cully and Libera in 2009. (Steven Geraghty/Ico-You Were There /PSTOST/2001)

Paul McCartney also released  a single, "Hope for the Future," based on the orchestral suite. Libera is heard only in the last seconds. (Paul McCartney/Hope for the Future/ Destiny soundtrack/2014/4:04)


NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2014, Warner Classics PRNewswire/ -- This fall, boychoir sensation LIBERA returns to the U.S. for two tours – October 25-November 2 and December 21-24 – in support of their smash hit 'ANGELS SING – CHRISTMAS IN IRELAND' album, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Charts last year. 
As there was no concert ticketing information forthcoming, It was assumed that Libera would be taping appearances on various PBS stations planning to feature the Christmas in Ireland DVD during the holiday season. As can be seen below, however, the first tour, at least, may have been wishful thinking on the part of Warner Classics, because the group appeared to be engaged in other activities in England from October 25th on.


On October 25th, Libera made a guest appearance on the QVC-UK Shopping Channel, singing "Carol of the Bells," which QVC had also been using in their 30- and 60-second "Countdown to Christmas" TV ads. (Libera sings “Carol of the Bells” on one-minute QVC “Countdown to Christmas ad) (Libera sings “Carol of the Bells” on 30-second QVC “Countdown to Christmas" ad) (Libera performs “Carol of the Bells” on the QVC Shopping Channel, 10/25/2014)

Libera boys with QVC show host Miceál Murphy

17 boys performed on the live show:

Front row: Ben Fairman, Tom Delgado-Little, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Isaac London, Alex Gula, Marc Alvares, Lucas Wood, Sam Wiggin.

Back row: Camden Stewart, Shay Balsekar, Timothy Lee, Matthew Jansen, Rocco Tesei, Alex Montoro, Michael Menezes, Matthew Madine. This was a particularly young group; recent singers missing (from the WWI Songs of Praise group) were Bertie Smart, Cassius O' Connell-White, Kuba Neidermaier-Reed, and Gabriel Collins. New boys were Shay Balsekar, Timothy Lee and Rocco Tesei.

Over 300 people were on hold to order their 2011 The Christmas Album CD while the boys were singing. As a result of the performance, the song was #1 on the classical best-sellers list for October 26th.


On October 27th, the chorus of Libera's "Song of Life" appeared as the soundtrack for three 30-second TV ads by Universal Studios-Japan. Song of Life used for Universal Studios-Japan TV ad/:30/#1) (Song of Life used for Universal Studios-Japan TV ad/:30/#2) (Song of Life used for Universal Studios-Japan TV ad/:30/#3)


Also on October 27th, Official Libera tweeted the following photo, with many of the boys almost unrecognizable  as Victorian factory urchins at Armley Mills in Leeds, England:

In case you can't see through the disguises: (L to R) Gabriel Collins, Timothy Lee, Matthew Jansen, Merlin Brouwer, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Michael Menezes, Matthew Madine, Shay Balsekar, Sam Wiggin, Camden 7Stewart, Ben Fairman, Lucas Wood, Marc Alvares, Alex Montoro, Rocco Tesei, Isaac London, Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti, Alex Gula

This appeared to be a new video or TV production, but no information was given as to musical content or eventual airing. 


On October 28th, the following message appeared on the Mini-Angels site:

Hey, Libera fans! Do you ever wish you could buy some of the items that are sold at Libera concerts? You can now order these items at Libera of the US's charity site - - and the money will help fund Libera's concert season for the first half of 2015.

Tom Delgado-Little displays an American cousin of Libera mascot Moose; behind him, Bertie Smart sports a Libera Tee.

For a list of merchandise and ordering details:

End of Part 7A For Now


On November 11th, the OfficialLibera site posted a charming collection of photos from the August trip to Washington DC to film and record Angels Sing: Libera in America.

Perfect Angels: Gabriel Collins, Sam Leggett, Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey, Isaac London (with halo), unknown, Sam Wiggin, Tiarnán Branson, Sammy MoriartY. Photo by Brenda Ladd


In mid-November, lacking other Libera news, internet rumors began to circulate of a planned visit by Libera to Moscow, igniting a flurry of information/disinformation, speculation, and commentary regarding the political implications of such a visit, the safety factor for the boys, etc. Here are parts of a typical forum exchange, tempered by the moderator's voice of reason. 

Libera's visit to Moscow is confirmed - apparently R Prizeman contacted a Russian social network group asking them to help with the promotion. Re buying tickets - there are plenty of seats, but the ticket site is in Russian only and quite a complicated procedure must be followed in order to firstly be registered and then to actually buy the tickets. They accept all major credit cards though, the most expensive tickets are at RUB 2,500 (approx USD 53). The link is here: Хор мальчиков «Libero» (Великобритания) - билеты на 18 января

I think it gives the complete wrong signal to Putin if he is aware of Libera. He can say: See, the European populace does not agree with the sanctions, so I can send more arms into Ukraine. And not only Ukraine, Russia is more and more aggressive to its neighbours. Just ask the Baltic states and Georgia for instance.

That is a pity they do this. Apart from the language problems Russia at present to me is just a NO-NO.

why is it a pity they do this? You and others in this group always advertise the good effect of Libera's music on the audiences wherever they are. Don't you think Libera would have a good effect on a Russian audience? I think it is great they do this. If I had the money I would go there!
And you would really add more of those useless sanctions? The worst sanction for Russia: call off Libera's concert... What effect would that have?  By the way, Libera was invited by the local festival of church music in Moscow. Think about it.

Who can prove to you that our western media give us the right picture about that conflict? You believe what you want to believe, but is it automatically right? I have got friends in the U.S.A. But they are not the same as the US-government. (Anyway, is that necessarily the "good" side in this world?). Are the Russian people identical with the Russian government? Do you want to deny ordinary Russian people the joy of attending a Libera concert?
Come on, put your tabloids aside and think for yourself.

I would like to remind the group that we have seen this before. The venue announces something before all the agreements are made. We will need something from Libera to determine if this is real (realizing that they don’t announce until late).

In the spring there were a couple of US concerts that appeared to be cancelled but possibly the venue just jumped the gun. A couple of months ago Libera was going to come to the US in late October as announced by Warner Classics. Libera never acknowledged it and it never happened. I still appreciate George sharing this link. What a cool idea to go to Russia!

As far as the safety of the boys is concerned, I think you will not find a more careful group than Libera on this subject. They are responsible for the offspring of around 25 families and take that very seriously. If they feel they can go to Russia or China or wherever, believe me they have done the homework to assure safety.

I would recommend steering clear of the political stuff. It is hard for me to believe that one of the largest and most populous countries in the world will get any kind of message from a visit from a really incredible group of English boys. Bringing joy to the people fortunate enough to attend will be the real benefit.


There was also some speculation about Libera's continuing role on the BBC program Songs of Praise, following a change of format from all-Anglican to multi-dnominational. A typical exchange:

Major revamp for Songs of Praise  ‪  
Hopefully it will have no impact on Libera's continued involvement with the program.

I'm afraid that it will change the programme beyond recognition and will almost certainly doom it to being decommissioned. All in the sake of political correctness. Yet another victory for the BBC. I can't see much of a role for Libera in the new format.

‪Didn't Songs of Praise start out as a multi-denominational show? I seem to recall that its first episode featured a Baptist church in Wales. OTOH one of the good things about using an Anglican format is that it encompasses both Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions. 

I don't know if what XXXXX said is true, about how it may have originally started out as a multidenominational format, but I hope it keeps its focus on the more traditional ones anyway. No offense to anyone here, this is my personal opinion and I have my reasons for it, but I cringed when I read that article and saw that one of the new format's episodes would feature a Pentecostal church. Again, nothing personal against anyone who here who might attend a Pentecostal-type church, but I don't really see much musical value in the types of services here. (Please correct me if I'm wrong).

‪I also find this quote interesting: "We want to appeal to a different Christian audience, who may not necessarily have seen themselves every week on Songs of Praise in the past. Sometimes you have to find a way of reaching out to that audience to say, 'this really is for you.'" Personally, I'm the opposite. For example, I'm fascinated by Catholic masses. I'm not Catholic, but I could probably watch hours of programming (if we had a program similar to SoP here) and still want more.

‪I dunno, maybe I'm weird? Or maybe I'm missing something.


French Libera fan Patrick (aka Fan_de-LoK) makes a practice (see Part Six) of keeping track of CD compilations that include music by Libera above and beyond official recordings by the group. At this point, the number of such albums was fast approaching 200, including this version of what seemed to be a rip-off of an official 1997 Angel Voices CD, but with a cover that strangely missed the point (Angel Voices never wore red robes, did not combine them with athletic shoes, and never performed with music in hand.) For a very complete list of these and other odd CD appearances, go to:

End of Part 7A; for December 2014, please go to Part 7B:

I welcome suggestions, questions, corrections, disputations, official photo credits, and potential additions to this material at (Reports of links that are no longer active are especially welcome.)

Photo by Patrick

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