Filipino produces Libera’s latest Christmas album
(The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The internationally-bestselling boy choir Libera recently released a Christmas program recorded in concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, Ireland aptly called Christmas in Ireland and is available on CD and DVD. Libera’s timeless Christmas repertoire consists of six tracks never previously recorded by the vocal band, new arrangements of 14 traditional carols and of Danny Boy, and two bonus tracks: Once in Royal David’s City and Exsultate.

What most people don’t know is that a Filipino is the associate producer of the latest album. He is none other than former finance secretary Roberto “Bobby” de Ocampo who is now the chairman and CEO of Philippine Veterans Bank. And this is not the first time Bobby has been associate producer of at least two more Libera albums. He also was responsible for bringing Libera to the Philippines for concerts with the last one in 2013. As a result, the Boy Choir enjoys an enthusiastic fan base here in the Philippines as well as in the US, UK, Japan and Korea. Hopefully, they will be back in 2015 for another concert in Manila and Cebu.

Libera was formed in 1999 by musical director/composer/arranger/conductor Robert Prizeman and named for the band’s signature song based on the Libera Me segment of the Requiem Mass. The boys who make up Libera, aged between seven and 16, are from diverse backgrounds and attend schools in South London. The band’s membership changes regularly, as older boys’ voices break and they move on, making room for new members. Libera has an original sound, its music combining elements of Gregorian chant, classical composers and contemporary pop and new age music, mainly in arrangements by Prizeman. Libera’s mystical chords and shimmering harmonies have inspired audiences across the generations and across the globe. They typically perform in flowing white robes.

Although Libera is made up of boys who sing, they think of themselves not as choirboys but rather as an alternative kind of vocal band. Outside Libera, they play football, skateboard and listen to R&B and pop music with their peers but, through their involvement in the boyband, they have also traveled the world, recorded movie soundtracks and CDs and served as backing singers to Elton John, Bjork and Luciano Pavarotti. Their joy of singing comes across clearly in their performances and on their recordings.

Starting in 2004, Libera has recorded eight albums for EMI (now Warner Classics). Prior to that, the group recorded two CDs for Warner Classics. Previous best-selling albums from the three-time Classical Brit-nominated Libera include Peace, Angel Voices, Free, Visions and New Dawn. Peace, released in 2010, reached No. 1 in the UK, Japanese and Philippine classical charts; in the US, the release went to No. 2. Libera’s video for Going Home, from their PBS special, has had over two million hits on YouTube. Libera is currently the best-selling group of its kind, reflecting the surge of interest in choirs as a result of TV shows such as Last Choir Standing and Glee.

ALTHOUGH LIBERA ANGEL VOICES BJORK AND LUCIANO PAVAROTTI BOY CHOIR CLASSICAL BRIT DANNY BOY ELTON JOHN GOING HOME LIBERA WARNER CLASSICS
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