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2nd September 2017

Libera In America 2017 – Part 5

This was to be the final leg of our American adventure.  We boarded the coach and settled down for the drive.  It was more of a subdued trip this time around and most of the choir caught up on some shut-eye.  

We broke the journey a couple of times and grabbed food on the go – needless to say a Cracker Barrel was included – much rocking out front and more pretend theatrical daggers and a box of magic tricks. We rolled into St Louis mid-afternoon and made our way to our mega-swish Four Seasons hotel.  
 
It was so swish that the bathroom mirrors had TV screens in them and the views from the hotel were spectacular – we had the best view of the Gateway Arch ever.  I researched the Arch and found out that at 630 feet high, it is the world’s tallest arch and is the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.  The evening was spent swimming in the rooftop pool which included a hot-tub into which we nearly all squeezed in one go – and then we ate pizzas on loungers in our bath robes – an everyday situation for many of us South London boys of course – not.

We started the next day off in the pool again and then made our way to the St Louis Science Centre, where they had an exhibit about the eclipse which is due to be visible in parts of the US in the next week or so – or maybe it has already happened.

Then it was lunch – and a special one because as on many tours, we had a birthday to celebrate, and the person to be celebrated was….. Ben. We landed at a serious pizza restaurant, and there was brought forth the CAKE – and it was an whopper. A gentle rendition of Happy Birthday followed, so as not to disturb the other customers – unlike at TGI etc where they blow horns and sirens and slap on the stupid backing track. We are more class, though I do think the 2nd treble part needs sorting out. Then it was on to the venue for a practice and sound check in preparation for the evening’s concert.  

We were performing in the Cathedral Basilica.  Wow!  What a stunning building.  The outside was incredible but the inside was something else. The lighting was really spectacular in this venue and the acoustics were super.  We were performing in front of the wonderful high altar. There was a beautiful stained-glass window which was very similar to The Rose Window in Notre Dame Cathedral.

We ran through the concert and carried out our sound checks.  We couldn’t really believe that it was to be our final concert in the America.  Although we had been away for nearly 3 weeks, the tour had flown by.  We went downstairs to the rooms where we were based and read and played cards.  We put on our robes for the last time before they were all packed up to travel home – I hoped I had enough room in my case to take mine as I had collected a good stash of cinnamon sweets!

The audience was large, warm and supportive and after the concert we put our coats over our robes and made our way to the hall next door.  It was to be our last signing and the queue snaked out of the door and round the building.  It was great talking to people – our new album, Hope, seems to have been extremely popular and everybody seems to have a different favourite track.

It had been our latest finishing concert so we didn’t return to the hotel until almost midnight.  The next day we were homeward bound.  I was wide awake when we got back to our room so I took the opportunity to watch the Houston Texans vs Carolina Panthers – I was really enjoying the American sport.  I have to confess to having a soft spot for the Seattle Seahawks – perhaps we could perform there next year!  Finally I fell asleep, this trip had been incredible and we had met really wonderful, friendly people.  What an experience.  It had been my first trip to America with Libera and one I will always remember.

In the morning we packed our bags for the final time. We had to make our way to Chicago, from where we were flying home.  We flew from St Louis in the morning and arrived in Chicago in time for our flight.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of the Windy City as we stayed in the airport.  There was a big storm coming in to Chicago and we just made it out in time.  Many of the flights after us were severely delayed.

We all boarded the plane with mixed emotions.  We were excited to see our families again but felt sad about leaving so many good friends we had spent most of the Summer with.  I’d like to finish this blog with thanks to all those who supported us during our trip, as I have said before, we have the easy job in singing – there is so much that happens behind the scenes, technical and money – and thank you to all those who came to see, hear and meet us.

Thank you, America, – we had a blast!


28 Comments on “Libera In America 2017 – Part 5

Eric H Smith
2nd September 2017 at 11:07 pm

I’m so happy that you all had such a great time here in the states this summer. I wish I could’ve seen you in concert, alas, the Gulf coast of Florida would’ve been a hefty drive. Maybe sometime you can do a performance down here, We’d would be honored to have you. Thank you as always for the wonderful music that you share with us, it is always such a joy.

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Kathy Cotts
4th September 2017 at 2:19 am

What a wonderful concert in St. Louis! It was well worth the drive from Chicago! Will be looking forward to your next visit to the USA! Thank you, Liberia

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Kevin Murawski
16th September 2017 at 7:19 pm

I too drove from the Chicago area to see them. I live 15 miles north of Chicago.

Tadgh, it was nice to finally meet you in person at the meet and greet in St. Louis.
Thank you for answering my question of whether you were related to JFK’s mother, Rose Fitzgerald-Kennedy. You told me you were not but you sure look like you could be related to her.

Nice to see Oliver’s cool hair in person. Wish I had a head of hair like that when I was younger.

I do hope in the future if you lads do another Chicago concert, you can all come over for a swim in the lake that my auntie lives on. My mother and her sisters grew up in Liverpool during WWll in the town of Rainhill.

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Kevin Murawski
17th September 2017 at 2:17 am

Oh, by the way, 😎 to meet Arthur in person. Healthy head of hair he has too and this time I was able to finally talk to Josh-told him he will go far in his musical career as we all know. He politely listened, smiled and was serious in his heart by the look on his face.

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Kevin Murawski
11th September 2017 at 12:06 am

Listen to their music if you all can in Florida to keep your hearts hopeful during the hurricanes. Prayers and thoughts.

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John
2nd September 2017 at 11:18 pm

Brilliant!!! These blog posts have been amazing, very well written, a joy to read. Sounds like such an adventure. Im pleased you all enjoyed the experience. Well done to all who organised and took part, that must have taken some planning.

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Chuck Marshall
3rd September 2017 at 12:44 am

And we already look forward to seeing all of you again here in the USA. I know it has been said before many times – but you deserve to be thanked again for being such an amazing and beyond words group of musicians. Thanks to Professor Prizeman and all the technical crew’s hard work. Keep Singing, boys!!
When you sing — We all believe and HOPE again as we listen and are encouraged!!

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James Brockway
3rd September 2017 at 7:29 am

Their is so much more to see in America , if I remember correctly all the choir has seen is the east and west coast and Chicago and St Louis. But we have much of the great southwest to explore. Here in New Mexico we have the Famous Santa Fe opera house for one and the city of Santa Fe the oldest Capitol city in North America it’s 400 plus years old. With its old churches as well . ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO USA home to Cannons. INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FESTIA That’s coming up in October the first weekend every year for about 2 weeks. It was about 2 years ago you were booked to sing in Tucson AZ but here in Albuquerque NM we have several casinos and theaters plus churches and once they hear you they will want you back places like Santa Fe and Albuquerque and Rio Rancho are large city’s here and farther south El Paso Texas and Tucson AZ we all like to see you here let me know who I need to contact to get you here. If the Vienna choir been here why not you.JB

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Michael Cain
3rd September 2017 at 12:49 pm

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these lively and well written blogs. Thanks so much for giving us a Libera’s eye view of the journey.

One consistent item was lots of swimming; well, that and Cracker Barrels, lol. Hope you had a great time, your audiences sure did.

As they say in Texas, y’all come back now, ya’ hear,

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Terry Korzan
3rd September 2017 at 1:59 pm

I wish I lived close to one of the venue cities where you performed. All of you are awesome in your singing and the song arrangements are absolutely brilliant. I have all of your music CDs, including Hope, and I listen to them all of the time. Very peaceful, angelic music. I love to buy extra of your CDs and give them to family and friends as gifts. Your blogs are awesome. So glad you enjoyed your tour of America.

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Heather
3rd September 2017 at 2:05 pm

Although I was unable to get to Houston or Tulsa to see you guys, I have greatly enjoyed your blogs about each city in your tour this summer!
I can’t wait til y’all come back to the States again! I’ll be in one of the front rows next time. Mark my words!
Many blessings to each of you.

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Allan Dickenson
3rd September 2017 at 4:39 pm

I hope you all had a good time over there.

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Jack Pat
3rd September 2017 at 5:06 pm

Come back soon!!! (We’d be glad to have you on the east coast!)

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roger Hunter
3rd September 2017 at 9:35 pm

Thank you for the great concert, I always enjoy your music,. I wish I could be at all of your concert to hear you all sing, it is so angelic and peaceful. Best wishes and good health to all of you until you nest tourroger

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roger Hunter
3rd September 2017 at 9:37 pm

love your concert hope to see you again on your nest tour

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Edwin Roberto Ibáñez
3rd September 2017 at 11:09 pm

I met you boys (well a completely different group, actually) for the first time in St. Louis, at the very same Basilica, in 2010, where we flew from Washington DC, just to see you. My mother readily adopted you all as her grandsons… so you are my nephews!
I didn’t get to see you this time. Still, thank you for your wonderful music, and for your blog.

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Kevin Murawski
3rd September 2017 at 11:59 pm

I really like the last part of this blog. It was nice to talk to Leo and Taichi at the meet and greet in St. Louis. These two are very cheerful when speaking to them and you can here it in there high octaves when singing. If these two two remember me, I was the dude in red shorts with a colorful striped shirt and touch of grey beard. I spoke to Leo about Jurassic Park and Taichi about Godzilla.

I just saw the 40th anniversary of Close Encounters of the Third Kind now showing in theaters in the United
States of America for one week. It has
been restored both visually and in it’s
Dolby sound. I hope Rob and the boys can see it in the UK for a one-day break from practice. Is this special anniversary of the movie being shown in your area? A must see for its music and sound quality!

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Dan
4th September 2017 at 4:12 am

Went to hear the wonderful voices in St Louis. Struggled with the echoing and finally found a place close to the speakers. Bought a hoodie and the CD so I have lots of Libera for the future.
God blessed me and I got to shake hands with Josh Madine who is my all time favorite member. So very glad he is still with the group. The famous smile still recognizable.
Come back soon! Such a treat!!

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Don Carlson
4th September 2017 at 5:05 pm

Yes, even with all of the changes, as boys voices change, I will always consider Josh Madine as the symbol of Libera. I first saw him on the You Tube broadcast from 2008 from the Netherlands. As Josh put it, “Libera is an organic group, constantly changing” (I may have paraphrased his words). If I had one wish, never a demand, it would be to have another DVD of the present Libera boy band, as there are only about four present members left from 2008 group. My second wish would be to see them live again in the USA, possibly in Eastern USA, with Josh playing the piano and keyboard. Thank you for perfoming in the USA, and for the quick blogging of your adventures. Take Care. Don Carlson

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Kevin Murawski
11th September 2017 at 12:12 am

Just saw the Songs of Praise post. Interesting that when you look from the inside looking down it reminds me of the mother ship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind movie. I am sure when you hear the music of Libera in there, it conjures up memories of brilliant music from the movie. Wow, what a dedicated schedule you have still!

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D Coudert
12th September 2017 at 4:32 pm

My friend and I came from Massachusetts to see you in St. Louis. We played “tourist” while in St. Louis and (among other things) went to the Science Museum. Lo and behold, a tour bus pulled in and unloaded a whole bunch of blue-shirted minions (Libera). It was nice to talk to the adults who accompanied you and to meet Rick who had been our email contact with respect to the concert. You boys were hard to miss at the museum with your blue shirts. Hope you had fun… especially the two we saw digging around for fossils!
On to the Cathedral for the concert!… It was great. Even a microphone malfunction was taken in stride and no one (especially the soloist) missed a beat. It was also very nice to see you at the meet and greet. Our St. Louis MO vacation was really special, thanks to you.

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Kevin Murawski
14th September 2017 at 3:53 am

Thank you for the latest post on the “behind the scenes” filming videos! I will never get tired of those English accents! Hilarious to see the cheeky Taichi slap his fellow chorister lightly on the head! 🤣😂

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Todd Estes
14th September 2017 at 4:49 am

Thank you all so much for the time spent preparing and performing your beautiful music here in the U.S. I was fortunate enough to attend the concert in Houston and enjoyed it so much that I thought about driving from my Kansas City home to St. Louis to see the concert there, even though I had to work the next day . . .but alas, it didn’t work out. Blessings to all of you, and I look forward to hopefully seeing you perform again in the future !

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Kevin Michael Peter Murawski
19th September 2017 at 7:45 pm

At the St. Louis meet and greet, I complimented Ale on his “nailing it so well” at the solo start in Poland before the 1.6 million people. He was pleased by smiling genuinely not shyly. I told Camden his elocution of speaking is so polite sounding. No wonder he sings so uniquely! He too gave me
a pleasing, genuine smile. Lastly, I spoke of Isaac’s rendition of Santa Will Find You by stating that he “owned that song!” It is his baby! Another signature
song outside of Danny Boy! Once again, I received a true smile from this young man. I know that these three lads’ voices are changing but I can see why Rob put them in the choir at this age because the low voices add range! Rob usually does this as we all know but he just has an ear for it still obviously!

P.s. Marc, remember I asked you if you still had the dinosaur egg from Japan’s Jurassic World ride at Universal Studios? You seemed confused but I think you knew what I was talking about anyway. I think you were just a little tired from the last leg of the tour and that is OK. 😊😄

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Kevin Michael Peter Murawski
23rd September 2017 at 4:12 am

After receiving the boys’ autographs again, this time in St. Louis, I briefly talked to Matt working behind the scenes. I told him it was good to see him. Last saw him in Chicago 2015 as a chorister. However, I forgot to ask how his cricket game was going.

I told the Libera lads they had healthy tans from the tour. They look rested.

If Libera does a concert cruise or transatlantic crossing on Viking Sea ever, I am definitely booking that voyage!

I wish I could have seen the boys off at O’Hare Airport Chicago when returning to England but I drove to and fro from suburban Chicago. I know you gents flew from St. Louis to Chicago then home.

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Kevin Murawski
16th October 2017 at 5:49 pm

Dear Libera:

I have not seen Goodbye Christopher Robin yet. The film will open in full release in the United States soon. That looks like a very good British film obviously and I hope on your downtime in China you will be able to see it.

Kind Regards,

Kevin

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Tatsuki
5th November 2017 at 10:53 am

Dear Libera

I wasn’t able to go to this tour, but thank you so much for always posting these review of tours!
It’s so fun reading it!

I hope Libera will soon come to Japan!

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Ben Morton
8th November 2017 at 4:59 pm

I traveled to see all of you in Houston, and loved your angelic voices. Tears came when you came out onto the stage. I knew your songs would be as good as you are on you tube and your CDs, but in person, you were all much more. “Amazing.” Even more amazing was meeting all of you and shaking your hands. You are all so polite and friendly. Hope to see you again soon.

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