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Boys Choir Libera Jets In From London for Show

Libera will play only one concert in Moscow before flying back to school.

London based vocal group Libera has traveled the world, recorded movie soundtracks and backed mega-stars on stage. Now they plan to bring their shimmering vocals to the Moscow International House of Music with a Christmas and sacred music concert.

The young vocalists, aged 8 to 15, are ordinary boys from South London who have been singing in the choir since the age of 7 or 8, sometimes even 6 years old.

Robert Prizeman, musical composer and founder of Libera, described in an e-mail interview the process of going to ordinary schools to find boys who would be suitable for the choir: "It is quite an unusual creation really — mostly only choirs that come from special schools like Vienna do this kind of thing." The choir is a charitable organization, and the boys themselves do not pay any fees.

The group, whose name is the Latin word for "free," is not restricted by musical boundaries.

The flowing white robes and mystical chords attest to the traditional choirs of monastaries and cathedrals, but the music is a harmony between the ancient and the modern. Libera fuses traditional chants with contemporary instrumentation and arrangement.

Starting early is not only instrumental in musical training but in the bonds of friendship formed in the choir, said Prizeman. He stressed the importance of "growing up together singing in a team — like a big family!"

Libera sings regularly in churches and cathedrals all over the world, generally during school holidays. Their visit to Russia falls in term time and so they will only be staying for one concert so as not to miss too much time at school.

Libera performs Sunday at 6 p.m. in the Svetlanov Hall of the Moscow International House of Music. 52 Kosmodamianskaya Naberezhnaya, Bldg. 8. Metro Paveletskaya. 495-730-1011.

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