Michael made the eminent transition from probationer to St. Philip's choirboy in 2002 at the age of 9. Not long after, Michael made his television debut with Libera on Songs of Praise, with the opening of "There is a Green Hill Far Away" being his first solo, thus proving what the very youngest of Libera are capable of. Before becoming a soloist himself on a Libera album, Michael featured on Libera's advent video "Sing the Story" which was filmed for Songs of Praise in December 2003. This song was also included as an extra track on the Japanese version of the album Free.
2004-05 saw a change of Libera's principal soloists which gave Michael another rung on the ladder of choral experience. His first opportunity arose during the time of Libera's first Asia tour of March-April 2005 where Michael sang several solos. This was followed shortly after by the choir's latest release - Visions. Such songs as "Something Sings", "Sing For Ever" and the poignant tribute to Flanders fields, "We are the Lost", exemplify the level of maturity in his voice that has elevated over the last few years. Michael's efforts on tour were repeated during Libera's October trip to Japan.
Evident in many behind-the-scenes photos and videos, Michael can be seen as a bright and spritely character and, along with Callum Payne, has a talent for introducing Libera to the rest of the world.
Michael loves making cranes or animals of Japanese origami papers.
There is also a Japanese version of the CD (TOCP 70100) which has an extra track: 16 - Sempiterna Remix [via iTunes] and a bonus video of Far Away.
A new CD/DVD was released in March 2007 to coincide with their April tour there (TOCP 70191). It is the same as the original (TOCP 70100) but with Do Not Stand At My Grave from Free as track 16. It also has a DVD of 6 videos: I am the day, Voca Me, Locus Iste, Do not stand at my grave, and 2 versions of Far Away.
Libera / Angel VoicesBen CrawleyMichael HorncastleLiam O'KaneJoseph PlattJoseph Sanders-Wilde NB:- This CD , released in Japan only, contains only 1 new song: Far Away which is used in the Japanese TV drama series 'Ice Wall'. All the other tracks are picked out of the previous Libera CDs [ Libera, Luminosa, Free and Visions ]. This CD should be regarded as a selection of the favourite tracks by Libera, rather than a completely new album.
This CD also contains photos of 20 profile cards and 3 videos - Far Away being recorded in studio, the promo video for Visions and the promo video for Free.