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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON
@alliedpress.co.nz

It is starting to sound a lot like Christmas across Central Otago and beyond, thanks to the release of a new festive tune.

Give Love at Christmas, the work of children’s songwriters Anna van Riel and Kath Bee, was officially launched in Wanaka last week.

The three-minute tune features a choir of local adults and children, including Anna’s mother Willimena van Riel, sister Nicole van Riel and daughter Matilda van Urquhart (7).

Wanaka-based videographer Ollie Larkin filmed the video clip to accompany the song and Traci Meek and Kevin Reid, of Invercargill, provided animation.

“What’s really special about this song is it’s a fundraiser for Variety this year, so all proceeds go to the Gold Heart Foundation to give children an opportunity to shine.” – Anna van Riel

Give Love at Christmas, filmed at St Andrew’s Church, features a gospel touch, from soloist Matilda Metcalfe (12).

“They have just worked tirelessly,” Anna van Riel said, of the entire team behind the project.

She was pleased with the end result.

“What’s really special about this song is it’s a fundraiser for Variety this year, so all proceeds go to the Gold Heart Foundation to give children an opportunity to shine.”

The concept was developed between van Riel and Bee after they met for an “inspirational songwriting session” in June.

The end result was a Christmas anthem for young and old with a “Bandaid feel”, van Riel said, referring to the 1984 festive song Do They Know It’s Christmas

“We both wanted to write a song about the important things at Christmas time and the very catchy Give Love at Christmasemerged that afternoon,” Bee said.

Van Riel, who was at No4 in the New Zealand music charts last week for some of her other work, said she had enjoyed many aspects of her latest project.

“Collaborating with Kath and being able to use a local production team has been fantastic,” she said.

“Having this opportunity through New Zealand on Air has been incredible and so amazing for the growth of Kiwi kids’ music.

“I’ve loved that it’s been a real community project and I’ve really loved growing my friendship with Kath Bee.

“It’s a great way for us to work collectively to grow Kiwi kids’ music.”

The song is available from annavanriel.bandcamp.com