“International Christmas Child” a Gift of Love That Keeps Giving

Christmas Decor 2014

It is unusual, but I think this is what it feels like to love the world; to place the hope for our future on our children, believing that they can succeed where we have failed.                                                            Matthew Todd


Matthew & Nathan Todd

 Each year when I ponder what the Christmas Article should contain, I always consider what will make the greatest impact or best benefit the young artists represented and promoted through this site.

With Christmas being a time of giving, I could not think of a greater example of young artists using their talents to help make a difference in the world than the INTERNATIONAL CHRISTMAS CHILD project.

This CD project spearheaded by a band of brothers from Scotland is a great example of adults helping “Children helping Children”. I asked Matthew and Nathan Todd to share a little about this project with Rivenmaster’s Place and provide insight about each participating young artists.

 Matthew shared;

“I’m coming round to the belief that, just as adults all have an unwritten responsibility to support and nurture children, children have an unwritten responsibility of reminding adults what is important in life. They do this, often, simply by being themselves.”

Guitarist 3D GuyBackstory:

Matthew and Nathan Todd have been running projects for a few years now, all with the goal ‘to inspire and transform’. What could be more inspirational and transformational, they thought, than an album of children singing to help children? What they could not know was, if any would join them in their quest……….

Matthew went on to explain;

“One word could sum up the whole month of October for us: “Apprehension”. The messages were sent out to artists and their managers on October 12 and we awaited the responses. We were asking for a track from about 16 artists which could be included on a compilation album raising funds for Operation Christmas Child. Then the drama began! After several weeks of language barriers, messages going to fake accounts, communications being lost in cyber-space and time rapidly running out, we arrived with 14 young artists buzzing with enthusiasm and ready to submit.”

2015 SantaThe process that followed getting the tracks mastered, artwork made, albums duplicated, website up and promotion started would take pages to describe but, suffice to say, Nathan and I spent many sleepless nights (and days!) at our computers in every spare moment. Nathan being a full time student and a partner in GN Todd (web development), was literally working around the clock, meanwhile I was trying to communicate with 14 different artists, often in languages I spoke very badly or not at all! Then our brother Phil came on board to make our promo video and our cousin Tom got involved with promotion. A generous friend of my fiancé agreed to translate our press release into French, and a professional media consultant got us an article in the Herald. This was becoming bigger every day!

I remember walking into our little Glasgow flat (aka ‘The Ladz Fortress’) about 11pm on a cold November night after a hard day of teaching and choir directing, and seeing Nathan working on the website, Phil (visiting) editing the promo video and Tom working on an animation for our logo. I sat down to answer a message from France and had to stop to think out loud: ‘this is awesome!’ “Nobody told me that making a difference would be this much work, but nobody told me it would be this exciting and fulfilling either!”


The Album:

Our biggest challenge is that people are so bombarded with advertising, especially at this time of year, getting someone to buy something is a real challenge. We in the Western world have also become quite emotionally numb, finding it hard to trust big charities or organizations and no longer believing that buying one CD or even one track on iTunes really can make a difference. To be honest, we are still a long way off our goal which was to raise £2500 (over $4000) for Operation Christmas Child though we are over half way there, but there are other goals which have exceeded our expectations. Every young artist on the album went out of their way to promote the album and some even made personal videos to recommend it to their fans.

There is no currency for inspiration and yet, without it, the whole world could one day just decide to give up. As I promote these young artists, watch them sing and see them sharing their gifts with such passion and enthusiasm I feel a strange tug on my heart-strings. How is it that I can feel a sense of pride and joy in children that are not related to me and, most, not even from my country? It is unusual, but I think this is what it feels like to love the world; to place the hope for our future on our children, believing that they can succeed where we have failed. And, like my God who loved the world so much he wanted to give the best Christmas present anyone could give, it inspires me to give my all to make the world a better place.”


Featured Artists on the Album in order of track placement
Introductions by Matthew Todd

Continue reading ““International Christmas Child” a Gift of Love That Keeps Giving”

Christmas at Rivenmaster’s Place 2012

Christmas 2012

This is our fourth Christmas here at Rivenmaster’s Place, and with each passing year we are blessed with an even greater abundance of new talented youngsters from all over the world.  This year has been no exception and without question has been our biggest and most successful year yet!  I want to thank each and every artist, their families, managers and promoters for their contributions to this site. Without them, Rivenmaster’s Place would not exist.  We also would like to take this time to wish each and every one a Merry Christmas.  Of course to you our readers and subscribers we wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and thank you for your continued support and gifts to this site which keep us going year after year!

Last year we brought you on a journey of Christmas’s Past, Present and Future.  This Christmas we are pleased to present you with some extraordinary Christmas videos from some of our talented featured artists.  To conserve space , we have linked each ‘Song Title’  and ‘artists photo’ to their New Christmas Video.  After viewing each video, please be sure to visit their websites and subscribe to their social media sites.  

Christmas Divider

Sam SantiagoSam Santiago

All I Want For Christmas

Sam Santiago has really grown as an artist this year!  In addition to appearing three times on television and performing at many prestigious evCandy Cane Manents in California, he also released his Debut CD. I was honored to work very closely with Sam this year and look forward to many years of friendship and writing about him in the future! You can also find Sam on ITunes and Amazon.com

Sam’s Website


Aj SilvaAj Silva                      There’s a New Kid in Town

What can I say about Anthony Silva that I have not already shared or has not already been proclaimed by thousands of his fans?  Aj Silva continues to be one to watch both now and in the future!  His outstanding talent and perfect pitch along with his great looks makes him a sure candidate for signing in 2013!  Aj Silva is a true star in the making, and I count myself honored to be called his friend. Aj also has one full CD and one Single available for sale on iTunes and CD Baby.

Aj Silva’s Website 


Continue reading “Christmas at Rivenmaster’s Place 2012”