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In 2008 APRA launched two awards with the intention of recognising New Zealand children’s music for what it is: a rich variety of fantastic fun for kids and parents alike.
The APRA Children’s Song of the Year, judged by an independent panel, celebrates the songwriters and composers who write for the children of New Zealand. Partnering with perennial kids favourite television programme What Now, their viewers vote for the What Now NZ Children’s Video of the Year - so this award is a true ``kid’s choice’’.
Finalists for the 2009 APRA Children’s Song of the Year are Geoff Duncan & Emma Sutherland for ‘Be The Star You Are’ performed by the Dancestars, Jamie Burgess for ‘Lets Go’ performed by ThePlops, and Nicolas Hollis aka Levity Beets with ‘Little Blue’. The judging panel were impressed by the high level of songcraft in each of these songs; it was agreed that they are not only enjoyable for children; they stand alone as great songs.
The Dancestars ‘Be The Star You Are’ & The Plops ‘Lets Go’ are also finalists for the What Now Children’s Video of the Year along with ‘Buttons’ by new outfit 123 Tree. For the last few weeks, What Now viewers have been voting for their favourite video via www.whatnow.tv, voting is open until the 6th of July – so check them out!
Both awards are to be presented at StarFest the finale event of Christchurch City Council’s annual two week KidsFest on July 17 at the James Hay Theatre www.kidsfest.co.nz.
2008 APRA Children’s Song of the Year winner, Craig Smith, has had his track The Wonkey Donkey Song, produced into a book with accompanying CD by Scholastic & will be available for sale this October.
The Dancestars are a kid’s entertainment group created by Wellington dance studio Dancestars School of Dance and Music. As well as attending up to five weekly dance classes, the girls are coached for performances and recordings as a group and love coming up with ideas for videos, lyrics, costumes and their ultimate dream – a Miley-style tour bus! ‘Be The Star You Are’ is their first recorded song, co-written by Tui award-winning producer Geoff Duncan & Emma Sutherland. www.dancestars.co.nz.
ThePlops are the brainchild of Raquel and Greig Sims, a young couple from Lower Hutt. To date, ThePlops have appeared several times on TV and have performed over 200 live shows to adoring children nationwide. Their songwriter, Jamie Burgess is a school teacher whose background includes songs for award winning band ‘The Parachute Band’. ThePlops have produced 3 CD’s and recently completed their first music video ‘Lets Go’ – all of which you can check out on www.theplops.co.nz.
Levity Beets is a travelling musician and storyteller - He uses ukulele, jaw harp, thumb piano, harmonica, guitar, banga drums, double bass and singing to play lively, humorous and easy to join in songs. He has recorded two albums. One called 'Little Blue and the Living Treasure Band' a 13 track album about NZ native animals and one vegetable, the other an album of action songs, music games and fun tunes called 'How Much Is That Piranha In Your Gumboot'. www.myspace.com/wildbeetproductions.
123 Tree is an exciting new children's show created by Aucklander Sheree Swords. 123 Tree stars a magic tree and three toys he brings to life. An accident prone Robot named Buttons, an inquisitive Fairy named Cupcake and a daredevil monkey named Bananas. Through music, dance and play the toy characters learn some of life's most valuable lessons. www.123-Tree.com.
APRA Children’s Song of the Year – finalists:
‘Be The Star You Are’ by Geoff Duncan & Emma Sutherland performed by the Dancestars ‘Lets Go’ by Jamie Burgess performed by ThePlops
‘Little Blue’ by Nicolas Hollis aka Levity Beets
What Now NZ Children’s Video of the Year – finalists:
‘Lets Go’ by ThePlops – video created by Tree Top Productions
‘Be The Star You Are’ by Dancestars – video created by Emma Sutherland
‘Buttons’ by 123 Tree – video created by Alex Kuzelicki
The winners will be announced in Christchurch on Friday 17 July at the James Hay Theatre.
About APRA: The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance and communication (including broadcast) of its members’ musical works. Public performances of music include music used in pubs, clubs, fitness centres, shops, cinemas, festivals, whether performed live, on CDs or played on the radio or television. Communication of music covers music used for music on hold, music accessed over the internet or used by television or radio broadcasters. www.apra.co.nz