Music at Mills Reef

Music director Sean Embling running through carols with the youngest members of the Bethlehem Band, Dion McGregor and Lorene Whitburn.

‘Something for everyone’ is how musical director Sean Embling describes A Night Before Christmas.
Organised by Bethlehem Baptist Church, the iconic event on December 19 is full of music, art, and entertainment.
The night will see a blend of traditional Christmas carols, popular songs, and original material from artists like Late 80s Mercedes, Echoes, and Ben Mollison. “It’s a great mix of different music for all types who are attending,” says Sean.
 “It’s cross-generational. There’s stuff for the younger people, the middle-aged, and for the older folks. The show has been put together to cater for a wide range of concert-goers.”
Sean is clearly excited A Night Before Christmas offers more than a traditional event does. “We have good old Christmas carols led by the Bethlehem Band, but it’s quite exciting that a few of the artists are bringing original material. It’s cool to be able to get behind the local talent who are performing their own stuff.”
And it’s good original material. Alternative rock band Echoes was in the finals of NZ’s Battle of the Bands, Ben Mollison won the Soloist title at this year’s Smokefree Rockquest, and Anna Hawkins has just released an album.
Event organiser Luisa Schroder says the local school’s Christmas choir, a crowd favourite from previous years, is also back for another much-anticipated performance.
A Night Before Christmas is on at Mills Reef Winery on Saturday, December 19. Check the website and Facebook in case of wet weather, as it might be moved to December 20. Gates open 5pm (feel free to bring a picnic or buy food there), main show starts 6.30pm.
There will be pre-show on-stage and roving entertainment, with the night culminating in a fireworks spectacular.
Free entry. For more information, visit