Williamsville couple spreads holiday cheer through Christmas album

Holiday Season

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB)– Through the magic of music, one husband and wife team are proving that you can go anywhere in the world, but home will always be where the heart is.

John and Gillian Riesen are both classically trained performers and they’ve taken their talents around the world.

But after they had their son, Gillian, a graduate of Clarence High School and SUNY Fredonia, decided along with her husband that the best place to be was where they could operate worldwide from the comfort of the place they loved.

“We all get to live in our most comfortable place and that’s why we chose buffalo because we wanted to be near family. We wanted to have help and support with our son. And Gillian has an army here of family.”

John Riesen, Singer “Christmas at Home”

Together, the two created the ultimate project: a joint Christmas album with help from other talented musicians, some contributing remotely from varying places around the country.

“We figured this was a way that we could spread some joy and share our lives and our hearts with people at home. You know if you’re at home in front of your Christmas tree, you can put on all these tunes that you grew up to that we grew up to. We didn’t do anything that people haven’t heard a million times on the radio, we just did it our way and from our hearts to yours.”

John Riesen, Singer “Christmas at Home”

On a personal front, the Riesen’s have also felt the sting of COVID-19’s effect on the performing arts industry. Nonetheless, they hope this album will inspire others to keep doing the things they love. Through the music, they want everyone to feel a sense of togetherness even while far apart.

“I have tons of family in Buffalo, it’s usually like 40 people shoved into somebody’s small living room which is exciting and awesome. We don’t get to do that this year so we’re hoping that the people we know and love will listen to this album and feel like they can still spend Christmas with us.”

Gillian Riesen, Singer “Christmas at Home”

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