Hillsong United (band)
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2012)|
|Genres||Worship music, contemporary Christian, Christian Rock|
|Associated acts||One Sonic Society|
The Hillsong United band is a worship band that originated as a part of Hillsong Church. The band tours the world, performing at the various Hillsong church locations as well as general concert venues. They compose the songs for their own performances and for the other Hillsong Church worship teams that perform at weekly services. Subsidiary bands perform monthly in London and at summer camps sponsored by Hillsong.
The band was originally formed by close friends from within the youth ministry called "Powerhouse Youth", led by Hillsong Youth Pastors Phil & Lucinda Dooley for many years. As the house band for the Powerhouse meetings, they played original songs and rearranged popular radio tunes at their weekly meeting for local youth aged 16–25 year olds. Band members sometimes also contributed to the larger interdenominational ministry Youth Alive Australia and its albums. Most members of the band also attended Hillsong Church services.
Powerhouse grew and split in the late 1990s into two youth groups: Powerhouse (18–25 years of age) and Wildlife (12-17 yrs). Reuben Morgan, assisted by guitarist Marcus Beaumont and vocalist/songwriter Tanya Riches, were the administrators of the 18-25's Powerhouse band that also included Mark Stevens, Nigel Hendroff, Peter King and Raymond Badham. At the older group Peter King was the main piano player and music director, with later guitarist Nigel Hendroff taking this music directing role. In the younger ministry Wildlife, the former Channel V Leg-Up competition-winning Able band boys Joel Houston and Marty Sampson were trained by Hillsong Music Pastor Russell Fragar, with Able band's Luke Munns and Michael Guy Chislett being the main drummer and guitarist, respectively while Joel Houston played bass. Marty Sampson, Holly Dawson, Mark Stevens, Katrina Peoples, Michelle Fragar, Tanya Riches and Bec Mesiti were some original key vocalists. In the Summer of 1997, the team made a huge impact at their youth ministry's Summer Camp. Returning from Summer Camp, the youth ministries of Hillsong Church joined together on a monthly basis with these meetings called the "UNITED" Nights.
Delirious?' Martin Smith's song "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble" was the theme song of the 1997 camp, and the momentum of youth carried well beyond this camp into the church services, changing the style of the music. Reuben Morgan wrote "My Redeemer Lives". This song was included in the upcoming Hillsong album, By Your Side recorded in February that year. This album also featured youth songs including the title track written by Marty Sampson ("By Your Side") and Luke Munns ("Stay").
Darlene Zschech suggested to Reuben Morgan that the youth band make an album in 1998 after so many songs were written in the youth ministry. As a result, the EP One was recorded. Everyday was recorded in 1999 and packaged with the Hillsong annual album. Both achieved Gold sales status in Australia. The band continued to release an album each year, rebranding as Hillsong United. In 2002 after Reuben Morgan stepped down as co-worship leader of the band, Joel Houston, the eldest son of the church's senior pastor Brian Houston, and Marty Sampson led the group together.
The band's members are involved in Hillsong Church services and also play for the church. Many were volunteers who went unpaid for their time or contribution. As such the line up changes on a regular basis due to the volunteers needs and the needs of the church; that is to say, due to the naturally resultant "churn". Former original drummer Luke Munns made a transition from the drums to front the rock/indie band LUKAS. Following his marriage to Michelle on November 2006, Sampson stepped down as one of the main leaders of the band. He contributed two more songs with United—"Devotion", which he wrote and sang, and "Saviour King", which he wrote with Mia Fieldes—before he officially stepped down. These songs were part of the 2007 release All of the Above. Current members of the Hillsong United band include Joel Houston, Jonathon Douglass (J.D.), Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Matt Crocker, Taya Smith, Dylan Thomas (on rhythm guitar), Timon Klein (on lead guitar), Peter James & Benjamin Tennikoff (on keyboards), Adam Crosariol (on bass guitar), and Simon Kobler (on drums).
The annual Hillsong United CD/DVD was recorded for many years during the Hillsong youth ministry's October conference Encounterfest, and albums released in the first quarter of the following year. The 2007 album All of the Above was the first album to be fully studio recorded. The band has toured in a number of countries, leading worship in various places.
Hillsong United posted on their Facebook page 28 March 2010 that they were heading in to record their next album. This new studio project was recorded at 301 Studios in Sydney, Australia. Aftermath was released on 15 February 2011. The track "Go" from the album was later remade by christian rapper KJ-52, on his album Dangerous.
|Release Date||Album Title||Comments|
|2001||King of Majesty||
|2002||To the Ends of the Earth||
|2004||More Than Life||
|2005||Look to You||
|2006||United We Stand||
|2007||All of the Above||
|2007||In a Valley by the Sea||
|2008||The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts as One||
|2009||Across the Earth: Tear Down the Walls||
|2012||Live in Miami||
|2013||Zion Acoustic Sessions||
|2014||The White Album (Remix Project)||
- 2004: More Than Life (bonus DVD with album)
- 2005: Look to You (bonus DVD with album)
- 2006: United We Stand (bonus DVD with album)
- 2007: All of the Above (bonus DVD with album)
- 2008: The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts As One (Music DVD)
- 2010: The I Heart Revolution: We're All in This Together (Documentary DVD/Blu-ray)
- 2012: Live in Miami (Music DVD/Blu-ray)
- 2012: Zion Acoustic Sessions (Music DVD)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|AUS Albums Chart||NZ Albums Chart||U.S. Billboard 200||U.S. Billboard Christian Albums||U.S. Billboard Digital Albums||U.S. iTunes Top Albums Chart||Australia iTunes Top Albums Chart|
|All of the Above||
|Across the Earth||
- List of songs, with selected chart positions
|U.S. Hot Christian Songs||U.S. Christian Airplay||U.S. Christian Digital Songs||U.S. Christian Streaming||U.S. Billboard Hot 100|
|2013||Oceans (Where My Feet May Fail)||1||2||1||1||83|
- "Hillsong United Webpage". Published by Hillsong Church. Retrieved 8/1/2008.
- "Hillsong United on Integrity Music". Published by Integrity Media. Retrieved 8/1/2008.
- "Review on Christianity Today". Published by Christian Music Today. Retrieved 8/1/2008.
- "Shout to the Lord!: Music and Change at Hillsong 1996- 2007". Dissertation for the award of Masters of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, 2010. Riches, Tanya. Retrieved 3/3/2012
- "Secularising the Sacred: The Impact of Geoff Bullock on Contemporary Congregational Song in Sydney, 1990-1999". Dissertation for the award of PhD, Macquarie University, 2002. Evans, Mark. Retrieved 3/3/2012
- "Open up the Doors: Music in the Modern Church" London: Equinox, 2006. Evans, Mark.
- Official website
- Hillsong United Albums
- French website on Hillsong United–Discography
- Interview @ Christian Music Today, 6/07
- Photos & videos from concert on 7 June 2013 in Los Angeles