Featured Artist: Hillsong United

Feb 01 2011

Australia's Hillsong United were formed by close friends from within the youth ministry called 'Powerhouse Youth' which was led by Donna Crough. The band would lead the Hillsong youth meetings and they played covers of Hillsong Church and various other ministries music.

The youth ministry Powerhouse Youth grew and grew and in the late 1990's they split into two separate youth groups Powerhouse (18-25 years of age) and Wildlife (12-17 yrs). Reuben Morgan, Marcus Beaumont and Tanya Riches were placed in charge of looking after the Powerhouse band and Joel Houston and Martyn Sampson were put in charge of Wildlife. In 1997 after coming back from a Summer Camp, the many youth ministries in Hillsong Church joined together as one and started to call the meetings 'United' nights. During the Summer Camp many members of the two bands started writing songs, during this time Reuben Morgan wrote 'My Redeemer Lives' for the Hillsong album 'By Your Side' as a way for the youth of the main church to continue worshipping.

In 1998 Darlene Zschech suggested to Reuben that they make an album after more and more songs grew out of the Untied Nights, this led to the EP 'One' being recorded and packaged with the annual Hillsong album.

Every year after the One EP, the band released a new album, now calling themselves Hillsong United. But in 2002 it was all change again, Reuben Morgan stepped down as co-worship leader of the band and handed over the baton to Joel Houston and Martyn Sampson, who continued to lead the group together.

The list of current member of the Hillsong United band is long and includes Jonathon Douglass (J.D.), Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Joel Houston, Annie Garratt, Matt Crocker, Dave Ware, Sam Knock, Dylan Thomas, Joel Davies, Braden Lang, Peter James, Matthew Tennikoff ,Simon Kobler and Brandon Gillies. Brooke Fraser recently joined the band when she joined the church and first appeared on the album 'United We Stand'.

Every year Hillsong United have released a CD/DVD and for many years the album was recorded during their October Youth Conference Encounterfest, with the albums being released in the first quarter of the following year. With such a large back catalogue of albums, the worship team have seen their songs being used around the world in times of worship, impacting worshippers on a personal level and also as a tool to worship God.

A big part of the Hillsong United story is the documentary film The I Heart Revolution: We're All In This Together which was filmed over a period of 3 years. The film followed the worship band as they travel 6 continents, 42 nations and 93 cities in a cross-cultural journey of music, interviews and footage showing how different people of the world live. The film was at time very poignant and showed stories of hope, love, loss and sacrifice. In the USA, Canada and the UK the film was released in cinemas for one night only.

It wasn't until 2007 that Hillsong United recorded their first studio album 'All of The Above'. Now in 2011 with a new release from the studio, Hillsong United are about to show the world their latest offering, 'Aftermath' which contains twelve new worship songs from the Australian worship team.

'Aftermath' is Hillsong United's twelfth full-length album and second studio album. Production for the album began in March 2010 at Studios 301 in Sydney, Australia. Following the release of their new album Hillsong United will be touring the USA and Canada in February and March 2011.

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