Hillsong United-Hillsong Band Bio
Hillsong United is a worship band that originated as a part of Hillsong Church. The band was formed in 1998 as part of Hillsong’s youth ministry. It consists of several rotating worship leaders from the church, including Brooke Fraser, Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan, and Marty Sampson.
Due to several songs written by the youth ministry, Hillsong worship leader Darlene Zschech recommended that they record an album, which resulted in their debut extended play, One, which was released alongside the Hillsong Worship album Touching Heaven Changing Earth. Since then, the group has released eleven annual live albums, as well as four studio albums. The band composes songs and performs in church services as well as concerts in worldwide tours.
The band was originally formed in 1998, by close friends from within the youth ministry called “Powerhouse Youth”, led by Hillsong Youth Pastors Phil and 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.
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 (aged 18–25) and Wildlife (12-17). Reuben Morgan, assisted by guitarist Marcus Beaumont and vocalist/songwriter Tanya Riches, administrated all United nights, albums and events until 2003 when the role was passed on to Joel Houston.
The three performed with the 18-25’s Powerhouse band that also included Mark Stevens, Nigel Hendroff, Peter King and Raymond Badham. For the older group, Peter King was the main piano player and music director, with guitarist Nigel Hendroff later taking the music directing role.
They were initially trained by Russell Fragar. 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 on their youth ministry’s Summer Camp.
On returning from the camp, the youth ministries of Hillsong Church decided to join together monthly, calling these meetings the “UNITED” Nights.
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 by a new band. Every day was recorded in 1999 and packaged with the Hillsong Worship annual album.
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 volunteer’s needs and the needs of the church.
Hillsong United Members
Current Hillsong United Members
The members of the band as of 2016 were:
- Joel Houston – worship leader, guitar, keys, percussion
- Jonathon “JD” Douglass – worship leader, percussion
- Jad Gillies – worship leader, guitar
- Matt Crocker – worship leader, guitar, percussion
- Taya Smith – worship leader
- Dylan Thomas – guitar, keys, music director
- Simon Kobler – drums
- Michael Guy Chislett – guitar, keys, music director
- Benjamin “Ben” Tennikoff – keyboards, programming, sampling
- Jihea Oh – bass guitar
- Benjamin Hastings – worship leader
Former Hillsong United Members
Former members of the band are:
- Adam Crosariol – bass guitar
- Michelle Fragar – worship leader
- Brooke Fraser – worship leader, guitar
- Luke Munns – drums
- Annie Garratt – worship leader
- Timon Klein – lead guitar
- Sam Knock – worship leader
- Peter James – piano, keyboard, synthesizer
- Hayley Law – worship leader
- Jill McCloghry – worship leader
- Marty Sampson – worship leader, guitar
- David Ware – worship leader
- Nigel Hendroff – lead guitar
Hillsong United Albums
- Let There Be Light
- All of the Above
Hillsong United Songs – Hillsong Worship Songs
- Here Now (Madness)
- Say The Word
- Heart Like Heaven
- Touch The Sky
- Street Called Mercy
- When I Lost My Heart To You
- Even When It Hurts
- Prince Of Peace
- Closer Than You Know
- Behold (Then Sings My Soul)
- Love So Great
- Look To The Son
- What A Beautiful Name
- Your Word
- Let There Be Light
- In Control
- Grace to Grace
- I Will Boast in Christ
- As It Is (In Heaven)
- Shadow Step
- Future Marches In
- So Will I (100 Billion X)
- Splinters and Stones
- Glimmer In The Dust
- Greatest Of These
- Shape Of Your Heart
- Not Today
- Rain / Reign
- Water To Wine