06 May 13
Tanya Riches has already achieved more than many dream of in a lifetime. As a member of Hillsong Church she served in the worship team for many years, and was instrumental in the foundation of one of the most successful worship bands in history, Hillsong United. She published a number of well-known songs through Hillsong Music Australia, including ‘Jesus What A Beautiful Name,’ which reached #6 on Australia’s CCLI worship charts.
She went on to become lead singer of the band ‘Speaking of Sarah’ performing weekly across Australia for many years – including mainstage at Australia largest Christian music festivals. After ‘Speaking of Sarah’ disbanded, Tanya decided to pursue theological and musical studies and is now not only now a respected academic in areas such as Worship, Missiology, and Ethnomusicology, but also one of the world’s premiere academics on the phenomenon of Hillsong Church.
Her humour and skill as a speaker have been displayed at church conferences including the National Assemblies of God Conference in Wellington, New Zealand (2009), and Sinergia Conference (Sicily, Italy 2006, 2007, 2008) among many, many others.
She is currently studying her PhD at the world’s largest evangelical seminary Fuller Theological Seminary where she was awarded a scholarship in the School of Intercultural Studies, and is employed as the Chapel Co-ordinator, leading in and planning the worship services. Her research topic is concerned with reconciliation – particularly between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. She is currently based in Los Angeles, but will be conducting research in some of Australia’s rising indigenous led multi-ethnic urban contemporary churches.
This is not the first time she has sought to listen to those marginalized and quietened by dominant culture. Her first solo album ‘Grace’ was a deliberate attempt to write from experiences she had during research amongst people with disability. An ecumenical collaboration with some of Australia’s best songwriters, she says,
“I feel like the songs from ‘Grace’ wrote themselves. Some are well-worn oldies. And some of the newies – they began as tiny hums that appeared when I took a Summer job as a research fellow … I would fly to a different city and make my way into people’s homes. It was a privilege to listen to their stories – and in that, ‘Grace’ emerged.”
Tanya believes that the power of worship is in individual voices joining as one to worship Jesus Christ. This is the power of Tanya’s worship leadership, and of her latest album ‘Grace’. Join the song and purchase your copy today.