24 March 2013 by James Hoh CM –
Perhaps you may not know her but you will definitely know some of her worship songs like King of Love, Jesus and What a Beautiful Name. If you love these songs, try her newest album: Grace.
'Twas wonderful to meet with Tanya Riches of Hillsong Church, Australia, a spritely, energetic lady! Despite a long flight from Los Angeles and straight on to two solid hours of rehearsal with the worship team from Grace Assembly of God, Klang, she didn’t seem exhausted at all!
One of her passion is to come to Malaysia, she said. Not because of the sumptuous Malaysian food but to meet with some very good Malaysian friends she came to know at Hillsong Church.
Tanya Riches is here to teach Multicultural Worship with a Pentecostal perspective in Alpha Omega International College for a week and Easter Sunday Concert at Grace Convention Centre.
With so many travelling opportunities, she desires to learn and teach what God is doing around the world. “It is important to teach the students to understand the big picture of what’s happening and what God is doing in the world of worship today before going into the ‘hands-on’ of composing and singing skills,” she said.
She wrote her first song at the age of four. It was something about “trampling the devil” she laughed. When she was older she started writing with Hillsong and United years ago. But along the way, she also wrote for churches and colleges. And just recently she came up with an album called Grace, her first solo project.
This new album came about when she had to help her mother who works with the Australian government to carry out a survey of more than 200 people just before embarking on her PhD at Fuller Seminary.
Watch this video!
She interviewed 200 families who had a member with disability. She learnt so much about their social-economic and spiritual well-being as if God had opened up a window for her to see how they were coping with life. This project actually gave her depth in her song-writing.
As she met some of these people in church, she started to ask herself, “Life is really hard, so how do you put worship songs into the mouths of those who have gone through tough times in life?”
She continued, “How can you now sing songs that are naïve, not knowing the fabric of the real world?” Her songs now have more depth, similar to hymns but contemporary and vernacular, she said.
“Tomorrow and Easter Sunday I will be singing before sharing my testimonies. I will be singing Grace, King of Love, Jesus What a Beautiful Name and Maranatha.” she said.
“I love to write about the many nations worshipping the Lord because of the experience of knowing wonderful people from Australia, the United States and Malaysia.” she said.
And I said “Amen!” to that.
If you are interested to take up the course at Alpha Omega International College, please do not hesitate to call the Registrar for more information Tel: 03-7880 7994.
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