NEWS | Anne Lim
Thursday 28 May 2015
Garage Hymnal, a worship band that has played in churches, conducted workshops and released six albums over the past ten years, is disbanding in July. Drummer Andrew Massey says work and family commitments are taking the six members in different directions.
The band was always part-time and the members had other jobs. Now Stephanie Vanden-Hengal has had a baby, Alanna Rodgers is moving to the UK for a music directing job and getting married, while Greg Cooper has a new job at Emu Music. The other members are Trent Prees and Richard Fenton.
“We don’t want to say it’s over for all time,” says Mr Massey, known as Sass. “At the moment everyone is doing their own thing but, God willing, down the track we might be inspired to record some songs and do some more playing.”
Garage Hymnal hopes to pack out the historic Garrison Church in the Rocks during its farewell Sydney concert on June 27, for which tickets are available through HaloTickets. Its final shows will be at the Refocus conference in Fremantle, Western Australia, on July 10-11.
The band wrote many original songs, including Child’s Play and All That I Am, which have been widely played on Christian radio and sung in churches both locally and across the world.
“We are always surprised at how far our music has travelled overseas. People will pick it up and say they’ve been encouraged by a lyric or a song,” Mr Massey says.
The band’s biggest gig was playing at a 2011 conference at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, called One, with John Lennox and John Piper. But its main focus was partnering with churches, whether Anglican, Baptist or Presbyterian, to provide workshops, performances and other resources.
“We had a mission to see God glorified through passionate worship in all its facets, including great music with great words. We sought to equip the church with not just songs but skills through our training events. And we’ve been privileged to witness a positive change in church music culture, as churches continue to embrace the role of song in their gatherings,” the band says.
“We are sincerely grateful to you all for your support of this ministry. Whether you bought an album, came to a gig, took part in a training day, or lifted your voices together with one of our songs at your church – thank you.”