Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hillsongs United: Lead Me To The Cross

It’s Spiritual Sunday and today I feature Hillsongs United’s “Lead me to the Cross.”

Since I sing in church several times a year on a rotating basis, I am always looking for newer material to do and try not to repeat songs unless I absolutely have to do this. Back in May while searching for new material (new to me) to perform, I reacquainted myself with Hillsongs United’s “Lead me to the Cross.” I really liked this arrangement and began working on it to sing it with a couple of friends.

Hillsongs United is a music ministry of the Australian mega-church Hillsong Church in Sydney. Hillsong is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination and has had a very successful music ministry that has extended far beyond the reach of their localized ministry. The membership of this band is fluid and changes frequently. Brooke Fraser Ligertwood, who wrote this song, sings lead.

Brooke Fraser Ligertwood talks about “Lead me to the Cross”:

Originally, I had conceived that I would play acoustic guitar and have one of my friends (Keith Janney) play bass and another (Jon Schwitzerlette) play keyboards. The song was written in Bm – which was a little low for me so I transposed the tune to Em to fit my vocal range. It actually made it somewhat easier to play as well. While I was on my way to Washington, DC in July, I heard a new version of this song on the radio by Chris and Conrad. Their version was really similar to the one I had planned to do – a little faster and a little higher (their version is in Ebm).

Chris & Conrad “Lead me to the Cross” Studio Version:

Chris & Conrad “Lead me to the Cross” Live Version at Chick-Fil-A:

When we eventually get to do this song, I have decided that Jon would play  acoustic guitar and I would do piano as I really liked the piano part on Chris and Conrad’s version and it helped to make up for the missing lead guitar part, as Keith who normally plays lead guitar would be playing bass. Plus, I can MIDI a lead guitar sound to my keyboard controller to get the desired effect.

While I am featuring Hillsongs United in this entry as they did it first, this is really a feature of this great song and how it is treated with two different arrangements.

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