Darlene Zschech

Australian Darlene Zschech is acclaimed all over the world as a singer, songwriter worship leader and speaker, most notably for spearheading the music that comes from Hillsong Church. Although she has achieved numerous gold albums and her songs are sung in many nations of the world, her success is not the result of pursuing stardom and fame – it stands as a testimony to her life's passion to serve God with her musical gift.

Early musical beginnings

Music has been an integral part of Darlene's life since she was a child. Born and educated in Brisbane, Australia, she was 10 years old when she began performing in a weekly children's television show, singing, dancing and hosting segments. As a teenager, Darlene fronted various local gospel bands in Brisbane before she started singing on the session scene in Sydney. This included background vocals for some of the best in the business and recording jingles for McDonalds, Special K, KFC and Diet Coke.

Music and ministry

Music was always going to characterise Darlene's life but it was her decision to serve Jesus Christ at the age of 15 that has determined her path and destiny. For the past 20 years, Darlene and her husband Mark have been a vital part of the leadership team at Hillsong Church in Sydney, which has a congregation of over 18,000.

Even in its early years, the church always valued contemporary praise and worship, and has gained a worldwide reputation for excellence with its singers and musicians.

Darlene is responsible for producing the music recorded by Hillsong Music Australia. The church began recording its music in the early 1990s, and so far, the 16 live worship albums have all been certified Gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). In recent times, the Hillsong live worship albums have appeared on the Australian secular album charts. ‘For All You've Done' debuted at number 1 on the ARIA charts in July 2004, and ‘God He Reigns' debuted at number 2 in July 2005 with the DVD in the number 1 position.

Singer and Songwriter

As a songwriter, Darlene is perhaps most famous for the chorus Shout to the Lord, asong that is sung by an estimated 25 to 30 million churchgoers every week and has been covered by at least 20 other artists.This song is the title track for the first live album co-produced with Integrity Music featuring Darlene as a prominent female worship leader. Shout to the Lord was nominated as ‘Album of the Year' for the 1997 Dove Awards and was nominated as ‘Song of the Year' for the 1998 Dove Awards. In the year 2000, Darlene received a Dove Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year.

In addition to Shout to the Lord, Darlene has written over 70 songs that have been published by Hillsong Music Australia alone.She has also written three books on her passion, which include ‘Extravagant Worship' and her latest release, ‘The Kiss of Heaven'.

In 2003, Darlene released her first solo studio project, Kiss of Heaven, with INO Records, an album that brings together a range of styles, including hymns, contemporary worship, and timeless songs reflecting her passion for Christ.For Darlene, its message and meaning are simple:“It's just the love of my family, my adoration of my God, and my love of music. It's me. It's the things that are valuable to me.”

In 2005, Darlene released her new solo album “Change Your World” which features a new arrangement of Michael W Smith's worship song ‘Agnus Dei', as well as a “soon to be classic hymn”, ‘Call Upon His Name'.

As well as co-writing most of the songs with David Holmes, Darlene produced ‘Change Your World' at The Grove Studios owned by her and husband Mark.David Holmes and Andy Sorenson have co-produced the CD.

Leadership and influence

Darlene's influence extends well beyond the realm of music. Together with her husband Mark, she is also the Associate Director of Hillsong Conference, which is the annual music and leadership conference of the church.In 2007, over 28,000 full-time delegates attended the conference at Sydney's SuperDome at Olympic Park, making the biggest annual conference held in the nation of Australia.

Darlene is committed to raising and equipping people by teaching them the principles she herself lives by, and she speaks frequently at worship seminars and conferences around the world.

Darlene has a heart for helping hurting people and she has recognised that her public platform gives her the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of others. She is an Ambassador for the work of Compassion International, and has visited her sponsored children in various developing nations of the world.

It was a mission trip to CentralAfrica in 2004 that prompted Mark and Darlene to initiate ‘Hope: Rwanda', a global endeavour designed to bring hope to a nation seemingly forgotten since the horrific genocide of 1994. The ‘100 Days of Hope' project is strategically co-ordinated to cover the same 100 days that saw over one million people viciously slaughtered (6 April – 15 July 2006). www.hoperwanda.org

Marriage and motherhood

Darlene and Mark reside in Sydney with their three daughters, Amy, Chloe and Zoe.While she travels extensively and has had the honour of ministering at many prestigious events around the world, Darlene highly prizes her role as wife and mother. She loves being at home and being part of the worship team in her local church. As she says, ‘first and foremost I am a worshipper, so it's going to come out in everything I do.'

FACT FILE: HILLSONG MUSIC AUSTRALIA LIVE WORSHIP ALBUMS

  • 2007 – 'Saviour King"
  • 2006 – 'Mighty to Save'
  • 2005 – ‘God He Reigns'
  • 2004 – ‘For All You've Done'
  • 2003 – ‘Hope'
  • 2002 – ‘Blessed'
  • 2001 – ‘You Are My World'
  • 2000 – ‘For This Cause'
  • 1999 – ‘By Your Side'
  • 1998 – ‘Touching Heaven Changing Earth'
  • 1997 – ‘All Things Are Possible'
  • 1996 – ‘God Is In The House'
  • 1995 – ‘Friends in High Places'
  • 1994 – ‘People Just Like Us' **
  • 1993 – ‘Stone's Been Rolled Away'
  • 1992 – ‘The Power of Your Love'

All 16 live praise & worship albums have been accredited with the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Gold status in Australia. 1 live praise & worship album has achieved platinum status (**).

Hillsong Music Australia has been accredited with over 30 gold and platinum sales awards achieved worldwide.

Darlene Zschech

Contact us

Song Summit Sydney
APRA|AMCOS
Locked Bag 3665
St Leonards NSW 1590

T: 02 9935 7900
E: info@songsummit.com.au