The Parachute Music organisation has been hugely influential in growing the New Zealand Christian music scene. As well as giving artists the opportunity to record, Parachute Music pioneered the Parachute Festival, which has become the largest Christian music festival outside the USA. Parachute Festival has now found a home at Mystery Creek near Hamilton, and draws over 25,000 people each year.
And it was from the Parachute Festival that Parachute Band came to be. The band originally came together as a "house band" to lead worship sessions at the festival. God had bigger plans though, and the Parachute Band took on a life of its own. Formed around Wanganui musicians Wayne and Libby Huirua, Parachute Band quickly established a big following locally and overseas. As well as writing prolifically themselves, the band provided an outlet for local songwriters, and many of their songs were written in collaboration with people from outside the band.
Wayne and Libby stepped down around three years ago; the touring lifestyle had become too much for them, and incompatible with family life. A new and younger group took over the mantle, and the band's focus has shifted more towards the youth end of the spectrum. That's a shame in our opinion. The "original" Parachute Band really had an impact on the style of worship in churches, not only here but throughout the world.
So, as we wrap up the month of May, New Zealand Music Month, enjoy this track from the 2001 album Amazing