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Knowing the Song: A Companion to the Publications of the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust from 1993 to 2009 Together with the New Zealand Supplement to With One Voice (1982)

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Published: 13 August 2021
446 pages, 276,010 words
Published by: The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust in association with Philip Garside Publishing Ltd.
Print edition of Knowing the Song coming soon.
For NZHBT hymnbooks and recordings visit:

Starting with the New Zealand Supplement to With One Voice in 1982, the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust has worked faithfully to make the best contemporary, local hymns available to churches and choirs in our country.

Their key music books – Alleluia Aotearoa (1993); Carol Our Christmas (1996); Faith Forever Singing (2000) and Hope Is Our Song (2009) – are all still popular and remain in print today.

In this Companion, world-renowned New Zealand hymn composer, Colin Gibson, tells the stories of how the hymns in these books came to be written and of the tunes to which they have been set, alongside biographies of the hymnwriters and composers.

Ministers, preachers, worship leaders, church musicians and choir members will find a wealth of material in the Companion to entertain and inform them, and to share with their congregations.

For ease of reference the Companion includes indexes of Hymn Names and First Lines, Scripture sources and Tune Names.

For the first time, Gibson has compiled a Finding List of New Zealand Hymn Writing which records the many hymnbooks and other publications that hymns by New Zealand composers have appeared in, both in this country and overseas. Other appendices include a list of publications in which our hymnwriters and hymns are discussed, and a brief history of the Hymnbook Trust.

About the Author:

Colin Gibson, a former Professor of English at the University of Otago, has been involved with music from his childhood. The Mornington Methodist Church in Dunedin has been his spiritual home for more than 80 years. He has been the church’s Choir Director, organist, and pianist for the last 60 years.

In 1972 he took a national prize with his now famous hymn, He Came Singing Love, and he has been busy ever since, writing hymn texts and composing hymn settings for his own hymns as well as for many other New Zealand and international hymnwriters.

He has led workshops and lecture series on hymn-related topics throughout New Zealand and in Australia, America, England, Japan and the Philippines. A founding member of the New Zealand Hymn Book Trust and its editorial group, in 1981 he established at the Dunedin Public Library a national research collection of hymn books and study material.

In 2002 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature and music.

Colin is married to Jeanette, a former teacher of the deaf.  They have three professional children.

You will get the following files:
  • EPUB (1MB)
  • MOBI (5MB)
  • PDF (11MB)

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