With a lifetime’s work in performing arts ministry behind him, guitarist and recording artist David Holmes is a deserving winner of one of our 2022 Legacy Awards.
Growing up in a family of five kids, David’s childhood memories are against a backdrop of all kinds of music - from pop and rock to the gospel of the day.
When his father, an amateur singer, encouraged a 10-year-old David to learn an instrument…. at first he wanted to be a drummer. But his older brother Andrew had already ‘bagsed’ the drums – so instead David picked up the guitar – and the rest is history!
Once he’d mastered the riff to Smoke on the Water, he was off, forming his own band, playing at his friends parties, and discovering a love for live performance. Then at age 15, when he started playing in his local AOG church , it was the start of a lifelong passion for communicating the gospel through the language of music.
At 18, David joined an Adelaide based gospel rock band known as “Heartrush”, and for two years he ministered in churches with music teams, writing worship songs, and encouraging others in their musical and faith journeys.
During those early years, he played for the Adelaide Christian Seminars hosted by pentecostal pastor Barry Chant, performing alongside the big gospel artists of the day, and at the Australian Christian Music Seminars in COOMA - alongside other Christian musicians like Beeb Birtles, Paul Aldrich, Kenny Marks, Steve Henderson and more. It’s been said that these events planted the seeds of inspiration for the first Hillsong Conferences.
After graduating from Adelaide University of Music with a Bachelor of Music and Honours in Jazz, David began working as a session guitarist – in a career that’s now spanned over more than 400 album projects and numerous ministry tours.
Highlights have included recording and co-writing with Darlene Zschech on a number of her solo albums, working for three years as Darlene’s music director and tour manager, and then accompanying her at a worship event for the Pope in 2015 at St Peter’s Square in Rome; playing for Steve Grace on his “New Day Coming “ album, and with Geoff Bullock on his “Great Southland” album; and recording and performing with countless other artists like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe, Dami Im, Colin Buchanan, Michael W Smith, Martin Smith, Rueben Morgan, Graham Kendrick , The McClymont’s , Robyn Green, Andy and Kathy Sorenson, Jeff Crabtree and many more.
He has also shared the platform with the likes of Joyce Meyer, Graham Kendrick, Rodney Howard Browne, Delirious, Rick Godwin, Joseph Prince and Joel Osteen, recorded his own solo albums in the 90s , and, if you were paying attention you would’ve also heard his work on some ad jingles for McDonalds and P&O Cruises.
David has recorded on many church worship albums too, through both C3 and Hillsong, and during the ‘90s he relocated his family to help plant a C3 Church in Los Angeles.
As part of his career David has also spent a lot of time passing along his skills to the next generation - through tuition, workshops, masterclasses and conferences, and in teaching roles at the Australian Institute of Music, at high schools like William Clarke and Hills Grammar, and at Bible colleges like Alphacrusis, Wesley, Hillsong and C3.
Just recently he finished a project with the Baptist Church in Sydney, composing and recording an Instrumental work for a UK based Devotional app called Glorify, and he’s currently touring Australia’s East Coast with an orchestral tribute celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neil Diamond’s landmark album Hot August Night.
Throughout his many achievements, David has always found worship and music to be powerful tools in opening doors to sharing the good news with friends in the secular music community. His early passion for sharing his great love for God, through the medium of music, has never waned.
It is our honour to present to him the 2022 CMAA Legacy award.