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Mar 6th, 2019 | WORKSHOP | Tony Backhouse | A Cappella Gospel

  • Tugun Progress Hall 433 Golden Four Drive Tugun, QLD, 4224 Australia (map)


Tony Backhouse | A Cappella Gospel Workshop

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Inspirational singer and choir director, and Australasia’s premier arranger and teacher of a cappella gospel, is coming to the Gold Coast to share singing and song with the Gold Coast community.

Participant numbers are limited. Please book online to secure your place in this inspirational workshop.


A capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community.
That's one of the great feelings -- to stop being me for a little while, and to become us.
Brian Eno

“One minute we were a circle of strangers all staring at each other. 10 minutes later we were a throng of worshipful singers revelling in some of the most glorious harmony singing of my life. What Tony offers is stunning.”                                                                  
Clare Grayson, activist, UK

Tony Backhouse delivered a fun-filled and spirit-filled workshop. He knows his stuff and teaches it in the true oral tradition, creating a wonderful learning experience for professional and beginner singers alike. I had a great time singing and I learned lots. A get-down, joyful, funky weekend!
Brian Tate, Music Director, City Soul Choir, Vancouver

“We'd like to see a big medal on that man’s chest - he has brought music into more people’s lives, good music, music you make, than anyone we can think of in the Antipodes. Respect and thanks.”
Sam Neill, actor, NZ

'Backhouse is Australasia's premier arranger and teacher of a cappella gospel. Tim Finn says he is quite simply the finest vocal arranger he knows and Sam Neill reckons he's a national treasure.'

Roi Colbert, New Zealand Listener




Composer | Vocal Arranger | Singer | Author | Choir Director | Workshop Leader

Tony Backhouse, BA, B.Mus, is one of the leaders in the Australasian a cappella movement.

He founded Australia’s foremost a cappella gospel choir, Café of the Gate of Salvation in 1986, and directed it for 21 years. He founded a cappella choir the Honeybees, and has directed and sung with the male a cappella group the Heavenly Light Quartet since 1996. In demand for his inspiring teaching style, Tony has run more than 2000 vocal workshops throughout the world for the public, for festivals, schools, universities, churches, organisations and corporate training events. 

'Tony Backhouse has been, and continues to be, a major influence on music in Sydney and beyond. The a cappella revival is almost entirely due to him.'

Martin Wesley-Smith, composer, Australia

VOCAL WORKSHOP | A Cappella Gospel

Tony has run over 2000 vocal workshops since 1987. He regularly runs workshops for those who want harmony, fun, collective improvisation and freedom of expression. The content focuses the African-American repertoire, spirituals, gospel songs old and new, choral and quartet styles, and often including South African gospel, doo-wop, R&B and pop. All the songs used in Tony’s workshops are his transcriptions or arrangements . (Workshops can run over over an entire weekend or for an evening.) 

He has run training sessions for choirs and a cappella quartets, and taught seminars on gospel music history and vocal arranging. Since the year 2000 he has taught every year at the top singing and songwriting camp in Australia, Summersong. He has worked with many community choirs in Australia and New Zealand, and has run workshops at festivals, in educational institutions and in the corporate sector for enterprises such as BNZ and the All Blacks. Several choirs have formed out of his workshops, and many of his students have gone on to direct choirs and run vocal workshops.

Tony regularly travels throughout Australia and New Zealand leading public workshops and appearing at festivals. He has taught at institutions (Waikato Polytechnic, NZ School of Music, Kahurangi Performing Arts College, Queensland Conservatorium and many secondary schools in Australia and New Zealand). He also teaches in Canada, the UK and France and leads singing in exotic locations such as the Australian outback, Bali, Italy, Samoa and Fiji.

Watch a video of the Singing in Siena 2010 group singing in the Montestigliano chapel here.

Festival workshops have included: 

WOMAD (Australia and NZ)
Festival of Voices (Tasmania)
Sing Aotearoa (NZ)
Sydney ChoralFest (Australia)
Queensland Biennial Festival Of Music: Hallelujah Logan! 
Melbourne A cappella Festival (Victoria)
Brisbane Sacred Music Festival
Brisbane International Festival
Hastings Choral Festival (NSW)
West Coast Sacred Music Festival (Vancouver)
West Coast Acappella Summit (California)


The 11th US Gospel Tour is planned for October 2020.

Experience the passion and depth of the black gospel tradition — join musical director Tony Backhouse to sing in black churches and on quartet programs, attend choir rehearsals and workshops with local music ministers and singers. 18 days of rich gospel music and soul food in Memphis, Chicago and New Orleans. Sing with (and to) a Baptist congregation in Memphis, attend a quartet workshop, visit a huge church in Chicago, and get uplifted at the Holy Ghost HQ in New Orleans! Participate in workshops with music ministers and singers from the most dynamic singing tradition on the planet, and then join them afterwards for fried chicken, macaroni cheese and mustard greens.... For further information, please visit GOSPEL TOUR 2020

TONY BACKHOUSE Workshop is proudly presented by Artemus Events and  JUST SING!.

TONY BACKHOUSE Workshop is proudly presented by Artemus Events and JUST SING!.