top of page
Autumn Art School _1.31.12.jpg





Tony Backhouse



Gospel! Rhythm & freedom! Open To everyone!

Tony works with the passionate and exciting African-American repertoire, focusing on spirituals, gospel songs old and new, choral and quartet styles, and embracing South African church songs, and maybe even some doo-wop, or R&B. Tony creates a supportive and safe environment to explore the voice and how we work together to raise the roof. Tony’s workshops are for the beginner and the experienced singer. No music-reading skills are required, and you may record the sessions.

You may enroll for just 1 day, please click here to submit your request.

Composer, vocal arranger and singer Tony Backhouse, BA, BMus, is one of the leaders in the

Australasian a cappella movement. Tony has directed the Sydney gospel choir Café of the Gate of Salvation since 1986, and founded the other long-running Sydney gospel choir the Honeybees and the male cappella group, the Heavenly Light Quartet.

Tony has researched the Black gospel tradition at Memphis State University, and since 1988 has regularly visited the USA befriending and singing with choirs, quartets and congregations in New York, Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans.

He has led ten gospel tours to the USA to participate in the African American church tradition, and has run over 2000 vocal workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Italy, Canada, Fiji and Samoa.

He is the author of the Black gospel songbooks A cappella: Rehearsing For Heaven and Move On Up, and a book on directing vocal groups Freeing the Song. In a former life, Tony played guitar and sang in the Crocodiles, Rough Justice and other NZ bands; he worked in Australia with Renee Geyer until he discovered the world of a cappella singing. He continues to play and record with trans-Tasman bands the Bend and Blessed Relief.

bottom of page