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Tony Backhouse

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 reclusive 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. 
'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

'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

'Tony Backhouse's voice can be heard several times on The Cafe of the Gate of Salvation and each time he manages to cleverly shape otherwise simple melodic lines. He's very effective at blending into the ensemble and then appearing again, wrapping around notes, gliding above the sopranos, growling between the tenors and baritones. Few ensemble leaders have as clear an understanding of their group's sonic spectrum, and how their voice fits within as a soloist.'
Contemporary Acappella Society of America

What he does:

Vocal workshops:       
New Zealand

Skype consultations: arranging, teaching songs & interpretation

Arranges and composes:
for choirs, string quartet, solo guitar and other projects

Leads singing tours to exotic places:
USA (Gospel tours)
Australian outback & heritage towns

The Heavenly Light Quartet
Blessed Relief (with Peter Dasent)
Guest appearances with the Café of the Gate of Salvation (Sydney) and other choirs
Bass, guitar & vocals with No Engine (Napier)

Recording projects:

Blessed Relief (with Peter Dasent)
BEND (with Fane Flaws & Peter Dasent)

A cappella - Rehearsing for Heaven (songbook and companion CD)
Move on up (songbook)
Freeing the song (an approach to directing vocal groups)
Australian Companion to Music and Dance - entries on a cappella and community gospel choirs

See also:

SUMMERSONG 20194-Dec-2018

Summersong Music Camp Tyalgum Ridge Retreat (Tyalgum NSW) 14 - 20 Jan 2019 Australia’s prem..

Singing To The Heart19-May-2019

May 19 - June 2 2019 SINGING TO THE HEART An epic singing journey into the he..

Making Music in Mercatello, ITALY12-Jun-2019

A sensational mix of singing and culture : feast on singing with Tony Backhouse and local dir..

The Ephemeral Choir 201913-Oct-2019