Tony Backhouse is a singer, composer, vocal arranger, musical director, workshop leader and author, Tony has been running vocal workshops in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France and the UK since 1987. In his previous pre-a cappella life, he took a B.A. (English) and B.Mus. (Composition) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He played guitar and sung in many notable bands in New Zealand including Mammal (who recorded one LP with poet Sam Hunt) and the Crocodiles, who won three NZ Recording Industry Awards in 1980). Moving to Australia in 1981, Tony sang and played with Renée Geyer, Joe Walsh, Jenny Morris, the Umbrellas and Jump Back Jack, and arranged and recorded backing vocals for Harry Manx, Dave Dobbyn, Tim Finn, Vince Jones and Kate Ceberano.
Tony Backhouse is one of the leaders in the Sydney a cappella movement. He directed the Café of the Gate of Salvation gospel choir for 21 years and has led male trio the Heavenly Lights since 1996. He works with the passionate and exciting African-American repertoire, focusing on spirituals, gospel songs old and new, and choral and quartet styles. The emphasis is on harmony, collective improvisation and freedom of expression. No music-reading skills are required, and you may tape the sessions.