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Way in the Middle of the Air

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Event description

We are excited to present Gale Force Gospel's spring concert 'Way in the Middle of the Air". We sing moving and uplifting gospel songs, with many of the arrangements by the incomparable Tony Backhouse and we can't wait to share them with you. We ask that audience members please wear a face mask and bring cash for the raffles tickets.

Gale Force Gospel is an inclusive choir in Wellington. We primarily sing arrangements of African American gospel songs rooted in a tradition of finding freedom from slavery, and also spiritual songs from African, Pacific Islands and Māori cultures.

We mainly sing Tony Backhouse's uplifting arrangements of gospel ‘a cappella’. Tony has a huge passion and respect for the gospel tradition and visits communities in the southern United States regularly. He says “I've been visiting black churches on and off for 25 years and the experience of being in the midst of such celebration, commitment and energy never fails to blow my mind."

Our love of singing this energising, moving and exciting music brings us all together. 

Our Musical Director Ben Woods
Ben has been singing and playing instruments since he was young. He initially focused on learning piano, drums and percussion, then later switched to jazz piano, and had singing lessons during high school. While completing a BMus(Hons) in Composition at the New Zealand School of Music, Ben joined Gale Force Gospel, singing with the basses, and then progressing to become our Assistant Director. Following founding director Carol Shortis' departure from the choir in late 2020 (we miss her!) Ben brings a new energy and focus as our Director.

During the day, Ben is a music editor for music publisher, Promethean Editions, and a freelancer, creating sheet music for film/TV recording sessions and stage. He also enjoys photography, everything audio or hifi, and the occasional handyman project.

About Tony Backhouse
“[Tony] has probably introduced more people to the physical pleasures of singing gospel music than anyone else in Australasia. On both sides of the Tasman and further afield, dozens of gospel choirs have emerged from his itinerant workshopping, and his arrangements form the backbone of much of their repertoire. Put simply, as far as this part of the gospel world goes, he’s the man” — Rick Bryant, singer, Auckland

Join Gale Force Gospel
If you are interested in singing in a friendly supportive environment, (and no auditions!), just come along and join us at 6pm on a Monday night at St Andrews on The Terrace. Term 4 starts on 17 October — we'd love to meet you.

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Refund policy

If the concert has to be postponed or cancelled, then refunds will be available.