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Tony Backhouse and Anders Nyberg

13 - 20 October 2019

The Ephemeral Choir is a total immersion in singing and beauty. Add three great Choirmasters, a World Heritage National Park, the incomparable Carrington Hotel and a final concert in the wonderous Cathedral Cave and you have something truly special. 

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The Ephemeral Choir SoundTracks Singing Event

The Team


Anders Nyberg

Composer • Conductor • Poet • Walker • Script Writer • Choir Director Anders studied choral conducting at the Royal Music Academy of Stockholm but draws his greatest influences from local folk musicians from two musical poles; his native Malung in Dalarna, Sweden and his adopted home country South Africa. 

Anders was a founding member of the vocal group Fjedur exploring the fusion between Swedish traditional music, choral music and jazz, in concert and on vinyl. Today the music has not only become an integral part of Swedish choral life but has spread globally and been translated into a number of languages as well. 


Travelling to Latin America with his group Gondwana inspired Anders in the creation of "Himmelen Inom”, which holds a place amongst Swedish choral standards.  Anders has given inspired concerts, seminars and workshops in over 20 countries on five continents. In Sweden he has been a recurring guest-lecturer at the Music Conservatories of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Piteå and the University of Växjö, as well as at innumerable other educational institutions, choral festivals and local choirs. He has also given lectures at the theological faculty of Uppsala University. Anders also served as the first director of a unique world music education program at the Stiernhööks gymnasium, Rättvik, Sweden. Nyberg was nominated the "Swedish Choir leader of the Year" in 1986. 


Anders Nyberg has also worked successfully with film. In 2005 the movie “As it is in Heaven", co-scripted by Anders, was nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Foreign movie. The film, about a choir and its conductor, became the most viewed Swedish movie ever as well as receiving great international acclaim.


Tony Backhouse

Composer • Vocal Arranger • Singer •Author • Choir Director • Workshop Leader
Tony Backhouse, BA, BMus, is one of the leaders in the international a cappella movement. Tim Finn says he is quite simply the finest vocal arranger he knows and Sam Neill reckons he's a national treasure. He founded Australia’s foremost a cappella gospel choir Café of the Gate of Salvation in 1986, and directed it for 21 years. He arranged and composed the bulk of their repertoire and still writes music regularly for them. Tony founded a cappella choir the Honeybees and has directed and sung with reclusive male a cappella trio Heavenly Lights 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.


Sue Johnson

Composer • Vocal Arranger • Singer •Author • Choir Director • Workshop Leader Sue co-founded award-winning vocal and improvisation groups such as Coco’s Lunch and collaborated with Australian authors and arts organisations such as Musica Viva and the Sydney Opera House. Her published vocal scores have been recorded world wide and her commisions have been performed to massed choirs of 2,000 singers. Sue lectured at the Victorian College of the Arts and has tutored at Melbourne University. She has received numerous nominations and awards including the Montsalvat Yalumba Jazz Award as well as Coco’s Lunch nominations for the ARIAs 2007, USA Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards [Runner-up Best folk/world music album] and the Australian World Music Awards [finalist Best Album]. We are delighted to have Sue as our Choir Manager for the inaugural Ephemeral Choir.

Raymond Hawkins- Tour Leader

Published author • Photographer • Events manager • Very naughty boy Raymond is the owner of SOUND TRACKS TRAVEL and has operated ecletic tours all over Australia for decades. He toured with some of Australia greatest bands - Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel and The Angels as tour manager, lighting designer and/or production manager, during which time he honoured the motto of “sex, drugs and rock and roll … and preferably all three at once”. He has worked with Opera Australia, The Sydney Dance Company and ran the Audio/Visual Department at the Sydney Opera House. Raymond knows the Blue Mountains intimately, having operated a walking company there for over a decade.He created the Burra Gospel & Soul Festivale, designed the BackRoaders tours and ran the Desert Choir program with Tony Backhouse for a decade.


This program will evolve over time to make the experience deeper and more powerful. 

Sunday - 13 October - 2019
9am pick-up at Central Railway Station in Sydney by our coach. Transfer to the Carrington Hotel for welcome talk from Raymond before launching into our first singing workshop with Anders and/or Tony. Check in at 2pm. Dinner in the Grand Dining room at 6.30 pm.

14 October - 19 October
Each day starts with breakfast in the grand dining room and is then punctuated by singing workshops with Anders & Tony and touring within the Blue Mountains. Lunch is provided daily whether in the Carrington or on the road. 
Each days itinerary will be determined by the weather but will include visits to grand gardens of Mt Wilson, visit to the Megalong Tea Rooms, singing in places of remarkable beauty overlooking majestic valleys, or by mountain waterfalls. Then there is time to spend absorbing the wonderful Carrington Hotel, sitting in its beautiful nooks and crannies, soaking up the atmosphere.  On one of the evenings Anders will present the movie - As it is  in Heaven - and talk about its development. 
The Carrington is situated right in the middle of Katoomba, allowing people to wander the cafes, and antique stores and old book shops. 


19th October

Perform in a recorded and filmed concert in the Cathedral Cave, Jenolan Caves. Most people will live their entire lives and never experience something like this, a truly ephemeral expression of art.  

20th October

After Breakfast and a final sing in the Ballroom, depart for Sydney at 9 am, arriving back at International Airport around 11-30 am, the Domestic Airport around midday, and at the Central Station Pickup Point around 12.30pm. 


What's In and What's Out


The workshop INCLUDES:

•    daily workshops with Tony Backhouse and Anders Nyberg

•   professionally filmed,edited and recorded footage of final ‘performance’ in Cathedral Cave.

•    7 nights luxury accommodation at the Carrington Hotel.

•   all breakfasts and lunches.

•   one evening meal at Outdoor location called the Wilderness Cafe.

•   all side excursions, National Park fees.

•    Beautifully stage managed singing events in remarkable places

•    all transport in luxury Coaches.

•    surprises you will just have to take my word for.


•    airfares to and from Sydney.

•   evening meals except as indicated above.

•    alcohol.



This inaugural EPHEMERAL CHOIR will sell out quickly. Already there is a significant Wait List who will be offered spaces first. It is therefore advised that you deposit early to avoid disappointment. 

1.    PRICE - $3,300 p.p. Non-refundable DEPOSIT of $1,200
2.    LIMITED SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS AVAILABLE - $1,400 p.p. **** Final Balance and Single Supplement not payable until one month from tour departure - 13 Spetember - 2019.

On the last Backroaders tour we made a pact that people NOT take footage of rehearsals and performances to share on Facebook or other social media. The reason was two-fold, to stop the intrusive nature of cameras and also to ensure that the published outbook of the performance was high quality. We achieved that extremely well with the production of the Backroaders Video. We intend to increase the production values on the Ephemeral Choir video and supply people with a beautiful copy of the final performance for their use. We want to memorialise the images and sound at a high level. Enjoy the last Backroaders video at


Luggage is not really an issue as you will be unpacking and packing when you arrive at the hotel. 
We will be travelling on a luxury coach on our excursions into the mountains. 
The mountains can be inclement even at this time of year so bring warm clothes and some swimming gear if you are brave. Performances and dining in the Carrington require more formal clothing. Backroaders Video. 


The tour is for people who want to sing, there is no requirement for people to be professional singers. The attitude of the Choir is an immensely supportive one where practiced choristers and novices sing happily side-by-side.


Seven nights at the spectacular Carrington, one of Australia great  hotels.  Twin share and single supplements available. 
The tour is for people who want to sing, there is no requirement for people to be professional singers. The attitude of the Choir is an immensely supportive one where practiced choristers and novices sing happily side-by-side.


Cooked Breakfasts and lunch supplied daily plus one Wildreness Cafe in a beautiful outdoor location. All other evening meals at participants’ expense. This gives choristers a change to be a little independent and explore the various restaurants in Katoomba, all within minutes of the hotel. 

Only $3300 per person

Non refundable deposit of $1200
secures your position.

Single supplement $1400


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