Gale Force Gospel


Media release 1 February 2023

For immediate use

Gale Force Gospel Choir welcomes new singers!

Gale Force Gospel Choir welcomes new members in 2023, with the first practice on 13 February at St Andrew’s on The Terrace in Wellington at 6pm.

The secular community choir is a group of around 40 people who love singing a cappella music with a focus on gospel music of southern USA. 

The choir, run by musical director Ben Woods, welcomes all singers regardless of previous experience, gender, religion, or cultural background. 

How it works

“We primarily sing four part arrangements of gospel songs collected from the southern US by New Zealand song leader Tony Backhouse,” said Ben.

“We start with some warm up exercises then break into parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), and if you don’t know which you are you can try out different parts.”

“We use a call and copy method of teaching to learn songs, which means it’s not necessary to read sheet music.”

Ben also provides resources that can be accessed for practice at home, and rehearsals are broadcast as Zoom sessions if you can’t attend in person.

The choir’s benefits

Long term choir member Karen Bewick says being with Gale Force Gospel Choir has given her a feeling of belonging.

“I love learning new songs and practicing them, especially with the other members, to make lovely sounds, harmonies and atmospheres that express our humanity.

“I greatly value the way our musical director Ben shares his knowledge and skills with the singers and the choir responds.”

Mel Edwards joined the choir in 2022, and while she was initially nervous as she doesn’t read music, she was thrilled to be able to join in on her first night.

“I’ve loved it!  I’m not even sure I’m very good at singing, but at the choir I’m part of a collective who just loves to sing and combine their voices with the most uplifting music.”

Join Gale Force Gospel

If you are interested in singing in a friendly supportive environment, with no audition necessary, come along on a Monday night and join us at no cost for the first session — we'd love to meet you.

Term 1 starts on Monday 13 February at 6–8pm in the hall behind St Andrew's on the Terrace.

To find out more visit or email


Media release 30 August 2022

For immediate use

Gale Force Gospel 2022 Concert coming up on 25 September

Gale Force Gospel is excited to present their annual concert "Way in the Middle of the Air” at St Andrew’s on The Terrace on Sunday 25 September at 3.30pm.

The inclusive Wellington-based choir led by choir director Ben Woods, primarily sings moving and uplifting African American gospel songs celebrating the gospel tradition of hope and peace.

Many of the  ‘a cappella’ songs are arranged  by Tony Backhouse who has a huge passion and respect for the gospel tradition and visits communities in the southern United States regularly.  

Numbering about 40, the choir meets each week during term time and welcomes all singers without audition and regardless of previous experience, gender, religion or cultural background. Our love for singing this energising, moving and exciting music brings us all together. 

Gale Force Gospel choir present their annual concert of ‘a cappella’ gospel songs on Sunday 25 September at 3.30pm, St Andrew’s on The Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington. 

Ticket prices: $20 waged, $10 unwaged, children under 12 free. To book tickets please visit Humantix: Door sales may also be available. 


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.

Keep in touch — become a Friend of Gale Force

If you are interested in supporting Gale Force Gospel Choir but not as a singing member, you can join our Friends network. We will email to tell you about our annual concert and other events. We promise not to spam you. 

Simply send your name and email address to us at and ask to be added to the 'Friends of Gale Force' list.

Support the choir — donate to keep the choir going

It's been a rough ride these last few years, but we have managed to weather the storm! If you have the means to donate some extra $$ to help keep the choir going, you can do so at any time. We greatly appreciate it. Gale Force Gospel Choir Inc is a registered charity (CC55180) and any donations over $5 are tax deductible. 

Donations can be made to Gale Force Gospel Inc at 38 9017 0802983 00 then send us an email to if you want a donation receipt. 

St Andrews on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington 6011