Scholars Baroque Aotearoa

Scholars Baroque Aotearoa is a chamber choir under the musical direction of Chalium Poppy.

Based in Tauranga, they are the only auditioned early music choral ensemble in the Bay of Plenty. Performing stunning concerts throughout the year, their repertoire spans the history of choral music from early sixteenth century masterpieces to thrilling twenty-first century contemporaries.

Scholars Baroque Aotearoa have received international accolades for the New Zealand premières of choral works by Henry Purcell, Jean-Phillipe Rameau and Michael Haydn.


Welcome to 2019!!

A great year for Handel and Purcell

When planning a season for the Scholars, I always try to consider if there are any major birthdays or anniversaries of composers upon which we might capitalise. 2019 in fact marks to major milestones for two of the giants of English baroque choral music. This year marks 260 years since the death of Handel and 360 years since the birth of Henry Purcell.

Handel is perhaps a composer who requires very little explanation. His music speaks for itself. His works are often found on Scholars programmes, most recently, their fantastic 2018 performance of his "Dixit Dominus" and "Coronation Anthems". Not to mention our annual performance of Messiah with our good friends at NZBarok. A true cosmopolitan composer, he was born in Germany, studied in Italy, and settled for the rest of his life in London where his music has never lost its timeless appeal.

Henry Purcell, on the other hand is often forgotten. Although his efforts essentially paved the way for Handel to triumph in England. His untimely and unnecessary death left such a musical vacuum in England, it was easy for Handel to simply step in and pick up where Purcell had left off. Purcell portrayed all the youthful genius of Mozart. His music is oftentimes extremely experimental and forward looking. He pushed the boundaries of composition unapologetically and was rewarded for his efforts and brilliance by being appointed the youngest ever (and subsequently ONLY) composer to be appointed Organist & Choirmaster at both Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Making music at this level and standard is never easy. Singers, musicians and conductor all work very hard to bring performances of the very highest quality to our local community in Tauranga Moana. What's more, it is a costly undertaking to perform along side the very finest orchestras and soloists.

Scholars Baroque Aotearoa therefore is eternally grateful to the very generous financial support provided by our two local sponsors Legacy Trust and Fame Trust without whose support this year, the 2019 season simply couldn't have gone ahead.




$2,670.60 was raised through the generosity of the many attending, for “Our People, Our City” Christchurch Foundation. Thank you to all the attendees who contributed to the koha. Whether you were able to donate or not, we hope that these performances helped in some way to ease any pain you have felt.

Click through to read chorister Tracy Dixon-Shum’s thoughts on the memorial concerts.

Read more>>



4th Annual Concert of Handel’s “Messiah”with NZbarok 

concert review

With hundreds of others, I had the pleasure of attending a performance of this work at St. Mary Immaculate Church last Saturday, performed by Scholars Baroque Aotearoa with NZBarok Orchestra and four exceptional soloists. The quality was such that….




The Scholars have a new name!

This news was a bit of a surprise for our audience at the 4th Annual Concert of Handel’s “Messiah” with NZbarok.

We want you to know that we are the same choir that you know and love.

You can find out more about why our name has been changed by reading a our blog post from Musical Director, Chalium Poppy, first published in the concert programme notes.

We want to thank all our supports for all their support as Scholars Pro Musica and for their continued supports as Scholars Baroque Aotearoa.