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.


Music from Purcell and Handel

Scholars Baroque Aotearoa
Words from conductor CHALIUM POPPY

This concert features one of Purcell's greatest masterpieces, written just two years before his untimely death - a birthday ode for Queen Mary - Come, Ye Sons of Art. One could easily mistake the opening overture as the work of Handel himself who arrived in England not long after. This is an energetic work full of brilliant orchestral colouring. It's wonderfully happy and enthusiastic owing of course, to the celebration for which it was commissioned.

The Scholars Baroque will also perform Handel's Te Deum and Jubilate. Another work written in celebration - although this time for the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 to mark the ending of the War of the Spanish Succession. These are glorious works, teeming with anticipation. Handel was so proud of what he wrote that he would borrow movements from both the Te Deum and Jubilate throughout his musical career and insert them within other compositions (something he did often).

This concert "JUBILATE!" will leave you feeling
just that – Jubilant!

St Peter’s Anglican Church, 15 Victoria Road, Mount Maunganui
Saturday 21st September - 7:30pm // Sunday 22nd September - 1:30pm




On a day when New Zealanders were glued to screens to witness the modern kiwi phenomenon called an All Blacks victory, I had the privilege of being transported to 17th Century England to hear works of the greats: Purcell and Handel presented by Scholars Baroque Aotearoa and Consort.

St Peter’s Anglican Church, Mt Maunganui, although not quite St Paul’s Cathedral, was a fitting venue for these works, a lovely acoustic and an intimate setting for the instrumentation of chamber choir and orchestra. The fear I often have with…

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courtesy of christine leaf

If any reader should be of the opinion that church music from the late 17th to early 18th centuries should be reserved for po-faced old fogies you would almost certainly have a change of mind had you heard the Scholars Baroque Aotearoa with their Director of Music Chalium Poppy in their first concert for 2019.

Here is a choir, intelligent and articulate and committed to excellence in musicianship, that any city anywhere should be proud to number amongst its most prized cultural assets…






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 two 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…

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