The Scholars Pro Musica

The Scholars Pro Musica 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.

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


The Scholars Announce Their First Concert
for the 2017 Season


The Scholars Pro Musica Chamber Choir begin their 2017 season with two very different choral works by F. J. Haydn.  Following upon their successful and highly acclaimed performance of Haydn’s “Creation” in 2016 with Opus Orchestra, the Scholars further explore Haydn’s choral works with “The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross” and “The Little Organ Mass”.

Commissioned originally in 1783 by the Cathedral at Cadiz, Haydn’s setting of “The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross”, meant clearly more to the composer than just another ordinary composition.  So much was Haydn’s fondness for this, his most profound work, that it exists in no fewer than four very different incarnations – a choral work, an orchestral work, a string quartet, and even as a solo piano work (all approved and arranged by the composer himself).  As a choral work, it is a masterpiece and shows “Papa” Haydn as a brilliant and inspired choral composer, due in no small part to his invaluable training as a singer himself when he was a boy.  The work features many incredible moments of sublime beauty.  Given the subject matter of the work, it is surprisingly serene until the end.  

It teems with the usual classical sweetness of the late 18th Century, but it is never trite.  The choir and quartet of soloists weave through the score effortlessly. 

In contrast, Haydn’s “Little Organ Mass” was written around 1775 for the order of the Barmherzige Brüder (The Brothers of Mercy) in Eisenstadt, whose patron saint was St. John of God, hence Haydn’s original name for the work – the Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo.  The nickname“Little Organ Mass” (Kleine orgelsolomesse) was given years later on account of the beautiful extended organ solo in the Benedictus.  Haydn himself played the organ solo in the first performance of the mass.

For this concert, the Scholars are delighted to welcome
New Zealand organist, Janet gibbs

We also welcome a wonderful line up of soloists:

Kate spence - alto
Iain Tetley - tenor
Tavis gravatt - Bass

and Scholars' own regan mcfarlane - soprano


Introducing Janet Gibbs

Scholars Pro Musica are incredibly honoured to have Janet Gibbs join them for their first concert of the 2017 season. She will be accompanying the choir on St Peters' Johannes pipe organ for the performance of Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, otherwise known affectionately as The Little Organ Mass. 

A holder of numerous music diplomas, including Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, Janet Gibbs' career has centred mainly in Melbourne and New Zealand. Following post graduate study in Europe, she has devoted her musical talents to teaching, accompanying, organ and choir work.  She is currently Director of Music at All Saints Church in Ponsonby and is increasingly in demand as a freelance choir director and teacher.

Read more >> 


Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross

& Missa Brevis Sancti joannis de deo (Little Organ Mass)

Date: Sunday, 21st May

Time: 3pm

Price: Cash only at the door
Adults $30, 1 child free
High school students/children $20



Vibe Magazine 

On 11th May, Vibe Magazine ran an article featuring their upcoming Haydn concert.

"While the title of the work The Seven Last Words of Christ sounds melancholy and disconsolate, it is actually a work full of great optimism and hope...

Read more >> 



Send us an email

We would love to hear from you.

You can also sign up to our newsletter and receive concert updates straight to your inbox.
*required field

Name *