Born in Hamilton in 1982, little Brooke began learning the recorder as she entered school. Building an understanding of musical notation & theory at the same time as learning to read & write proved to be a life-long gift. Throughout her formative years Brooke learnt the flute with group lessons at the local community music school. Over this time she was introduced to the joy of performance & ensemble music making, taking part in wind band, jazz & improvisation, school & community children’s choir groups. As well as instruction in guitar & basic piano brooke indulged in self-taught experimentation with any instrument she could get her hands on; sax, trumpet, bass, picollo, tuba and taonga puoro.
As a teen, Brooke attended a songwriting summer school, the NZ Secondary Students Choir summer school, was a member of the Waikato Youth Symphonic Band (Flute, Picollo, Tuba), player with the Waikato Symphony Orchestra (ad hoc, as required) a member & soloist with the Hamilton Community Gospel Choir & Waikato Youth Choir (including tour to Olympic Arts Festival to Australia).
2005 marked the beginning of formal singing lessons & three years performing locally & international as a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir. After an epiphany moment in 2007, triggered by particularly stirring words from a revered conductor (Karen Grylls) while touring with the NZ Youth Choir, wheels were set in motion which lead Brooke toward leading community choirs. The resulting group was Woven; Young Vocal Collective, an a cappella group for mixed voices aged 13 - 30 years, & a steep learning curve as Brooke oversaw the running as well as the musical side of things; arranging & conducting. As well as performing at community events & delivering their own concerts the group opened it’s membership each Christmas to become a all-comers community choir, The Festive Season Singers. Brooke led Woven in flash-mob performance events, a guest performance at Sing Aotearoa 09, collaborative composition project, performing as artists in multi-media interactive art events, & festival shows.
Since Woven was put into recess in 2012, Brooke has sung & served as coordinator for local massed choir events & played with local original band DateMonthYear.
Appointed musical director of MOSAIC Waikato Modern Choir (formerly Waikato Modern Choir) in 2013, Brooke leads this Cambridge-based all-comers choir with a diverse popular repertoire. In 2015 Brooke joined the Kids for Kids touring team, leading massed children’s choirs throughout New Zealand.
Brooke is a member of Song Leaders Network Aotearoa & the NZ Association of Choral Directors. She makes films with Bad George Film Squad & is part of the Hamilton Pecha Kucha Trust.
Brooke has worked as a wedding photographer 2008-2019 as Brooke Baker Photo taker, Magic maker, founding the Wed in Waikato business network & instrumental in setting up the One Wonderful Day wedding fair.
Brooke is recently completed her Masters at WINTEC delving into community singing. She is currently working to get her first book on Social Singing published.
New Zealand Youth Choir: www.choirsnz.co.nz/youth | MOSAIC Waikato Modern Choir: www.mosaicchoir.com | DateMonthYear: YouTube | Band Camp | Facebook | Spotify | TED performance | Song Leaders Network Aotearoa: songleaders.org.nz | NZ Association of Choral Directors: www.nzcf.org.nz
WINTEC School of Arts: www.wintec.ac.nz