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.
An active part of the Waikato wedding industry, Brooke has worked as a wedding photographer since 2008 as Brooke Baker Photo taker, Magic maker, heads the Wed in Waikato business network & is part of the team that runs One Wonderful Day wedding fair.
Brooke is currently working on Masters at WINTEC delving into community singing.
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