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Blake Scanlen


Born: 2001


Blake Scanlen is a bass-baritone singer, conductor, and composer from Tāmaki Makaurau. He completed a Bachelor of Music and a GradDip (Mus) at the University of Auckland in 2022 where he studied composition with Dr Chris Gendall and Dr Leonie Holmes, conducting with Associate Professor Karen Grylls CNZM, and classical performance voice with Associate Professor Te Oti Rakena. Further study in 2023 involved training to be a secondary school music teacher, also at the University of Auckland, with Dr Graham McPhail.

Blake's compositions and arrangements have been performed and workshopped by The University of Auckland Chamber Choir, New Zealand Youth Choir, members of the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Viereinigkeit String Quartet. His music has also been performed at the University of Auckland’s Lilburn Trust and Llwelyn Jones Prize concerts and at the CANZ Nelson Composers Workshops.

In 2021 he improvised the music for Weichu Huang’s dance piece I am still searching for happiness, and was a contributing composer for Eda Tang’s Post Trauma, a documentary published by Stuff about PTSD/I in Aotearoa New Zealand.

As a singer (bass-baritone), Blake sings with Voices New Zealand, the New Zealand Youth Choir, The Auckland Chamber Choir, and the St Matthew’s Voices. He is a past member of Auckland Youth Choir and the Neotectonic Vocal Ensemble and has sung as a guest chorister for a variety of choirs and ensembles around Auckland and NZ including BachMusica NZ and Inspirare Vocal Ensemble. He has appeared as a soloist with Camerata Chamber Choir and the Handel Quire. Blake is also a member of the Auckland NZ Opera Chorus.

As a conductor, Blake is the music director of Pohutukawa Singers and the Sacred Heart College Junior Choir. He is a former emerging conductor for the Auckland Youth Choir from 2021-2022 during which time he presented the NZ premiere of Nico Muhly’s Bight Mass with Canons. He has taken part in conducting workshops with the New Zealand Youth Choir and the Auckland Chamber Choir and is former music director for the Resound Youth Choir.

Blake is a passionate arts administrator, advocate, and volunteer and is former president of the University of Auckland’s School of Music Students’ Association and a former committee member of the New Zealand Choral Federation’s Auckland regional committee.

Composed (1)

Love Song

for alto saxophone and fixed media, 4m 30s