Our Vision

New Zealand Pops Orchestra

Audiences all over the world delight in lighter classical music and at present, no other professional orchestra in New Zealand performs light and popular classics as their main focus. The NZ Pops Orchestra fulfills the role of a group dedicated to this intrinsic attraction of lighter classical music, following the lines of such highly successful orchestras Boston Pops Orchestra, Andre Rieu’s Johann Strauss Orchestra and the Queensland Pops Orchestra.

The New Zealand Pops Orchestra was launched on 18 March 2012 with the concert FOLLOW YOUR DREAM, in the Auckland Town Hall with soloists Will Martin (tenor and MC) and Gina Sanders (soprano), professional orchestral players and conductor Rita Paczian. This was followed by O SOLE MIO in September 2012, and two more outstanding concerts in 2013 FOLLOW YOUR HEART  on May 26 and SPRING POPS on September 15 which is the most successful concert so far.  In 2014 NZ POPS proudly presents two concerts NOTHING BUT DREAMS Sunday 27 April and SPRING POPS 2014 Sunday 7 September – both at 5pm  at the Auckland Town Hall (On Sale Now at www.ticketmaster.co.nz).

With a programme of popular classical music, pop, jazz, show and folk music arranged for symphony orchestra, a popular MC and plenty of interaction with the audience, these concerts have huge appeal. Plans are underway to include other art forms in future concerts – dance, literature, mime and visual arts – along with a wide variety of instruments and performers such as the piano accordion, Celtic harp, folk music from many lands and Maori Concert Parties.

The Orchestra is extremely focussed on taking into consideration the genuine preferences and favourites of patrons. With this in mind, the aim is for programming to be eventually partially based on audience preferences and patrons will be given a list from which they may chose their favourites and a programme will be constructed around this once a year as a special “You Pick the Programme” concert! Although based in Auckland, we have a dream share our passion with as much of NZ as possible with annual tours to a number of other centres.

NZ Pops Orchestra Founders and Supporters share a vision to:

  • Perform music that audiences want to hear
  • Seek the highest professional performance standards
  • Provide an uplifting and exciting experience in a warm and welcoming atmosphere with interaction between performers and audience
  • Touch people’s souls
  • Work with world renown artists and introduce emerging Kiwi talent.

Rita Paczian - Conductor

Rita Paczian – Conductor

A message from our MD, Rita Paczian

Although I trained as a conductor of classical music, I love all kinds of music ranging from pop, jazz, and folk song to classical and have been puzzled as to why the latter is sometimes regarded as “high-brow”, elitist and too expensive. I believe it doesn’t matter what music you love, as all music can be good for your soul… after all it is one of the few forms of communication that can cross boundaries of race, gender, age and nationality. Music allows for the unique combining of our “right brain” creative and emotional responses with the “left brain” logic and patterned thoughts. Together an extraordinary language is created, uniting people and enriching their lives.

My vision for the NZ Pops Orchestra is to bring high quality music to as many New Zealanders as possible, lifting their spirits and spreading hope and love in our fast-paced, challenging times. We aim to merge the boundaries that currently exist between the musical genres with high quality “crossover music”.

In our inaugural concerts, pop-lovers heard their favourite Elton John songs sung by Will Martin accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, classical enthusiasts delighted in their favourite arias sung by Gina Sanders, and jazz-lovers were wowed by talents of jazz greats such as John Mackay.  Combining with a first class orchestra, these artists endeavour to reveal the beauty of classical music people to who have never attended a classical concert before, while also presenting a new perspective to “classical” fans. Thus my passion is not only to enrich the music scene but also to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together, delight and inspire them and build bridges for a better world with more understanding and a sense of togetherness underpinned by a love of music and humanity.

We look forward to playing very special music for you!

With warm wishes,

 Message of Support from Dame Malvina Major: 

DMM PhotosHow wonderful to see this marvellous idea continue to grow and gain support. As a singer and teacher, I know it is so vital for young people to have the opportunity to perform – and what could be more exciting than being onstage at the Town Hall surrounded by such a diverse group of excellent professional musicians. I am sure today’s programme will span the generations and delight all, highlighting the exceptional power of beautiful music.”

Dame Malvina Major
ONZ GNZM DBE. ATCL. LTCL. LRSM. Hon DLitt (Massey). Hon D (Waikato)

Senior Fellow of The University of Waikato