The Early Music Society of Queensland was founded in 1974. The initiative was from Geoff Wills, who was the president for many years, together with Senator George Georges, who became the patron of the Society. Geoff’s main interest was instrument building. As a seaman, he had time to spare while at sea and a workshop in which he could indulge in his hobby. There are many viols made by Geoff around Australia and many viol players got started with his instruments. Geoff died in September 2000. The activities of the Society over the years have been varied. They include early music concerts, instrument making, workshops and meetings where people get together to play, sing or dance. EMSQ continues to support early music in Queensland.
In 2018, EMSQ again became an Incorporated Association and a new set of Rules were approved which conform with current legislation. A copy of the Rules can be downloaded here.
Newsletters are produced every two months. A sample newsletter can be downloaded here.
For 2023, the EMSQ Committee comprises Patrice Connelly, President; Paul Granville, Secretary; Sue Treloar, Treasurer; plus committee members Dave Kielpinski and Jacqueline Webber. All can be contacted via the general EMSQ email (from which the Secretary will forward to the appropriate person) on the Contact page.
We would also like to pay tribute to the founding members of EMSQ. On Sunday 30 June 1974, a group of twenty people met to discuss the need for timber, qualifying of makers, need for an organisation to popularise and improve EARLY MUSIC in Queensland. Those present at this meeting were:
Spencer & Robin Faulkner, Kathryn Teakle, John Watson, Arthur Creedy, Doug Eaton, Bob & Sue Booth, John Manifold, Mary Fraser, Michael O’Loghlin, Gwen Humphreys, Marianne Ehrhardt, Theresa Penna, Geoffrey Wills, Senator & Mrs Georges, Hec and Norma Chalmers and Arthur Georges. An interim committee including Geoff Wills, Michael O’Loghlin, Spencer Faulkner, Marianne Ehrhardt and George Georges was appointed to call a public recital and meeting with a view to forming the Queensland Early Music Society. Arthur Creedy offered assistance in preparing a constitution and statement of aims. This interim committee duly met on 7 July 1974 and agreed on their aims.
EMSQ Current Strategic Plan
EMSQ’s mission is to support and promote early music (ie. Western Classical music to approx. 1800, including the use of period instruments) in Queensland
via concerts, workshops and other educational events, and support members with our music library and collection of instruments for hire. Communications are
supported via the website emsq.org.au plus a bi-monthly newsletter and email alerts.
Following COVID-19 which saw all of our 2020 events cancelled, we have begun a program of free workshops in the community to raise awareness
of early music and period instruments. This includes workshops at the University of Queensland, Unity College Caloundra, and Queensland
Conservatorium Griffith University.
2. Instruments & Library
Many of our instruments are ageing and not well. Most have been donations of unwanted instruments, and many are inferior. We have begun a program to cull instruments for which we have no likely use, or which do not suit our purposes for hiring to members – ie. wooden recorders. These will be sold or donated. We have begun to acquire instruments which will be much more useful to hire to members, and which will ensure an income stream for the future as well as meeting expectations. In the process we need to adjust our very low hire prices and rental bonds so as to ensure a more useful income stream. A complete stocktake, cull and re-cataloguing of our music library is due to commence in December 2021.
3. Strategic alliances
We have begun a program of strategic alliances with like-minded organisations as well as ensembles of which a majority are members of EMSQ. Our first MOU was signed in June 2021 with Brisbane Recorders. Negotiations are under way with other bodies to see how we can work together to create a win/win outcome.
2023 and beyond
1. Committee – strengthen our numbers and leadership skills
2. Membership – work on increasing numbers
3. Workshops – use our strategic alliances to find venues, attract audiences and extend
awareness of early music in the musical and broader community
4. Instruments – continue our rebuilding of this facility for members
5. Apply for grants to assist with purchasing and repairing instruments as well as to
run more workshops