CREMS was founded in 1974 by Judith Clingan and Michael Sawer. Judith writes:

"By 1974 ... Michael and I decided that we needed to find more adult players, and form several ensembles of different sizes and levels to try out the wealth of recorder music we both had been amassing for years. Accordingly we put an ad in the Canberra Times, inviting recorder players to meet with us one by one, to read though several pieces of music with us so that we could ascertain their level. We asked Bill Hoffmann (the music critic) to join us in the audition process ... About 40 people turned up, ranging from very basic descant only players to some proficient players of multiple instruments. Mike and I assigned them to groups of comparable players, and organised a playing day for all the groups to have a “blow-in”, followed by afternoon tea, and a meeting. We prepared parts for everyone, and borrowed music stands. At our meeting in late 1974 we decided to call our new group the Canberra Recorder and Early Music Society, hoping thereby to be able to include both contemporary recorder pieces and old music for voices, viols etc."

Since then the society has continued to flourish. Whilst our focus and expertise is on recorders we are happy to welcome players of other early instruments. We collaborate with other recorder and early music groups in performances and promotion of events relevant to our members.


Our Musical Director

Barbara Jerjen, music teacher and performer, has been working with people of all ages and abilities for almost 40 years. Her fields of expertise range from early childhood music education and individual tuition to leading ensembles and conducting orchestras. Over the past 15 years Barbara has been involved in community music work (CREMS, Music for Everyone, workshops around the country) and peripatetic music tuition in schools. Barbara conducts the CREMS recorder orchestra, she is a regular tutor at music workshops around the country including the Bundanoon weekends and the annual Orpheus summer courses in Armidale, NSW and runs several community ensembles. Barbara studied flute and recorder at the conservatory of Basel, as well as musicology, pedagogy and languages at the university of Basel, Switzerland. Married with 4 children she moved to Canberra in 1995.


The 2023/24 Committee

§   President - John Dearn

§   Vice President - Kelli-Ann Kerin

  §   Honorary Secretary - Naarilla Hirsch

§   Treasurer - Leonie Jones

§   Musical Director - Barbara Jerjen

§   Committee Members - Sylvia Shanahan, Mary Toohey

To contact the Committee please email the President at cremspresident@gmail.com


Committee Meetings

Meetings are usually held on the last Saturday of the month prior to the monthly orchestra rehearsal on the Sunday.

 Guidelines for Positive Participation in CREMS

CREMS has recently developed guidelines for positive participation in CREMS activities. To read the guidelines please click here.


Postal Address

CREMS Inc. PO Box 9623 Deakin ACT 2600



The Canberra Recorder and Early Music Society is an association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991. By becoming a member you agree to be bound by the rules of the Society and by legislation that relates to Associations in the A.C.T. Members attending CREMS functions are covered by our public liability insurance.