Home » Friends of Music Hall Blog » Images » SPMH and Cincinnati Music Hall!

SPMH and Cincinnati Music Hall!

It was great to see everyone during today’s Open House at Music Hall. So much to see – with performances throughout the day.

Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra ensemble
2018 Music Hall Open House: Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra ensemble
Young Professionals Choral Collective
2018 Music Hall Open House – Young Professionals Choral Collective

SPMH greeted visitors in the Founders’ Room, just off the Lindner Grand Foyer. The video “SPMH and Cincinnati Music Hall” played on the monitor and nearly every chair was filled for each showing.

2018 Music Hall Open House: SPMH Video
2018 Music Hall Open House Visitors watching the SPMH Video
2018 Music Hall Open House: SPMH Video
Everyone who came to the Founders’ Room enjoyed seeing the video about the renovation to Music Hall

SPMH Volunteers and Board Members had the opportunity to talk with delightful groups of visitors. We all enjoy sharing information and bits of history about this incredible and unique structure.

SPMH Volunteer Becky Moeggenberg with Open House guests
SPMH Volunteer Becky Moeggenberg
Program Guide director Ramona Toussaint sets up signs for visitors
Program Guide director Ramona Toussaint
The People’s Building

Many people we talked with today were first-time visitors to Music Hall. We encourage everyone to come inside, either during an open house or an SPMH Tour, to see for themselves, the building that was intended to be – as the structure’s benefactor Reuben Springer stated, “used solely in the interests of the people and for the public good.”

Mr. Springer wanted Music Hall to belong to everyone. Music Hall is owned by the City of Cincinnati and the people of Cincinnati. It definitely is “The People’s Building.”

Anyone Have Any Questions?

There were lots of questions! Those fielded by SPMH during the Open House included:

  • “Who funded the work at Music Hall?”
    • Renovation work at Music Hall was funded through a combination of private and public funds/tax credits. Additional information can be found on the Music Hall Revitalization Company website
    • A list of funders is stationed on the wall in the Lindner Grand Foyer.
  • “What should we make sure we see while we’re here?”
    • Everything! While there were music and dance performances throughout the building, we especially recommended:
      • The Taft Suite, so everyone could admire the beautiful, refurbished art-carved panels that once covered the original, huge organ in Springer Auditorium.
      • The restored Corbett Tower, to see the tracery windows and elegant stenciling uncovered during the work on Music Hall.
  • “How do I find…?”
    • SPMH Program Guides and Music Hall Ushers were strategically placed throughout the building and helped everyone find the performances and events listed in the program provided by ArtsWave.
    • If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer at Music Hall, you can find volunteer information here, and sign up.
  • “Why was Music Hall important to the Corbetts?”
    • Ralph and Patricia Corbett were opera fans. Actually their first date was at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. When they moved to Cincinnati, it was only natural for them to become involved in Opera and the arts in Cincinnati. They loved their adopted city, and, as Mrs. Corbett said in an interview about Music Hall, “It was an overpowering sensation to walk in and see that beautiful hall. It had majesty.”

By the 1960s, Music Hall was nearing 90 years old and showing its age. The structure was a fire hazard – no sprinkler system – and the backstage lacked the needed modern equipment. Because it wasn’t in good condition, the hall was losing business to other venues. There was talk of tearing it down. Both Mr. and Mrs. Corbett were alarmed at the thought, and in the mid 1960s, they started to invest in what became a reconstruction of Music Hall.

In Case You Missed it…

If other obligations or the threat of bad weather kept you from taking this opportunity to wander around Music Hall, consider signing up for an SPMH tour.

Our Program Guides are individuals from all walks of life. They are trained professionals who provide the history of Music Hall, and they present entertaining stories of the individuals and occurrences that make this structure what it is today: not only a hall for the performing arts, but the “People’s Building.”