The financial generosity of many, the major financial contributions of a few and the dedicated hours given by volunteers has provided an outstanding record of significant accomplishments for the Friends of Music Hall (formerly Society for the Preservation of Music Hall | SPMH).
The following list includes some of the preservation and enhancement needs provided through members' generous donations to reach the organization's goals.
The Friends of Music Hall is proud to present our 2023 Annual Report. Learn about the people, programs and preservation efforts that reflect the mission of our organization. Read about each committee, their members and their accomplishments. Enjoy the beautiful photography of Cincinnati Music Hall provided by board member Joanne Grueter, Malinda Hartong, and Matt Zory. As you read the report, we hope our work and dedication to Music Hall will inspire you to become a first-time member or renew your membership to the Friends of Music Hall. Read our Annual Report Here.
Recent Special Project:
Under the leadership of Friends of Music Hall historian Thea Tjepkema, our organization most recently restored historic sandstone ornamentation. Read a brief description of this project.
For the revitalization of Music Hall:
Friends of Music Hall contributed over $5 million - and counting - to the Music Hall Renovation project. The work includes:
- The renovation and restoration of Corbett Tower:
- returning the room's decor to the original design by:
- recreating ceiling and sidewall stenciling
- opening and restoring the three arched tracery windows above Corbett Tower's existing windows
- opening the arched windows on Corbett Tower's west wall
- restoring three Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers from the lobby
- returning the room's decor to the original design by:
- Installing in the Taft Suite on the first floor the restored art-carved panels from the Hook & Hastings Organ
- Reinstalling the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in the Ballroom.
- The Wurlitzer and its accompanying Steinway Grand Piano had originally been installed in 2009, but both were removed during renovation to prevent damage from occurring.
- Replacing doors to specifications
- Ensuring climate control
- Cleaning the "Allegory of the Arts" mural in the domed area above the chandelier in Springer Auditorium
- Removal and storage of the statuary, paintings and displays during renovation, and the replacement of some of those objects
- Constructing a base for the Theodore Thomas statue, to raise it off the floor, like the base for Reuben Springer's statue
Friends of Music Hall (FMH) also funded exterior work designed to restore the structure to how it looked when it was built. This includes:
- Returning the black brick detailing, lost during the cleaning process in the late 1960s
Also pertaining to the renovation:
- Underwriting a CET program on the renovation of Music Hall
FMH currently is in preliminary stages, working with Music Hall management, the Cincinnati Arts Association, for additional restoration:
- Finial restoration for those that are broken or missing
- Replacement of the iron roof cresting
We are creating Washington Park Signage that provides information on the architectural history of the hall, and recognizes our part in the restoration.
Ongoing Friends of Music Hall projects:
- Developed a more formal structure for Tours (Community Outreach)
- Two to three times a year, we present concerts on the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in the Ballroom
- Twice a year, we create and publish ''Music Hall Marks,'' place the publication online and mail copies to members.
In earlier years:
Friends of Music Hall funded a number of projects, including:
- lighting for the front of Music Hall (Rhoda and Manuel D. Mayerson, Donors)
- refurbished the CSO Music Director's Suite (Patricia A. Corbett, Donor)
- cleaned and restored the Statue of Reuben R. Springer in the lobby
- produced a 90-minute, award-winning documentary program about Cincinnati's historic Music Hall in collaboration with CET - Cincinnati public television - and the Cincinnati Museum Center's History Library and Archives.
With funding from The Corbett Foundation, our organization assisted with new seating on the orchestra and balcony levels in '92, added chandelier lighting in Music Hall Foyer and assisted with the installation of a passenger elevator to service all three floors in Music Hall.
The Corbett Trust purchased software for the Bravo Shop to track inventory and equipment for processing customer transactions; provided the final piece of funding for ticketing software that enables print-at-home ticketing and electronic ticket scanning, and enabled much needed plumbing repairs to restrooms and water fountains and extensive painting through Music Hall.
Additionally, we installed and illuminated the 50-foot flagpole and American Flag in front of Music Hall (Mr. and Mrs. Donald C. Siekmann, Donors), purchased chairs for the Critics Club, and refinished the floors in the rehearsal hall, ballroom and the stage floor.
Through funding from Louise Dieterle Nippert, a Timeline of Music Hall was researched, designed, and installed in the original Central Parkway Entrance Corridor. This timeline is now available online, but was removed during the revitalization of Music Hall.
And much, much more.
Become a Friend of Music Hall! Join us as we work to preserve, improve, promote and provide education about Cincinnati Music Hall.
Please consider a contribution to Friends of Music Hall. Your gift will help preserve, promote and improve Cincinnati's historic Music Hall. Become a Friend of Music Hall with your online donate.