Friends of Music Hall (formerly SPMH) offers Music Hall tours, speakers, and classroom presentations of this world-class historical landmark.

To get information on a specific type of tour, click on the name:

CLICK HERE TO GET TICKETS for the Outdoor Building Tour of Music Hall.

Tours of the inside of Cincinnati Music Hall are on “pause.”

Outdoor Building Tour of Cincinnati Music Hall

While anyone can view the structure, only tour attendees will really see the details, understand the significance, and hear the stories about this iconic building. The Outdoor Building Tour presented by the Friends of Music Hall explores Music Hall's history, the symbolism and design of the architecture, the challenges at every step of construction, and the people who made it happen, along with information on the culture and society of the neighborhood in 1878.

Outdoor Building Tours are held through October, rain or shine, on a limited number of Thursdays and Saturdays. Walking is required and tours are approximately 60 minutes long. Please note this tour does not go inside Music Hall.

  • Outdoor Building Tours begin outdoors. Meet your Friends of Music Hall guide dressed in a dark polo shirt and badge on the front steps of Music Hall at 1241 Elm Street.
Tickets can be purchased up to three hours before the start of the tour.  It is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling (513) 621-2787 [ARTS]. Tours are limited to 8 people.

  • $15 per person
  • $5 for children under 12 years of age
  • $13 per ticket when you purchase 5-8 tickets together

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, tours are limited to 8 people. Individuals and groups larger than 8 should contact the Friends of Music Hall office by calling (513) 744-3293 or by email musichalltour@friendsofmusichall.org.

COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES

All guests and guides are required to wear a mask or face covering. Children under the age of 6 and those with medical conditions are exempt. In addition to properly wearing a mask, scarf or other facial covering, guests are asked to spread out (at least 6 feet) during the tour. Guests and guides are asked to use hand sanitizer, washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or tissue.

Additional discounts:

  • $5 each special pricing for student groups. Friends of Music Hall can help underwrite costs for school groups, based on financial need.
  • 10% discount for members of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber, Friends of Music Hall, CAA and Certified Tourism Ambassadors.

For full details, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Tour inside Cincinnati Music Hall

Tours inside Cincinnati Music Hall are currently "on pause."

Tour through private and public spaces in the recently revitalized Music Hall.

Explore this stunning and majestic structure.

See for yourself how it reflects the spirit of both past and present.

Discover why it was the envy of the Great Midwest in the 19th century and the cornerstone of the 21st century renaissance of Cincinnati's historic heart.

Music Hall tours speak to guests with a wide range of ages and interests! If you have a particular interest in history, music, theater, architecture or Cincinnati culture, this will be a fascinating and memorable experience.

Tickets can be purchased up until the time of the tour, depending on availability. It is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Music Hall box office, 1241 Elm Street; at the Aronoff Center ticket office, 650 Walnut Street; or by calling (513) 621-2787 [ARTS].

  • $15 per person
  • $5 for children under 12 years of age
  • $13 per ticket when you purchase 5-9 tickets together
  • $11 per ticket when you purchase 10-29 or more tickets together.

  Individuals and groups of up to 29 people should purchase tickets online.

  Groups of 30 or more people should book their tour through the Friends of Music Hall office. Get more information or email  musichalltour@friendsofmusichall.org.

  • Special discounts are available for groups over 30 people.

Additional discounts:

  • $5 each special pricing for student groups. Friends of Music Hall can help underwrite costs for school groups, based on financial need.
  • 10% discount for members of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber, Friends of Music Hall, Cincinnati Arts Association and Certified Tourism Ambassadors.

For individuals, and for groups with fewer than 30 people: sign up online for a tour of Cincinnati Music Hall!

Book a group tour (30 or more individuals) through the Friends of Music Hall office. Get more information or email musichalltour@friendsofmusichall.org.

Additional notes:

  • WHERE THE TOUR OF THE INSIDE OF MUSIC HALL STARTS: Meet your tour at 1241 Elm Street (south end of the building). Enter through the door marked "CSO Ticket Office."
  • Length: approximately 1 hour
  • Tour check-in begins 15 minutes prior to start; there is no late entry.
  • Space is limited. All sales are final. Guest cancellation is non-refundable.
  • Food and drink are not permitted on this tour.
  • Tour includes stairs; wear comfortable footwear. Tour is also completely ADA accessible.
  • Hearing devices are provided.
  • Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian, and these tours are not recommended for small children.

For full details, check out the Tours Frequently Asked Questions page.

Friends of Music Hall Speakers Series

    • Under One Roof: The African American Experience in Music Hall explores the history of African-Americans whose determination and artistry helped forge the culture and character of Cincinnati Music Hall and our community.
    • Muses: The Women of Music Hall: Throughout the 140-year+ history of our "Grand Lady,” Cincinnati Music Hall, the contributions and legacy of incredible women: philanthropists, suffragettes, artists, divas, prima ballerinas, and musicians, have stirred the souls of all within her walls, but have largely been uncelebrated. From Susan B. Anthony to Helen "Nellie” Taft; Isadora Duncan to Janis Joplin; Maria Callas to Mamie Smith, learn how trailblazing women placed the crown upon the Queen City with fortitude and brilliance.
    • Evolution of an Icon features historic and present-day images along with stories on Music Hall’s unique role in Cincinnati's history.
    • Music Hall 360 shows an around-the-building view of Music Hall's fabulous architecture while describing the structure’s history and evolution.
    • Music Hall in Pictures: A Virtual Tour brings Music Hall to you! Cincinnati’s Music Hall was built in 1878 as a multipurpose facility for the May Festival and exhibition center for technology, agriculture, and the arts. It has been a national treasure and a community and cultural center for 138 years. Discover the unique history and take a virtual tour of the hall's evolution over the years including highlights from the most recent 143 Million dollar renovation to which Friends of Music Hall was a top contributor. Come visit beautiful spaces including backstage.
    • Mighty Monument of Sound—The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ will take you retro! Known for creating full symphonic, background music and “sound effects” like train whistles and bird calls, Friends of Music Hall Program Guides take you back to the time of vaudeville and silent pictures when the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ was all the rage. Follow the rise and fall and rise (again!) of Cincinnati’s own Albee Mighty Wurlitzer Organ and its new life after a 1.4 million dollar renovation in its new home in Cincinnati Music Hall.
    • Friends of Music Hall: Restore and Renew presents historic renovations – particularly the most recent - and highlights Friends of Music Hall’s mission and role in preserving Music Hall for the future.
    • Pulling Out All the Stops: Music Hall’s Mighty Organs

      visits 19th century Cincinnati, a center of pipe organ building and Music Hall’s six organs from the Hook & Hastings organ to the famed Mighty Wurlitzer.

A one-hour presentation is $150.

Special pricing consideration is always extended to school groups.

Arrange for a Speaker and presentation/virtual tour of Music Hall through the Friends of Music Hall office. Get more information or email musichalltour@friendsofmusichall.org.

Friends of Music Hall Education Program

Friends of Music Hall, in partnership with the Cincinnati Arts Association, is committed to supporting educators and enriching the classroom experience with an opportunity for students to learn the rich history of one of their city’s most significant icons and National Historic Landmarks – Cincinnati Music Hall.

Highly-trained Friends of Music Hall volunteers present a curriculum-based, interdisciplinary, and interactive PowerPoint presentation. This presentation introduces students to Cincinnati Music Hall, its history, and its connection to the development of Cincinnati and our multi-cultural communities.

Students also will be introduced to abstract concepts such as the importance of preservation, volunteering, and philanthropy as it focuses on the social, industrial and cultural environment for why the demand for cultural events developed in our area.

Designed with 21st-century skills and curriculum requirements in mind, the Friends of Music Hall In-School Curriculum entertains and inspires with customized lessons that relate to multiple subject areas and to life experiences.

Recommended grades: 3-6

Length: 2 hours

Maximum audience: 60

Cost: $175.00 per session

Find out more about the In-School Program by calling (513) 744-3293, or by emailing musichalltour@friendsofmusichall.org.

Volunteer Gayley Hautzenroeder leads an Outdoor Building Tour of Music Hall. There's a maximum of 8 guests. Guests and Guides wear masks and practice social distancing.

Volunteer Gayley Hautzenroeder leads an Outdoor Building Tour of Music Hall. There's a maximum of 8 guests. Guests and Guides wear masks and practice social distancing.
Volunteer Becky Moegenberg answers guests questions during an Outdoor Building Tour. These are held Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings this fall.

Volunteer Becky Moegenberg answers guests questions during an Outdoor Building Tour. These are held Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings this fall.
Friends of Music Hall Volunteer Lynn Reckman leads this Outdoor Building Tour in September 2020.

Friends of Music Hall Volunteer Lynn Reckman leads this Outdoor Building Tour in September 2020.
Two outdoor building tours of Music Hall on a Saturday in September led by Volunteers Judy Martin (nearby) and Denise McLinden.

Two outdoor building tours of Music Hall on a Saturday in September led by Volunteers Judy Martin (nearby) and Denise McLinden.
Friends of Music Hall Tour in Springer Auditorium

... in Springer Auditorium
Backstage, Friends of Music Hall Program Guide Sue Monteith shares stories with her tour group

Backstage, Friends of Music Hall Program Guide Sue Monteith shares stories with her tour group

Music Hall tour led by Fred Warren in Springer Auditorium
 Friends of Music Hall Tour Guide with Art-Carved Panel display

Friends of Music Hall Tour Guide answers questions about the Art-Carved Panel display
Thea Tjepkema, FMH board member, presents "Under One Roof: The African American Experience in Music Hall" at the main library.

Thea Tjepkema, FMH board member, presents "Under One Roof: The African American Experience in Music Hall" at the main library.
Speakers Series topics can be presented anywhere, at any time

Speakers Series topics can be presented anywhere, at any time
Program Guide Judy Martin's stories about Music Hall hold students' attention

Program Guide Judy Martin's stories about Music Hall hold students' attention
Program Guide Alan Bunker leads History Tour for Most Valuable Kids

Program Guide Alan Bunker leads History Tour for Most Valuable Kids