2000 SPMH Annual Meeting

Robert Howes as Reuben Springer
Robert Howes as Reuben R. Springer
talks with Ashley Ford (left)

On Tuesday, September 19, Music Hall's Corbett Tower was the scene of history re-enacted, Tuesday, September 19, when the Hall's principal benefactor revisited his most ambitious philanthropic project. The occasion was the Annual Meeting of SPMH, attended by members and friends of the Society. Mr. Springer, in the person of Robert Howes, and Dr. Janelle Gelfand, Enquirer Classical Music Critic, effectively evoked the history of the Hall.

With both humor and accurate data the enactment proceeded from Mr. Springer's acoustical incentive and his initial Matching Fund overture to Mr. Shillito and the May Festival Board. The presentation highlighted details of the original Hannaford structure and noted subsequent embellishments, many of which may be attributed to the endeavors of SPMH.

Presiding over the meeting agenda, Melvin L. Schulman, Retiring President, briefly reviewed high points and accomplishments during his term as head of the Society and noted the ongoing list of improvements to be pursued. Mr. Schulman expressed appreciation to donors, board members and Music Hall staff for their generous support and welcomed to the podium Incoming President Marlene Johnson.

Marlene Johnson stated the main focus for SPMH this year: to accomplish the plans already underway to refurbish the Green Room area, which includes the Conductor's Suite, the reception room and guest artists' rooms. This is the area backstage occupied by the conductors and guest artists during rehearsals and performances of the CSO, Opera, May Festival, Ballet and special events occurring at Music Hall. The appearance of these rooms reflects poorly on Music Hall. She expressed heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Patricia Corbett, who has generously pledged to underwrite the costs to refurbish the Conductor's Suite. The remaining reception room and adjoining artists' rooms need to be done at the same, time in order to reduce the costs. The estimated cost's for the total project will be approximately $200,000. In order to reach this goal, SPMH is establishing a fund dedicated to this project and will seek additional funding from outside sources.

Facilities: Joyce VanWye, Chair of the Facilities Committee and Ernest Toplis, Manager of Music Hall reported that many projects, proposed earLIer in the year, have been completed over the past summer:

  • TIMELINE - Artificial trees and a cushioned bench were added to the area creating beauty and comfort. The Timeline information has been archived
  • MAIN STAGE - Floor was sanded and refinished Backstage walls were painted to enhance the visual effect, and black draperies were installed
  • CRITICS CLUB - Repainted, new wall coverings on soffit above the bar, corner guards installed, bar and cocktail tables were varnished, chairs and banquettes cleaned and a new area rug was installed
  • ROSE WINDOW - A muslin drop, electrical wiring and color were added to the Rose Window Lighting
  • FOYER - Replaced auditorium doors which are lighter and provide sound resistance
  • SIGNAGE - New signs over entrances to auditorium, restroom, and ADA: black vinyl signs were applied on glass doors to North and South Corridors and a plaque was installed backstage to recognize the gift to SPMH in honor of Charles A. Phillips.
  • STAFF - Two radio replacements were provided to Music Hall employees

New officers: New officers for 2000-2001 were named.

  • President: Marlene Johnson
  • Vice Presidents: Barbara Harshman
    Norma Petersen
  • Recording Secretary: Karen McKim
  • Corresponding Secretaries: Joyce Holmes/Sue Sommer
  • Treasurer: Julia Stephen
  • Assistant Treasurer: Joyce VanWye

Archive Committee: Bob Howes, violist with the CSO, is archivist pro tem of Music Hall. Bob is putting out an open call for material. ''Anything and everything, directly or indirectly related to Music Hall or its environs is worthy of archiving. A program book, ticket stub, newspaper article, personal memories, photos, everything has historical importance.'' At the moment, the Music Hall archives are in the basement of Bob's home. If you have anything you may wish to donate, contact SPMH and ''spread the word.''

Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) announced the appointment of President/Executive Director Stephen A. Loftin, who assumes responsibility for the overall operation of the Cincinnati Aronoff Center for the Arts, Music Hall and Memorial Hall.

''Steve Loftin has been with CAA since its inception seven years ago, serving as the number two executive in support of three different directors. Through his experience and qualifications, Steve has certainly earned this position,'' stated Mr. Dudley Taft, Chairman of the CAA Board.

Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Mr. Loftin held a similar position at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Mr. Loftin has worked in the performing arts field over 24 years.

President Johnson concluded the evening's agenda with expressions of tribute and expectations of the Society's work in the coming year.

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