2005 SPMH Annual Meeting

President Norma Petersen called the Annual Meeting to order on Monday, September 19, 2005, at 6:10 p.m. on the stage in Springer Auditorium at Cincinnati's historic Music Hall.

Invited guests included: Scott Santangelo, liaison with Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA); ex officio representatives of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Steven Monder); Cincinnati Opera (Patty Beggs and the opera's new artistic director Evans Mirageas); and May Festival (Steven Sunderman); and many other friends of Music Hall. Our very generous donors Mrs. Louise Nippert and Mrs Claire Phillips were both recognized.

Norma paid tribute to two important persons no longer with the Society: Charles Westheimer, who passed away this year; and Tom Buck, whose serious illness has prevented him from continuing as a member of SPMH. Mr. Westheimer chaired the 100th Anniversary celebration of Music Hall. Mr. Buck designed and maintained the (original) SPMH website. Both gentlemen are sorely missed.

Norma thanked Sylvia Mitchell and Paul Patterson, violinists with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, who performed a wonderful duet program of historic popular tunes of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Norma then introduced Jim Tarbell, the Cincinnati City Councilmember who was responsible for securing a grant of $25,000 from the city of Cincinnati to SPMH towards the expenses of the Music Hall documentary. Norma invited Councilmember Tarbell to play his harmonica on the Music Hall stage, and he performed a soulful rendition of ''Somewhere Over the Rainbow.'' Then he spoke appreciatively about SPMH and all that the organization has accomplished.

Code of Regulations Review Update: Bob Howes reported that the committee has completed its work to update the Code of Regulations to clean up possibly confusing language. Copies of the proposed changes were circulated. Bob emphasized that the minor change to Article I, the Mission, which now reads as follows: "The mission of The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall is to provide financial and volunteer support for the preservation and promotion of Music Hall as the cultural center of Cincinnati and as a national historic landmark." Bob also reviewed the qualifications for membership which now includes all contributors.

Upon motion duly made and seconded, the new Code of Regulations was approved unanimously.

Nominations: Petty Snyder reported on behalf of the committee (Mace Justice, Marlene Johnson, Jocelyn Dunfy and Peggy) that the following persons have been recommended for election as trustees at this annual meeting:

  • Mary Bergstein
  • Meredith Downton
  • Joanne Grueter
  • Ed Rider
  • Lauren Scharf
  • Nancy Wagner
  • Stacy Woolley
New officers for 2005-2006 were named. (A full list of current SPMH officers, directors and founders is available online here.)

Music Hall Documentary: Norma recognized Joanne Grueter (senior producer-director for CET) for completing the Music Hall Documentary in a very effective collaboration among SPHM, CET, and the Historical Society at Cincinnati Museum Center. Our initial allotment of copies of the video has been nearly sold out and will need to be reordered.

(You can read more about the Music Hall documentary program and order your copy today!)

Music Hall Marks: Carol Norris reported that the next newsletter will come out near Halloween and will feature some of the Music Hall ghost stories.

Archives: Robert Howes reported on the forensic anthropologic documentary that is being produced by the National Geographic Society. He also reported that one of the sons of Peggy Wasserman has contributed a folder of archival materials pertaining to Music Hall.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m. Those in attendance were invivted back to the lovely cocktail reception in the south lobby, or to take a tour of Music Hall.

Information for this report came from notes on the 2006 Annual Meeting provided by Karen McKim, Recording Secretary, SPMH.

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