2006 SPMH Annual Meeting

President Norma Petersen called the Annual Meeting to order on Monday, September 18, 2006, in Corbett Tower at Music Hall. She thanks CSO Maestro Paavo Jarvi and Cincinnati Opera's Artistic Director Evans Mirageas for their remarks about Music Hall. Maestro Jarvi commented that "you cannot build an old hall." While Music Hall gives the Maestro "a tremendous sense of history," he pointed out that concert halls in Cleveland and Chicago are spaces where "modern needs are addressed."

Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera
Evans Mirageas (image
courtesy Cincinnati Opera)
Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera, calls Music Hall "one of the great architectural treasures of the United States, and one of the greatest performing spaces of the world." He tells singers and conductors around the world, "if you come to Music Hall for the first time, you'll never want to leave." The audience chuckled as he described regularly saluting Reuben Springer's statue in the Music Hall Lobby and fantasizing that some late night, after a long day of opera rehearsals, Mr. Springer might rise up like the Commendatore in Don Giovanni.

Norma also thanks CCM graduate opera student Bronwen Forbaym, who thrilled the audience with two soprano solos, accompanied by pianist Carol Walker.

Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell, by tradition, played a harmonica solo.

Norma then paid tribute to two important persons: Rupert Doan, who passed away last month (August, 2006); and SPMH co-founder Joyce VanWye, recuperating from an automobile accident, who is absent from an SPMH annual meeting for the first time.

Finally, Norma acknowledged the good work of the Annual Meeting committee: Alberta Marsh, Eileen Knollman, Sue Sommer, Marcella Hsiung, and Sylvia Benjamin.

Nominations: Eileen Knollman reported that the following persons have been recommended for election as trustees at this annual meeting:

  • Marge Hammelrath
  • Kathy Janson
  • Kermit Lovelace
  • Kathryn Shahani
  • Norman Thomas
New officers for 2006-2007 were nominated:
  • President: Norma Petersen
  • Vice Presidents: Robert Howes
    Peggy Snyder
    Mace Justice (Tour Guides)
    Eileen Knollman (Nominating Chair)
    Dottie Lewis (Community Liaison)
    Ed Rider
  • Recording Secretary: Karen McKim
  • Corresponding Secretary: Martha Seaman
  • Treasurer: Nancy Wagner
Upon motion duly made and seconded, the report was approved unanimously. Norma invited all persons to vote, reminding them tha all who participate or contribute in any way to SPMH are qualified voters.

Music Hall Marks: Carol Norris introduced and thanked her committee; she particularly acknowledged Lauren Scharf, who was responsible for having the Music Hall brochures reprinted. She and her committee work hard to update mailing address lists and they appreciate having changes of address reported. They always welcome ideas for stories for the newsletter.

Archives: Robert Howes reported that National Geographic's forensic anthropology television special, ''Buried Secrets,'' a project for which he lent his expertise about Music Hall's ghosts, aired in Europe but unfortunately will not be seen in the United States. Howes would like to secure the rights for SPMH to sell DVD copies of the show.

Commenting that historical facts concerning Music Hall's acoustics will hopefully facilitate discussion of any plans for changes, Mr. Howes read from nineteenth-century Music Hall Association annual reports describing the uses of Music Hall, and Samuel Hannaford's early stage renovation to improve the facility as a concert hall. Howes proposed changes in the present-day placement of musicians onstage that he believes would allow CSO players to hear their fellow players more naturally. He also reiterated that from 1911 to 1936, the CSO played concerts in both Emery Theatre and Music Hall. He invited everyone to join him in Springer Auditorium after the meeting so he can show more clearly the adaptations he would recommend.

Music Hall Update: Scott Santangelo, CAA Director of Operations, thanked the Society for the gift of new chairs for the Critics Club.

He reported that the Music Hall tuckpointing project, and the installation of emergency lights, are now complete.

He also reported with regret that Janet Taylor, CAA Vice President and General Manager, had been battling serious illness.

President's Report: Norma reported a remarkable list of accomplishments by the all-volunteer Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, including:

  • the SPMH office on the first floor of Music Hall is fully furnished. It has a computer, telephone, and furniture for small meetings, and room for all committee materials. SPMH is grateful to the CSO for their assistance and cooperation
  • new chairs (comfortable, handsome, stackable) have been purchased for the Critics Club
  • heavy-duty carpet cleaning equipment has been purchased for use by the Music Hall maintenance staff
  • a new agreement with the CSO assists SPMH in maintaining our financial records more accurately and efficiently
  • police radios, connected to the Cincinnati Police, have been purchased for use by Music Hall's private duty security officers
  • the proposed installation of the Albee's Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in the Music Hall Ballroom has been facilitated by the efforts of SPMH
  • we can all share in the celebration for the Regional Emmy won by the Music Hall documentary, produced in collaboration with CET
  • there is a new Music Hall brochure just in time for Tall Stacks

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

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