2012 SPMH Annual Meeting
The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall was held in Corbett Tower on Monday, September 10, 2012. President Don Siekmann called the meeting to order and directors in attendance voted on the one agenda item: approval of the Nominating Committee report. The following individuals were submitted by Peter Koenig, in behalf of the Nominating Committee:
Vice Presidents: Joanne Grueter, Kathy Janson, Peter Koenig, Ed Rider
Recording Secretary: Karen McKim
Corresponding Secretary: Marcella Hsiung
Treasurer: Mark Weadick
Nominated for a first term: Meredith Downton
Nominated for a second term ending 8/31/2015: Lisa Alison, Bill Henrich, Ron Wehmeier
Norma Petersen was acknowledged as immediate Past President
The meeting was a special event, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of SPMH. In a report to members, President Siekmann reminded everyone that SPMH, an all-volunteer organization with 450 members, measures everything we do against the SPMH mission. ''Members believe in the historical nature of the building,'' Siekmann said, and SPMH ''continues to stand behind the revitalization of the structure.'' Siekmann listed recent accomplishments, including the upcoming Wurlitzer Concert - the fifth in a series presented by SPMH.
Siekmann recognized Music Hall's resident companies: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Ballet, and the Cincinnati Opera. Acclaimed Cincinnati Opera soloists Claude Cassion & Jackie Echols then performed selections from Porgy & Bess.
SPMH vice president Peter Koenig honored retiring board member Mace Justice, who, for many years, headed the Tour Guides committee of SPMH. Koenig also recognized officers and members who had just been elected to serve on as directors.
Vice president Ed Rider described projects undertaken this year by SPMH, including a new ticketing system for resident companies; refinishing the floors of the ballroom, stage and rehearsal hall; repairing and refurbishing patron amenities, and refurbishing the beautiful exterior the large wooden doors at the front entrance to Music Hall. Up next for SPMH: restoration and preservation of historic wood carved organ panels.
Vice president Kathy Janson related that nearly 5000 copies of the SPMH publication Music Hall Marks are produced and distributed each year. Articles are written and illustrated by board members and feature the hall's history, information on resident groups and the latest Music Hall news.
Director Lisa Allison, speaking for Meredith Downton, described the expanded SPMH tour guide program. The tour guide base is being expanded and Downton is looking for additional volunteers. The tours also will be coordinated with existing performances and events. Further, the tour program is leveraging technology including an iPad app and Music Hall video.
President Siekmann then recognized the founding members of SPMH:
Founding member and former SPMH president Joyce Van Wye entertained everyone with stories from the early days of SPMH, including how, when and why she decided that a volunteer organization was needed for Music Hall. As Joyce related, 25 years ago, she was working with the Cincinnati Opera in ticket sales.
To make sure that patrons would be happy with their seats, she would go into Music Hall to check them out. At one point, while in the hall, she noticed a particularly unsettling situation. ''I looked at the curtain which was drawn full on the stage,'' she said, ''and there was this huge dark circular stain smack in the middle of the curtain. And that's when I found out that Music Hall really needed some help. I thought the Symphony has help, the Ballet has help, the Opera has help. I think that this building needs some help.''
In the following years, Joyce and other concerned individuals raised money and provided improvements for Music Hall, including replacing the curtain with a generous donation from Louise Dieterle Nippert in honor of her cousin Emily Fischer, and Manuel and Rhoda Mayerson's donation for lighting the front of Music Hall.
By 1992, co founders Joyce Van Wye and Jean Reis had formed a board and obtained a 501(c)(3) non profit designation for SPMH. See a list of SPMH accomplishments over the years.