2015 SPMH Annual Meeting
The 2015 Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, September 15, in Music Hall's Corbett Tower. SPMH members filled the room in what would be the last SPMH meeting held in this beautiful room before Music Hall closed for renovations.
President Don Siekmann welcomed everyone to the meeting, and singled out several highlights from the past year, especially the organization's strong commitment to Music Hall and to the growth of membership in SPMH. He then announced that SPMH received a major gift from the Corbett Foundation, and that SPMH accepted the donation of the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer Organ from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society. In late 2007, SPMH received a grant to refurbish the organ and install it in the Music Hall Ballroom.
Mr. Siekmann then introduced incoming SPMH President Peter Koenig. On behalf of the SPMH Board of Directors and its members, Mr. Koenig thanked Don Siekmann for his excellent leadership of the organization from 2010 to 2015.
At the meeting, SPMH warmly welcomed a new director. Thea Tjepkema brings to SPMH her strong history and interest in the arts as well as expertise in historic preservation through her work with historic house museums, art museums and galleries.
In a report on the Tour Program, committee members Andrew Bowen and Meredith Downton announced that it was a banner season for Music Hall tours, including tours organized around the ArtsWave Sampler, the All-Star Game, and LumenoCity, when nearly a record number of people took the Music Hall tour.
Work on the restoration of the organ carvings, which began in August 2011, continues. Kathy Janson described the newest panel to be gifted to SPMH: Porpora, a ''musician panel'' named for a Neapolitan composer, was donated by Ed and Anita Marks. Attendees were invited to view the panels that were on display at the meeting.
Guest speaker for the meeting was Stephen G. Leeper, President and CEO of 3CDC, the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation. The Music Hall Revitalization Company (MHRC) appointed 3CDC as the developer for the restoration of Music Hall. His extensive presentation, complete with images and diagrams, provided an excellent overview of the project. He listed the goals as the following:
- Restore the heritage of a world-class facility for performers and audience alike
- Significantly enhance acoustics of auditorium and overall audience experience
- Improve accessibility & modernize facilities to make them state of the art
- Economize operational and back of house needs and uses
- Execute lasting structural improvements required to secure building longevity
The scope of the renovation of the main hall, he said, will address the following:
- Aging structure and outdated mechanical, electric, and plumbing infrastructure
- Enhancements to performance experience in Springer Auditorium
- Improved accessibility and audience amenities
- Improved back-of-house production capabilities and efficiency
- Restoration of Corbett Tower
- Restoration of windows and faÇade
Leeper then detailed the scope within each area, describing the challenges facing the renovation team. In addition, issues would need to be addressed in the south hall, with the CSO offices, ballroom, music library, etc.; in the north hall for the CAA offices, loading docs, rehearsal room and scene and paint shop; and, enclosing the carriageways in order to utilize that space for patron amenities.
The tenants are scheduled to move out by the end of 2015 and work will begin in the south and north halls. Performances of the CSO, Pops and May Festival will be in Taft Auditorium starting in the fall of 2016. The Cincinnati Opera will perform its 2016 and 2017 roster in the Aronoff Center. Music Hall is expected to re-open in the fall of 2017.
Photographs provided by Philip Groshong, Philip Groshong Photography.