November, 2020 No. 1

Welcome to our first issue of Windows on Music Hall. Connecting with our members, volunteers, supporters, tour and organ concert guests, and many others has never been more important, when our beloved Music Hall programs are “on pause.” We hope you enjoy our new quarterly communication.  


You’ve connected with the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall in the past. We now call ourselves Friends of Music Hall, and we’re pleased to count you among our friends as we preserve and enhance this iconic building.

It’s been a challenging year. Music Hall has been shuttered due to the pandemic. Our beloved Cincinnati Symphony, May Festival, Cincinnati Opera, and Cincinnati Ballet have canceled or reconfigured numerous glorious performances. Our tours inside the hall, as well as the Ballroom concerts featuring the Mighty Wurlitzer, have been impossible to host — although outside tours have been restarted.

Devoted to our stewardship of Music Hall, we are moving ahead with a project to restore “finials,” historic ornaments on Music Hall’s roof peaks and ridges. The originals were made of sandstone, but they have begun to deteriorate. Over the next year, they’ll be returned to architect Samuel Hannaford’s original designs.

You can keep up with the Friends of Music Hall via social media or by visiting our website. You’ll receive this email newsletter quarterly. We hope you’ll be “looking in” via the Windows on Music Hall and return to visit when the time is right.

I invite you to consider supporting our efforts with a donation. In the meantime, stay positive and test negative!

Peter E. Koenig, President

by Diana Tisue and Rick Pender

The Friends of Music Hall is excited to announce funding for the restoration of the sandstone ornamentation on the exterior of Music Hall, including ten finials atop gables, and a sandstone lyre.

Over the past one hundred and forty years, the original carved sandstone has deteriorated to the point that only portions of these important decorative elements remain others have been completely lost. This restoration is part of the continuing effort by the Friends of Music Hall to renew the architectural integrity of the exterior of this great Cincinnati landmark.

When Samuel Hannaford designed Cincinnati Music Hall in the High Victorian Gothic style, he included a Gothic fleuron, or finial, on each of eleven gables, save the main apex reserved for an “Angel of Music.” Friends of Music Hall board member and historic preservationist Thea Tjepkema, has carefully researched and documented these missing details using numerous historic photographs.


A reproduction of the intricately detailed architectural drawing of the east façade, main hall, originally hand-drafted with ink on linen. Digitally restored and printed on archival Hahnemühle paper by Robin Imaging, this fine art print is suitable for framing. 15"x 18" for $50.00 prints available.
What Inspires You?
The community is invited to submit short fiction, non-fiction or photos inspired by Music Hall. We'll feature them in upcoming issues.
Here is our first - an offering from Jeff Wilson.

One evening, a millisecond after 
an epic Mahler symphony drew to a close, 
a man shot up from his balcony seat 
and screamed so loud you would have sworn 
there was a fire. 

Immediately thereafter, everyone else stood 
and roared with the same intensity. 
It was as if he were the conductor 
and the rest of the audience his orchestra. 
Together they expressed what a riveting performance 
took place that evening at Music Hall. 

Jeff Wilson of Clifton, writes, “I was not familiar with the symphony before that evening. I had heard Mahler before…but his music has that epic sweep - it's like a cathedral of sound - and I wanted to get the full effect. So I didn't know when the symphony was ending. For me, the man shooting up out of his seat announced it. I have been to hundreds of concerts, including huge rock shows, and I have never seen a crowd top that one for intensity.”


The Friends of Music Hall Board elected five new board members at our 2020 Annual Meeting in September. Meet two of our talented new ones:

Yemi Oyediran is truly a right brain/left brain talent. By day, he is a software engineer and adjunct professor at Xavier University and is completing his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Cincinnati. After hours, Yemi is a jazz drummer and documentary filmmaker. Yemi co-founded and is the Co-Creative Director of afrochine, a production company that creates documentary films including one about King Records.

Nicole Roberts is no stranger to Friends of Music Hall. As Creative Director at Kolar Design, Nicole led the brand strategy and re-design for Friends of Music Hall, which was unveiled a year ago. Nicole brings twenty years of design experience in environmental, graphics and brand strategy. Like Yemi, Nicole also graduated from UC (DAAP) and has been an adjunct professor since 2017. She earned her Master's in graphic and interior design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work has been featured in a long list of design publications and has garnered many professional honors, notably the EuroShop Retail Design Award in 2016.  

Mighty Wurlitzer Delivers a Virtual “Happy Holidays

This year, we will stream our annual holiday concert on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:00 p.m. FREE

Your friendship and support means so much. As a member, your gift will contribute resources needed to preserve, engage and celebrate Cincinnati Music Hall as a National Historic Landmark of international significance and keep our region’s premier cultural center in top condition for future generations.
Learn more about our giving levels and the benefits that go with them.

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