About SPMH - an overview
Back in 1875, Cincinnati businessman Reuben R. Springer waited for the musical festival to resume. The conductor had stopped the performance; a thunder storm pelted the tin roof of the hall, drowning out the city's first May Festival chorus. ''We need a new building,'' he thought to himself, his patience wearing thin by the delay. ''Cincinnati has a classical chorus, a first-rate orchestra and a budding reputation as one of the arts capitals of the world. It is only fitting we also have a musical hall.'' His thoughts became a plan, and Cincinnati's Music Hall was built.
Throughout the years, individuals who are dedicated to the arts and have an understanding of their importance to our community have come forward to support Music Hall. While the structure remains the physical symbol of Cincinnati's artistic heritage. it encompasses so much more -- welcoming everyone, for many purposes, from meetings and banquets to weddings and conventions.
SPMH, The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, was founded to ''provide ongoing financial and volunteer support toward maintaining and improving the Music Hall facilities, internally and externally".
From the time the idea was proposed to build ''a Music Hall'' in the 1870s until 1980s, the Music Hall Association provided oversight for the structure. Upon the construction of the Aronoff Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Cincinnati, it was decided to form an organization that would oversee both facilities. At that time, the Music Hall Association was merged into the Cincinnati Arts Association.
In 1988 following the merger, Jean Reis, Joyce Van Wye and others decided that, because of the age of the structure and its meaning to everyone in Cincinnati, Music Hall needed its own volunteer group, an organization of individuals who would insure that history would not be lost to progress. This led to the formation of SPMH.
Through private and public donations, the group started work immediately. New carpeting was installed on all floors; new house draperies graced the auditorium's stage, and the restrooms and adjoining areas were spruced up with paint and wallcoverings.
By September 1992, SPMH had its own 501 (c)(3) designation.
Over the years, SPMH has funded many projects to meet its mission, from the installation of the American flag and pole on Elm Street at the south corner of the building, to the refurbishment and installation of the Albee Theatre's Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in the Music Hall Ballroom. See a list of what SPMH has accomplished for Music Hall.