Saturday, March 15, 2003

Awe-inspiring moments at Hall

Tucker car made for great first memory

In 1948, I was visiting my sister. I decided to go for a walk in downtown Cincinnati. As a boy of 16 from southern Kentucky, going downtown was an adventure.

Living on 15th Street, near Elm Street, my route took me by Music Hall. I could see a lot of people gathered around a new car. I went over and took a look. It was a new Tucker automobile. Ramps were put up the front steps, and it was driven into the building. I was impressed by its power as it climbed the steps and was put on display inside. I was among the few people to get a preview of such a beautiful car. It was put on display, and that was my first visit to Music Hall.

James Godsey, Montgomery


First time at symphony still vivid experience

My favorite memory of Music Hall was my first visit back in 1939. I was attending Hanover College in Indiana, and my college friend wanted me to spend a weekend with her folks in Cincinnati.

Her sister took us to the symphony that night. This was my first visit to a big city, and my first symphony experience. The whole evening was unforgettable, and I was in awe of the ladies in their formals and men in tuxedos. Everyone was dressed so elegantly, and this small-town girl was completely thrilled by the glamour and the beautiful music.

I started teaching in this area in 1946, retired in 1979, and this coming year will be my 25th anniversary as a CSO subscriber to the Friday morning concerts.

Martha L. Bunch, Fort Wright


Appearance in opera remains unforgettable

I have many wonderful memories of many moments in that glorious building called Music Hall. As a little girl, my parents took me to view boxing matches and roller derbies. My grade school went for a concert and sat in the balcony. I think I was more interested in the candy that was being passed than what was transpiring on stage. Then there was high school and a prom in the Music Hall ballroom.

This year it will be 50 years of visiting Music Hall. In those 50 years, I have enjoyed glorious music, wonderful ballets and great operas. I served as president of the Women's Committee of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and in that capacity I had the privilege of presenting watches to orchestra members who performed with the orchestra for 25 years.

But I will never forget was opening night, Aug. 2, 1978, when I walked on Music Hall stage as the Grand Duchess of Anastasia in Sigmund Romberg's opera Student Prince to a sold-out house. My opening line was, "What does this mean - how dare you keep me waiting," but for one second I went blank. That awful and horrendous moment seemed like hours and those so-called butterflies flew out of my stomach in droves. The line did come out of my mouth and the opera was a great success.

Sylvia L. Benjamin, East Walnut Hills

Music Hall Moments

Tell us your favorite memory of Music Hall and we will publish and post online the best leading up to the 125th anniversary celebration in May: a marriage proposal made there, a first date, a critic's recollection of some opera great, the threat from the 1937 flood, a boxing match, a UC basketball game in the 1940s, a Janis Joplin concert, some happy mix-up - any funny or personal or unforgettable anecdote about this historic hall that belongs to all of us. Send to: Readers' Views, Enquirer Editorial Page, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; fax 513-768-8610; e-mail letters@enquirer.com.

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Awe-inspiring moments at Hall
Readers' Views