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Monday, March 24, 2003

Citizens remember funny, astounding times at Music Hall



'Patriotic' Pops flags were made in China

On Feb. 22, there was a Pops concert at Music Hall called, "A Patriotic Celebration."

It was being taped for TV. They passed out little plastic flags for everyone to wave and show their patriotism. The only problem is the American flags have the words "Made in China" printed on them.

Whoever is in charge of purchasing these flags should show some patriotic spirit of their own and buy flags made here in the U.S.A.

Gary Meadows, White Oak

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Take advantage of local treasure

My Music Hall memories began in 1984 when I joined the administration of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as Director of Regional and Educational Programs. I was fortunate to become general manager of the CSO and the May Festival in 1988 and spend a total of 16 years working with all of the wonderful people in the CSO and May Festival families - in our beloved Music Hall.

The professionalism and week-to-week commitment to excellence by the board of directors, music directors, musicians, choristers and staff of these two organizations will live with me forever.

, I encourage everyone in the region to take advantage of these most enjoyable and moving events. If you attend on a regular basis, you know exactly of what I speak. If you do not, you don't know what you are missing. Treat yourself and enjoy.

Jeff Alexander, President and general manager, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

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Mario Lanza sang at Music Hall

My favorite memory of Music Hall is when Mario Lanza sang there in April 1951.

Most people don't recognize his name. To me, he was and always will be the greatest singer who ever lived.

When I visited the Mario Lanza Institute and Museum in Philadelphia, I talked to the person working and told her that I had seen him in Cincinnati. She said I was the only person that she knew of who had seen him in person.

Betty Powers, Covington

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Anyone else recall Music Hall ski jump?

It was in the '30s - I was about 7 or 8 - a flower show or sport show was being held at Music Hall using both sides of the main building. Outside on the sidewalk a ski jump had been erected, and in the evening some skiers would jump. It was not very high but enough to put on a show.

In trying to find out more about this, I came to a dead end. No one had ever seen or heard of it. And of course my parents are no longer around to verify this story. Maybe some readers of my era would remember something about this.

Millie Didlake, Anderson Township

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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

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Child's laughter during play was memorable

I have lived in Cincinnati all of my life and have many wonderful memories of visiting Music Hall. My favorite memory is of the time my husband and I took our two sons, ages 6 and 4, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to The Nutcracker for the first time. The boys were all dressed up and, I have to confess, I was a little worried about how they would act during such a long performance. Maybe they were too young for this type of experience.

We were sitting in the balcony as the lights dimmed and the performance began. I started to relax as the townspeople started across stage on their way to the party. Then, as the old woman started slipping and sliding across the stage, I heard a little giggle coming from the seat next to me. As the old woman continued her antics, the giggle turned into a loud belly-laugh - my 4-year-old son was in stitches.

Now, my son had a wonderful, deep laugh when he was a small child, but I wasn't sure how the rest of the audience was enjoying it. After all, this was the ballet at Music Hall. After only a few seconds, the people around us all started joining in the laughter. I'm sure it was the most unusual and most memorable opening to The Nutcracker the Cincinnati Ballet had ever experienced.

Jan Richer, Sharonville

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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.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

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Dream of entering Music Hall fulfilled

I was born Aug. 9, 1933, at 120 Findlay St., and later moved to Elder and Logan streets. Mom used to walk us everywhere. I remember passing Music Hall a lot and always thinking, "Wow, these people are rich, but I will someday hopefully go there."

I now do professional ballroom dancing . We go to Music Hall in the spring and the fall. I never go through the doors without remembering the "little girl."

Joan Clark, Batavia

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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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Citizens remember funny, astounding times at Music Hall
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