Sunday, April 27, 2003

Music Hall Moments

We asked you to tell us your favorite Music Hall memories, and we've been publishing the best leading up to the 125th anniversary celebration in May. Here's another installment:

Boys didn't enjoy ballet 'dancing'

About 10 years ago, we took our two boys, Maury III and Brian, to a performance of the Cincinnati Ballet at Music Hall. Both boys had been studying violin for several years, and both were doing very well at it.

They were 9- and 7-years-old at the time. We wanted to introduce them to some of the other offerings of the classical music world. After the ballet, as we were walking back to our car, I asked them, "Well, boys, what did you think of that?"

Little Maury said, "Oh, it was real good, except for all that dancing."

Maury Mountain, Jr., West Chester

Acoustics in Hall second to none

Our greatest realization about Music Hall came actually when we were at Sydney Australia's Opera House. It's an icon of Australia, and a grand building from the outside. Music Hall is a better opera house. It is more elegant and acoustically sound. One does not have to travel around the world to see world-class opera. Cincinnati has a world-class opera venue right here, right now, to enjoy. But, don't take our word for it, visit both - Music Hall is a little closer.

Michael and Melanie Bradle, Glendale

Beautiful music was made there

I was a fifth-grade student at Carson Elementary School and was selected to participate in the may Festival Children's Chorus. The concert was "The Children of Bethlehem" conducted by Thor Johnson. There were several others in my grade who were selected for the chorus, and we were required to attend classes on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Music Hall.

Every Saturday from November until the performance in May, my mom and I rode the bus to Music hall. I recall Johnson had a commanding personality. However, he was also friendly and even told jokes during our many practices making it fun.

I will never forget the evening of dress rehearsal. All the many weeks of practice and sacrificing Saturday playtime for hard work finally came to fruition, the children's chorus, the adult chorus and the soloists. I was so amazed and overwhelmed at the lovely synchronicity of all the voices and the majesty of the concert. After the concert was finished, my mom was waiting beside the stage and had tears streaming down her face. She said it was the most beautiful music she had ever heard.

Judy Guilar Floyd, Miami Township

Looking forward to more performances

I moved to Cincinnati in 1967 and had the good fortune to see Thomas Schippers conduct the Cincinnati Symphony.

As I looked around Music Hall, I never imagined one day I might perform there. Along with other choruses, my chorus sang at Sangerfest (The Seven Hills Sweet Adeline Chorus). We were all impressed with Music Hall.

I've been back often and still get a thrill going there. Having seen many wonderful performances, I hope to see many more.

Ann Neess, Anderson Township

Tall people now more comfortable

My moments at Music Hall have been more recent, even though I attended several U.C. basketball games there in the '40s.

However, over the last six to seven years, I had many memorable moments - at the rehearsal three days before the performance of the opera Samson and Delilah directed by Artistic Director Nicholas Muni, it seemed there was so much to accomplish. And yet, the performance was perfect, even to the collapsing of the temple.

Other moments include Deborah Polaski singing Electra; and, the Russian ballerina who danced Swan Lake. I watched the crowd mill about at intermission and appreciating the ushers.

The seats were improved about seven years ago so that people more than 6-feet-2 didn't have their knees pressing into the back of the seat in front of them.

With many moments at Music Hall, I have come to realize that it's not just a building., it is an institution unto itself. The people who work at Music Hall, whether it is in the operations of the building or the staffs and officers of the tenants, Symphony, Pops, May Festival, Opera and Ballet, clearly are the most competent and dedicated people one can imagine.

Tom Osterman, Clifton

Send your favorite memory of Music Hall to: Readers' Views, Enquirer Editorial Page, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; fax 513-768-8610; e-mail letters@enquirer.com.

Read previously published Music Hall moments

Hey, Graduates: Tell us what you think

Building boom a boon for Ohio
Other school levies in May

CPS: Pass the bond issue
Development: Use private talent

GUEST COLUMNIST: James Garland, Miami U. president
Raising tuition to make college more affordable

Readers' Views
Music Hall Moments