Wednesday, April 30, 2003

A child's composition, squirt guns at graduation mark memories

Dad once played at Music Hall

In 1973 I played violin in the Western Hills High School orchestra. Andrew Brady conducted the orchestra. Brady selected Sandy Batscha and myself to participate in the All City Music Festival, which would be held in Music Hall. I was honored to be one of the few selected from performers from around the city. The All City Music Festival orchestra would be featured and also accompany other performers.

I will never forget going below the Music Hall stage, getting into the pit and, as we started playing, being lifted to stage level. It was thrilling being on stage-the same one the Cincinnati Symphony plays on, and looking out at the audience. This last winter my family and I went to the Nutcracker at Music Hall. At intermission I took my daughters up to the stage area to see where the musicians played in the pit and, of course, once again told them their dad once played there.

Dave Arnold, Colerain Township


Water pistol kept graduates cool

I received my high school diploma in June 1973 from Oak Hills High School. I was seated on the stage at Music Hall in one of the back rows. A few of my fellow classmates kept us cool with the use of squirt guns. Here's hoping that Willard Sweeder, the principal, doesn't read this.

Jan Willen McKibben, Delhi Township


Symphony played children's entry

I have been so fortunate to experience the Music Hall over the years I have lived in the Cincinnati area. During my fourth-grade year in Ft. Thomas, Ky., I was encouraged by my piano teacher, Lucille Brett Schneider, to submit a composition for the Young People's Composition Contest for the CSO. The director was Thor Johnson.

To my amazement, my composition was one of five chosen to be arranged and played by the symphony during its concert for school children. I proudly sat next to the director's podium as the symphony played my piece for two concerts.

I was also privileged to learn my accompanying skills at Highland Heights School, Ft. Thomas, where I accompanied for Robert Knauf, later one of the esteemed group of conductors of the May Festival Chorus. I attended many concerts at the beautiful Music Hall through my high school years and remember the pomp and ceremony associated with the May Festivals.

NowI find myself as accompanist and assistant director of the May Festival Youth Chorus. It brings back the wonderful years of music I had in high school. It was my tremendous honor to accompany for Dr. James Bagwell, and I am looking forward with great anticipation at performing on the program celebrating the hall's 125-year anniversary.

Marilyn McClain Libbin, Amberly Village


Violinist uncle got kids backstage

I attended many musical and theatrical venues at Music Hall, but my most memorable was when I was in the third grade and as a group we attended the children's theatre on Saturday mornings.

My uncle, Theodore Wadl, played violin with the Cincinnati Symphony, and on this particular Saturday, the symphony was performing. Much to my surprise and delight I saw my uncle sitting in the violin section. So, I stood up and yelled for all to hear, "Hey, Uncle Teddy!"

My teacher admonished me for my outburst but it paid off because after the performance we (my classmates and I) were invited backstage to meet some of the musicians and Max Rudolph, the symphony conductor at the time. I had no idea how special this Saturday morning would be for me as an adult.

Deedra Wadl Derrick, Highland Heights



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

Ohio budget: 'Temporary' confusion
Wall Street: Fraudulent behavior
Next Level: Liquor license
Kentucky needs simple auto plates
A child's composition, squirt guns at graduation mark memories
Readers' Views