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Cincinnati Music Hall Honored with the Preservation Merit Award

CAA_Cincinnati Music Hall

From the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office

(Cincinnati, OH) – The renovation and restoration of Cincinnati Music Hall received the Preservation Merit Award from the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office at an awards luncheon on Saturday, November 10, 2018.  Each year, the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office recognizes outstanding achievements in historic preservation in communities across Ohio. State Historic Preservation Officer Burt Logan presented the award to Music Hall Revitalization Company (MHRC) and Society for the Preservation of Music Hall (SPMH) representative Peter Koenig, who was in Columbus at the Ohio History Center to accept the honor on behalf of MHRC and SPMH.  Peter serves on the board of MHRC and is in his fourth year as President of SPMH.

The additional recipients of the Preservation Merit Award include the following Music Hall renovation project team members:  Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), project manager, represented at the luncheon by Alexis Barnes; Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff + Goettel (PWWG), lead architect, represented by Andreas Lange; Martinez + Johnson (M&J), theater architect, represented by Gary Martinez; Messer, construction manager; and Judy Williams, historic preservation consultant, who was also present at the awards ceremony. In addition, SPMH board member and Music Hall historian Thea Tjepkema was at the luncheon as a guest of SPMH.

The Preservation Merit Award honors the preservation of Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture, or culture. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, restoring, rehabilitating, or otherwise preserving an important building or site; longtime stewardship of a property; promoting protective legislation; funding preservation projects; offering leadership, support, or service; and furthering preservation at the local, regional, or state level.

“Music Hall received the Preservation Merit Award for several reasons,” said Burt Logan, CEO & Executive Director of the Ohio History Connection. “The work restored architectural details that had been lost to time and earlier alterations, while incorporating modern amenities that improve the experience for performers and audiences. Music Hall Revitalization Company and its partners have done a remarkable job of preserving this National Historic Landmark and extending its useful life for generations to come.”

After the curtain fell on the 2016 May Festival, Music Hall closed to the public for a sixteen-month, $143 million renovation – one of the most comprehensive transformations in the venue’s 140-year history – and celebrated a triumphant Grand Opening in October 2017. The revitalization project brought much-needed updates and upgrades to this beloved arts destination, while improving upon its world-class acoustics and retaining its historic grandeur. Iconic Music Hall has experienced many revitalization and rehabilitation projects since it was built in 1878, and the venue appeared on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places as recently as 2014. The National Trust now lists Music Hall as a “saved” structure.

“I have been honored to be involved with this project for most of the past decade, and I was privileged to participate in the exciting and successful renovation of Music Hall,”  said Peter Koenig, SPMH President. “This prestigious award from the State of Ohio’s official historic preservation agency recognizes the fulfillment of MHRC‘s mission to organize and lead the renovation of Music Hall.  In addition, the award underscores the steadfast commitment of SPMH to its mission of preserving and improving Music Hall, and perpetuating the venue as the premier cultural center of the region and as a National Historic Landmark of international significance.”

This is the second award Music Hall has received in the past month.  On October 23, the venue was honored with the Historic Theater of the Year award from Heritage Ohio at its Annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony in downtown Cleveland.

About the State Historic Preservation Office
The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office is Ohio’s official historic preservation agency. It identifies historic places in Ohio; nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places; reviews federally assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural, and archaeological resources in Ohio; certifies local government historic preservation programs and administers grants to them; consults on conservation of older buildings and sites; and offers educational programs and publications. The “Catalytic Award” of $25 million that the Music Hall renovation project received from the state of Ohio for the Historic Tax Credit came from the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA), an extension of the State Historic Preservation Office.

Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, and the local history office. The Ohio History Connection also manages more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio.

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Cincinnati Music Hall Recognized as Historic Theater of the Year by Heritage Ohio

CAA_Cincinnati Music Hall(Cincinnati, OH) – Cincinnati Music Hall received the Historic Theater of the Year award from Heritage Ohio at its Annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony held Tuesday, October 23 at the historic Allen Theater in downtown Cleveland.

The Historic Theater of the Year award was created to celebrate the most ambitious and successful theater rehabilitations throughout Ohio, and the ceremony’s independent award selection committee was quick to recognize Music Hall with the award this year.

“We were thrilled to recognize Cincinnati’s Music Hall,” said Joyce Barrett, Executive Director of Heritage Ohio. “As a National Historic Landmark, the importance of this rehabilitation has national significance. It is a spectacular place, and a stunning example of historic preservation.”

Cincinnati’s iconic Music Hall has experienced many revitalization and rehabilitation projects since it was built in 1878, and the venue appeared on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places as recently as 2014.

After the curtain fell on the 2016 May Festival, Music Hall closed to the public for a sixteen-month, $143 million renovation – one of the most comprehensive transformations in the venue’s 140-year history – and celebrated a triumphant Grand Opening in October 2017. The revitalization project brought much-needed updates and upgrades to this beloved arts destination, while improving upon its world-class acoustics and retaining its historic grandeur.

The Music Hall renovation project team included the Music Hall Revitalization Company, led during the project by Board Chair Otto M. Budig, Jr; Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), project manager; Messer, construction manager; Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff + Goettel (PWWG), lead architect; Martinez + Johnson (M+J), theater architect; Akustiks, acousticians; and Schuler Shook, theater consultants; with support from the Cincinnati Arts Association, the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, and the venue’s acclaimed resident companies – Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and May Festival.

“Nearly everything is subject to the change of fashion and time,” said Otto M. Budig, Jr., Chairman of the Music Hall Revitalization Company during the renovation project. “Although life is short, the revitalization of Music Hall will provide generations yet to be born a home for the arts, which has been saved by an uprising of love from the community it serves. I was honored to lead this effort.”

“The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall is honored to be a co-recipient of this award and was privileged to participate in the exciting and successful historic renovation of Music Hall. This award underscores the commitment of SPMH to fulfill its core mission to preserve and improve Music Hall as the premier cultural center of Greater Cincinnati,” said Peter Koenig, President of the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall.

“Because historic preservation is as much an art as it is science, Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff + Goettel (PWWG) led a large team of design, engineering, and construction experts in skillful triage about what to restore and what to modernize to ensure Music Hall’s structural integrity and architectural heritage, while creating extraordinary environments for performers, patrons, and staff,” said Alan Weiskopf, Managing Principal at PWWG and Principal-in-Charge for the Music Hall Revitalization. “The team made sensitive changes and judiciously allocated available funds at every stage so that the building achieves the highest level of performance for performing arts, and delivers a winning variety of new amenities, with the character-defining features intact that make it a one-of-a-kind architectural jewel. PWWG is delighted that the project is being recognized for the monumental achievement of our team members and stakeholders.”

About Heritage Ohio
As Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street organization, Heritage Ohio fosters economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of local tourism. Learn more by visiting www.heritageohio.org.

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Wake the Dead Bash with The Mighty Wurlitzer | Wed., Oct. 31 | Music Hall Ballroom

CAA_Wake the Dead Bash logo

Featuring Theatre Organist Trent Sims, Local Mixologist Molly Wellmann,
Music Hall Ghost Tours,
Guest Emcee Brock Leah Spears, and
Cincinnati’s Young Professional Choral Collective

(CINCINNATI, OH) – The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall (SPMH) will ‘Wake the Dead’ on October 31 from 9:00 PM to midnight at one of the country’s most historic and haunted places – Cincinnati Music Hall. SPMH’s inaugural Halloween Bash will delight adult audiences with spine-tingling tunes — played in Music Hall’s Grand Ballroom on The Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ by master organist, Trent Sims. Cincinnati’s legendary bartender, Molly Wellmann, will be mixing up spooktacular drinks for guests and ghouls alike.

In addition, Cincinnati’s Young Professional Choral Collective (YPCC) will “crash the bash” with creepy-crawly sing-alongs with local dance and drag favorite Brock Leah Spears as guest emcee.  Throughout  the evening, Cincinnati Research & Paranormal Studies will offer mini-ghost-tours throughout Music Hall, offering an incredible opportunity for Wake the Dead partygoers to tour this haunted venue.

Costumes are encouraged but not required.

Tickets are on sale now at www.CincinnatiArts.org, (513) 621-ARTS [2787], and the Aronoff Center or Music Hall Ticket Office. For groups of ten or more, call (513) 977-4157.  Tickets include the ghost tours, light bites, one drink ticket, and pictures at a fun Framester photo booth!

The Mighty Wurlitzer
The Mighty Wurlitzer was installed in the ornate Albee Theater on Fountain Square in December 1927 – one of only 2,200 theatre-organs produced at that time to accompany silent feature films.  When talkies took over in 1929, the theatre organ was mainly silenced.  The Albee organ was donated to the Emery Theater in 1969 (where it played for movies and other events) and was partially rebuilt by the Ohio Valley Organ Club. It was removed from the Emery in 1999 and put into storage.

The leadership at SPMH thought the historic Music Hall Ballroom would be an ideal location for the instrument, and in June 2007, Ronald F. Wehmeier, Inc., Pipe Organ Service in Cincinnati was contacted to completely rebuild and install the Wurlitzer. A donor foundation funded the entire project in the amount of $1.41 million.  Only a small number of Wurlitzers of this size still exist, and Cincinnati (the home of the Wurlitzer Company) is one of the few cities in the country to have an instrument of this quality.

The Wurlitzer was expanded in tonal colors and effects, from nineteen ranks of pipes to thirty-one ranks (a rank is made up of 61 pipes, and represents orchestral sounds, such as trumpets, flutes, tubas, strings, etc.).  A full array of percussion effects is also present – xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, chimes, and even a large Steinway grand – all playable from the giant three keyboard and pedal console, decorated in 22-karat gold leaf.  Wind for the pipes is provided by a 15 HP high pressure turbine, the electrical switching is controlled by computer, and pipes range in size from 16 feet to the size of a pencil.  In addition, the Wurlitzer is now fully computerized, so that it can be played without an organist through a digital input system.

Trent Sims – Theatre Organist
Trent Sims is a native of Dayton, OH, and from the early age of ten he began studying the organ.  In demand on the international concert circuit, he has played concerts on both theater and classical organs across the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. As a featured  organist, Sims has performed on Wurlitzer pipe organs installed in The Music Palace restaurants in the Cincinnati area and Indianapolis. He was also the Guest Artist in Residence at the Victoria Theatre in Dayton for six years, and remains an organist in Dayton.

Molly Wellmann – Mixologist
Cincinnati’s Molly Wellmann is a self-taught mixologist, entrepreneur, and author who has immersed herself in the history and knowledge of craft and classic cocktails and fine spirits. Wellmann, her team, and her establishments have been featured in local-, national-, and internationally-published outlets. She is a practiced public speaker, participating in many cocktail forums and entrepreneurial conferences, and is known for her work with women’s organizations and many other leadership organizations.  Wellmann owns and operates two popular local Cincinnati establishments:  Japp’s Since 1879 in Over-the-Rhine and Myrtle’s Punch House in East Walnut Hills.

Brock Leah Spears – Emcee
Brock Leah Spears (pronounced Broccoli Spears)  is a local dancer turned Drag Queen who after performing with the prestigious Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo in New York City, found her passion for makeup and drag. She currently performs and emcee’s for local events such as Drag Brunch at Tillie’s Lounge in Northside, 21c Halloween Party, Kindervelt 50 Fashion Show, and many other events.  Brock Leah serves with sass and class!

Young Professionals Choral Collective of Cincinnati (YPCC)
YPCC believes in creating connections through choral music. The choir was formed at Below Zero Lounge in Over-the-Rhine in November 2011 and is now made up of a roster with over 850 volunteer singers who live and work throughout greater Cincinnati, ranging in age from 21-45. Under the direction of Artistic Director KellyAnn Nelson, YPCC has quickly found a niche in the vibrant arts community of downtown Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Research & Paranormal Studies (CR&PS)
CR&PS was founded in November 2005 by a group of friends who discovered that they shared an interest in the paranormal. Since then, members of the CR&PS team has traveled to over 20 states to investigate many haunted locales. CR&PS is dedicated to investigating, documenting, and researching claims of the paranormal.

Society for the Preservation of Music Hall (SPMH)
SPMH is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, promote, improve and provide education about Music Hall in order to perpetuate Music Hall as the premier cultural center of the region and as a National Historic landmark. 

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RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles | Tue., Feb. 27 | Cincinnati Music Hall

CAA_Rain Sgt Pepper logoCINCINNATI, OH – RAIN:  A Tribute to The Beatles returns for a record-breaking eighth CAA Presents engagement, and its first time at Cincinnati Music Hall, on Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 PM as part of CincinnatiArts Association’s 2017-18 Season.

Tickets are on sale now at www.CincinnatiArts.org, (513) 621-ARTS [2787], and the Aronoff Center / Music Hall Ticket Offices. Group discount tickets for 10 or more are available by calling (513) 977-4157.

As “the next best thing to seeing The Beatles!” (Associated Press), RAIN performs the full range of The Beatles’ discography live onstage, including the most complex and challenging songs that The Beatles themselves recorded in the studio but never performed for an audience. In addition to updated sets that include brand new LED, High-Definition screens and multimedia content, RAIN will bring the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album to life in its entirety.

Together longer than The Beatles, RAIN has mastered every song, gesture and nuance of the legendary foursome, delivering a totally live, note-for-note performance that’s as infectious as it is transporting. Let RAIN take you back with all of the songs from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band along with all of your other Beatles favorites such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together,” “Hey Jude” and more! This adoring tribute will take you back to a time when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends!

Like The Beatles, the onstage members of RAIN ar not only supreme musicians, but electrifying performers in their own right.

“Just turn off your mind, relax and float downstream for a quick fix of nostalgic cheer!” -Entertainment Weekly

“A fun-filled family crowd-pleaser!” – Toronto Star

“A two-hour homage to pop music’s most brilliant gem.” – Los Angeles Times

“The enraptured audience relives the soundtrack of its life!” – Chicago Tribune

“Uncanny! RAIN are a quartet of fine musicians in their own right…as The Beatles, they triumph!”  – The Boston Herald

“An adoring Valentine to The Beatles!” – The Washington Post

“RAIN is a spectacular extravaganza…did the audience love it?  Yeah, yeah, yeah!” – The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Parents (and grandparents) and kids were on their feet bopping like crazy!” – The Courier Post

For more information, visit www.raintribute.com. Become a fan of RAIN on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RainTribute, follow RAIN on Twitter @raintribute, Instagram: @RainTribute and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/RainTribute.

CINCINNATI ARTS ASSOCIATION SPONSORS

SEASON SPONSORS:  AMERITAS (Founding Season Sponsor), FIFTH THIRD BANK (Lifetime Endowment Partner), FURNITURE FAIR, LOCAL12 WKRC, THE P&G FUND of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

SEASON PRESENTING SPONSORS:  21C Museum Hotel, Cincinnati Herald, CityBeat, Courtyard Marriott Midtown- Rookwood, Heidelberg Distributing, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Holiday Inn Downtown Cincinnati, Hyatt Regency – Cincinnati , Macy’s, Pepsi, Skyline Chili, TriHealth, Ultimate Air Shuttle, Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc.

RAIN: A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES PERFORMANCE SPONSOR:  Prosource

RAIN: A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES MEDIA PARTNER:   103.5 WGRR- FM

Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves upwards of 600,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies. Since the inception of its acclaimed arts education programs in 1995, CAA has reached more than 1.6 million students. For more information, visit www.CincinnatiArts.org.

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Findlay Market and Cincinnati Arts Association Announce Partnership to Enhance Concession Experience at Music Hall

CAA FA_logo

New items to include Findlay Market Tasting Trays
and 
a signature craft cocktail by Molly Wellman

(Cincinnati, OH) – Findlay Market and the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) are pleased to announce a partnership to enhance the guest experience at Music Hall during its Grand Opening Celebration and beyond.  The historic performing arts venue reopens to the public this weekend after an extensive renovation with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Music Hall Grand Opening Weekend concerts on Friday-Saturday, October 6-7 at 8:00 PM and a “Re(new)ed Community Open House Celebration,” presented by ArtsWave, on Saturday, October 7 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, featuring more than fifty performances and activities.

Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market, is a trusted source for high quality, locally sourced, and fresh food and will be working with independently-owned market vendors to create “Findlay Market Tasting Trays” for Music Hall guests.

Each Findlay Market Tasting Tray will feature an individual Findlay Market or Findlay Kitchen business.  The vendors will rotate on a monthly basis, giving Music Hall guests the opportunity to taste a variety of small bites from a diverse group of foodpreneurs.  The program will kick off this month with two merchants: Dean’s Mediterranean Imports and The Rhined.

Marianne Hamilton, Director of Food Innovation for the Corporation for Findlay Market, has been working with CAA and Findlay Market vendors for more than a year on this project.  “We are thrilled to be in partnership with the newly reopened Music Hall, allowing us to extend the unparalleled new guest experience to exciting new culinary offerings,” said Hamilton. “This is a unique opportunity for guests to enjoy a tasting of the local artisan food scene, handcrafted by new and longtime Findlay Market favorites.”

Findlay Kitchen, Findlay Market’s shared use incubator commercial kitchen, and the market will also offer budding food entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their wares to Music Hall audiences with occasional “pop-up” experiences in addition to items available at the concession stands. 

Supporting CAA and Findlay Market in this creative endeavor is a Culinary Council of some of Cincinnati’s brightest food and beverage stars.  Serving in an advisory capacity, these friends of Music Hall and Findlay Market and nationally-recognized “tastemakers” are contributing their expertise to help develop exciting new concepts that can be translated into the theater setting.  Serving on this esteemed committee are:

  • Jean-Robert de Cavel (JR Group:  Jean-Robert’s Table, Restaurant L , French Crust Café and Bistro, Le Bar a Boeuf, etc.)
  • David Falk (Boca Restaurant Group: Boca, Nada, Sotto)
  • Marianne Hamilton (Findlay Market)
  • Kevin Hart (HART & CRU)
  • Molly Wellmann (Wellmann’s Brands).

“We are very excited about our new partnership between Findlay Market and Music Hall – two National Historic Landmarks which are connected by the Cincinnati Connector Streetcar,” said Scott Santangelo, CAA’s Director of Operations – Music Hall. “We look forward to sharing these new concession options with our Music Hall guests, and are grateful to our friends at Findlay Market, their vendors, and our illustrious Culinary Council of food and beverage experts for their invaluable support and advice.”

The partnership between Findlay Market and CAA grew out of a larger Music Hall Guest Experience initiative being led by the creative agency Brave Berlin.  The goal of the initiative is to enhance the guest experience at Music Hall in a variety of areas, including concessions.  In addition to the Findlay Market Tasting Trays, Music Hall will feature the following enhanced concession options:

  • A signature craft cocktail – “The Rose Window” – created by Cincinnati’s pre-eminent mixologist, Molly Wellmann.  The vodka based cocktail is made with Cointreau, cranberry juice and rose water.
  • Local craft beers, including Rhinegeist Bubbles, Truth, and Cougar
  • Premium wine selections in partnership with Hart & Cru
  • The addition of Bulleit Bourbon, Hendricks Gin, and Titos Vodka as premium liquor options
  • Wine flights and craft cocktails for select Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) events
  • Premium chocolates from Divine’s European Chocolates, including milk- and dark-chocolate Turtles and hand-dipped caramel rods
  • Premium drip coffee by local fair trade coffee provider, Oakley Artisan Roasters

FINDLAY MARKET
The Corporation for Findlay Market (CFFM) is a private non-profit corporation founded in 2000 to manage Findlay Market following its renovation in 2002 and 2003. On July 1, 2004, CFFM and the City of Cincinnati entered into a lease and management agreement that authorize CFFM to manage and operate the market. The Corporation for Findlay Market is a tax-exempt 501(C)3 organization.

CINCINNATI MUSIC HALL
Cincinnati’s historic performing arts venue reopens on October 7, 2017 after a stunning and extensive $143 renovation – one of the most impressive and all-encompassing transformations in the venue’s history. Built in 1878 with private money raised from what is believed to be the nation’s first matching grant fund drive, this classic entertainment venue is considered one of the best and most beautiful concert theaters in the world, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (the sixth oldest symphony orchestra in the country), the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Cincinnati Opera (the nation’s second-oldest opera company), the Cincinnati Ballet, and the May Festival (the longest-running choral festival in the Western hemisphere), Music Hall originally served the City as its first convention center.

CINCINNATI ARTS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of two of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves upwards of 700,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies, including Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony/Pops Orchestras, and Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Cincinnati, presented by TriHealth. Since the inception of its acclaimed arts education programs in 1995, CAA has reached more than 1.5 million students. 

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