CODA | Summer 2017

Chris Pinelo


As we return to Music Hall following an historic renovation, I wanted to return to something I shared back in May of 2016. This treasured icon was about to shut down for 19 months to allow for critically important work, and for many, myself included, it was difficult to say "so long for now" to Music Hall. 

I wrote back then, "Music Hall has played an important part of my life and I'd venture to guess many of you feel the same way.

"Like many Cincinnatians, I can recount coming to CSO Young People's Concerts with my elementary school class. As a child, I remember being awed by The Nutcracker at Music Hall and experiencing Bizet's spectacular opera Carmen for the first time. The May Festival's Carolfest afforded me a first experience 'singing' at Music Hall; thanks to a CSO subscription I was exposed to a dazzling sonic palette of orchestral colors starting at age 10. It all happened right here at Music Hall.

"As a younger adult, I had the privilege to be my late grandmother's 'date' for a Cincinnati Pops television show taping, and attended a diverse array of performances with friends and family - everything from rock concerts to operas to orchestra performances. I joined the May Festival Chorus in 1996 and really got to sing at Music Hall for the first of many times. What a thrill!

"As a member of the CSO staff since 2001, I've gotten to know virtually every nook of this grand old building, experienced more performances than I can easily count, stepped in to narrate a Young People's Concert performance of Peter and the Wolf with 10 minutes' notice, and even 'tied the knot' with my beautiful wife in the Grand Foyer while A Prairie Home Companion rehearsed in Springer Auditorium. (They did eventually 'take a break' so we could finish the ceremony.)

"The connection I feel with Music hall is palpable...and I'm confident this amazing renovation and restoration will ensure that my son and his children and their children will be able to create lasting memories in this beautiful place."

That was then and this is now. After months and months of hard work from so many, Music Hall is more welcoming, more accessible and more comfortable than ever, and the building's historic grandeur has been retained and even enhanced. A new chapter begins. 

Thank you to the many people who made this renovation possible, and I want to especially thank Otto M. Budig Jr. for his tenacious leadership in seeing this project through. It truly is a time for celebration!