Remembering the University of Cincinnati’s Wilson Auditorium

UC's Wilson Auditorium.

UC’s Wilson Auditorium.

This month, the University of Cincinnati says goodbye to the 81-year-old Wilson Auditorium, the debut venue for CCM’s Musical Theatre program (with the 1969 production of Sweet Charity) and the onetime home of CCM’s Department of Drama.

Originally opened in December of 1931, the building was constructed in remembrance of Obed J. Wilson, a local self-made businessman and arts advocate. At the time of its opening, the building featured then cutting-edge amenities including a projection room for “motion-and-sound pictures” with the capability of relaying radio broadcasts.

Vacant for the past decade and a half, Wilson Auditorium’s demolition was approved in 2006 and is scheduled to be completed this fall.

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To mark the end of an era, CCM Drama Chair Richard E. Hess looks back on the impressive legacy of Wilson Auditorium:

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In Memoriam: Van Cliburn

Janelle Gelfand looked back on the life and career of pianist Van Cliburn in yesterday’s issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The internationally acclaimed pianist had a number of Cincinnati ties, starting with his mother, Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn, who graduated from CCM with a Bachelor of Music in 1915.

Van Cliburn was a generous supporter of CCM, establishing the Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn Student Lounge in the old Mary Emery Hall in honor of his mother and funding an undergraduate piano scholarship at CCM for many years. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Learn more about Cliburn’s indelible legacy here.

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