School may be named after late Maestro - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

School may be named after late Maestro

Maestro Erich Kunzel (Source: Cincinnati Pops) Maestro Erich Kunzel (Source: Cincinnati Pops)

By Dan Wells - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Public School Board is talking about re-naming the School for Creative and Performing Arts after the late Maestro Erich Kunzel.

The conductor and founder of the Cincinnati Pops died last week of cancer.

Kunzel's name was already placed on a street sign next to the SCPA, but the idea of placing his name on the school itself has the community divided. On Monday, parents, teachers and students packed the Cincinnati School Board meeting to share their thoughts.

"Maestro Kunzel was a fantastic man, very committed to the building of the new facility and very committed to its funding and its location near Music Hall and Over the Rhine," said John Banner, who supports changing the name of SCPA to honor Kunzel. "He did so much. We need to honor him. This doesn't take away from the school's name, it adds to it."

If the school board votes to re-name SCPA, it would be called the Erich Kunzel School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Everyone seems to agree that Maestro Kunzel should be honored in some way, but current students and the school's alumni group suggested creating a statue of Kunzel or putting his name on an auditorium, not taking away the identity of the school as a whole.

"We have 33 years of history as The School for Creative and Performing Arts, which is the first school for creative and performing arts in the country," said Lori Wyant, a SCPA teacher.

The ultimate decision on whether or not to re-name the school lies with the school board.

"The way the way this happens through protocol is now we have to introduce a resolution and lay it over to the next meeting," said school board president Eileen Reed. "So I would expect there is going to be a resolution, it would be at our next full board meeting and then it would be considered at that time, and then lay it over for a decision on the time there after."

The next full school board meeting is not until October.

"Bottom line - we're a family, and sometimes families disagree," said Robbie Todd with the SCPA alumni group. "So what we have to do as a family is to sit down and discuss how we can work this out for everyone's happiness."

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