Thursday, March 29, 2018

Common Council To Vote On Naming Of High School Arts Center

Submitted by Frank Logiudice. The Eye welcomes all signed submissions, whether news or commentary.
The Middletown High School Performing Arts Center moved a step closer to it being named the Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center. On Monday, March 5, 2018, the Middletown City Council at its regular meeting held a public hearing on this proposal.  Councilman Gene Nocera offered the following resolution naming the Performing Arts Center after the long-time MHS Band Director, Music Teacher & Arts Consultant.

“Whereas, Santo Fragilio, as a career educator for more than 68 years in the Middletown Public Schools, is personally responsible for exceptional contributions to the performing arts program for performing and non-performing students, from elementary thru high school; and 

Whereas, Santo Fragilio’s work included local programs ranging from the summer band programs for 5th and 6th graders and combined concerts with Woodrow Wilson High School and Middletown High School to bringing the Middletown High School Band and Chorus to performance venues around the world, including the 1965 World’s Fair in New York, the International Band Festival in Vienna Austria in 1972, and tours thru Austria, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland; and

Whereas, Santo Fragilio created the Middletown Public Schools Cultural Council, giving focus and direction to equity in the arts and opportunities for all students to participate in the arts by offering scholarships; and 

Whereas, Santo Fragilio had a wide positive impact on cultural growth throughtout our community as a whole, having established the Middletown Symphonic Band in 1979 as well as the South Green Annual Christmas Sing; and

Whereas, Santo Fragilio’s dedication to this community continued into retirement at the Village at South Farms where he was heard practicing his violin daily and often provided musical entertainment for his fellow residents; and

Whereas, Santo Fragilio’s love for this community was further evidenced by his bequest to our schools; and

Whereas, given the extraordinary devotion to music, our students and this community and upon the recommendation of the Board of Education’s Naming Committee, the Public Works & Facilities Commission, voted 5-0 at its meeting held on February 15, 2018 that the following name be accepted for the music hall at Middletown High School:  The Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Common Council of the City of Middleown:

That in accordance with the Middletown Code of Ordinances, this name is hereby approved & accepted.”

After Councilman Nocera made the resolution he had a few kind comments about Mr. Fragilio.  “I worked with Santo for a good 50 years.  I worked along with him on the Cultural Council.  Santo was such an incredible person of integrity.  He was an educator that epitomized the reflective practitioner approach.  He would always of course be very positive about whatever students and the administration was involved in.  But, he would always find a way to say how can we do this better the next time.  He had a way of always raising the bar.  What a wonderful man.  It was a honor to work with him for so long.”

Marco Gaylord, the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Naming Committee and the Director of District Operations/ K-12 Fine Arts Director for the Middletown Public Schools also commented on naming the PAC after Mr. Fragilio.  Gaylord said “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Santo. He means a lot not just to me but also to all of the students that he touched and to our entire community.  I want to thank you and everyone involved in making this happen.  It is quite an honor for a man, mentor teacher, department head, director, conductor, musician, and everything that he’s done for the students.  Sixty-eight years in a position to help improve the community.  It is a great honor for Santo.  Gaylord noted that at the April 2, 2018 City Council Meeting Santo Fragilio’s family would be at this meeting when the City Council will vote on the resolution to formally name the PAC at MHS after Mr. Santo Fragilio.

Former Board of Education Chairman Vincent J. Loffredo thanked Mayor Drew, and City Council members for their consideration and endorsement of naming PAC after Mr. Fragilio.

City Councilman Gerald Daley pointed out the reason the City Council could not act on the resolution at the March 5th meeting.  Daley said “The reason we can’t vote on the ordinance tonight is that the code of ordinances for the city requires that before the council name any city property they are asked to hold a public hearing at one council meeting and not take action until the next council meeting.  We are precluded from taking action tonight.”

The Middletown City Council will vote on the proposal to name the Performing Arts Center at MHS after long-time MHS Music Teacher & Band Director at it’s April 2, 2018 meeting at 7 p.m. at the Middletown City Hall.

I encourage all former students of Santo Fragilio, former colleagues of his and fellow musicians to call and write to Mayor Daniel Drew, members of the City Council and to show up at the April 2, 2018 City Council meeting at 7 strongly urge them to vote yes to name the Performing Arts Center at Middletown High School after him.  If you cannot make the meeting please call the Mayor's Office at 860-344-3401 or e-mail Mayor Drew at and e-mail the city council at to let your opinion known.

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