Fortunato (Frederick) Samuel Mirliani (1909 - April 21, 1996) was a pioneer in the teachings of jazz and musical composition. His legacy has lasted for years in New England after spending most of his life teaching in over thirteen schools in the Massachusetts/Connecticut area, primarily, Holy Cross College. He was nicknamed "Doc" because he was seen as a doctor in music, and spread his love for the art to his students. He is now honored by a memorial and a golf tournament named the "Doc Mirliani Golf Tournament" held at Stanley Golf Course, both which are situated in Connecticut, and the tournament is run by his youngest son, Gerald Mirliani, and is meant to raise money for music scholarships for seniors who attend New Britain High School. Frederick was included in the "Who`s Who" of America in the `30s, a list of important figures in the United States. He also composed the current alma matter for New Britain High School.
Frederick was born in Chicago to Italian immigrants Antonio and Maria Mirigliani. He and his parents moved to Italy and lived there until he was three, and then returned to the United States. Frederick mastered the violin and mandolin at age seven and could eventually play nearly any instrument perfectly. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1932; he had a bachelor`s degree in English and music and named the best musician in the college. He earned his Master of Music at Boston University. Frederick was raised Catholic and had a younger brother, Samuel. He was cousins with Italian celebrity, Enzo Mirigliani.
"Doc"`s talent was not left unnoticed. It was recognized by figures such as Glen Miller who invited Frederick to join his band, but Mirliani turned it down, wishing to teach instead of perform. He received a Master`s Degree from Boston University and went off to pursue his career. He taught at New Britain High School and raised the level of its band and choir programs along with many other musical programs in New England. "Doc" went on to represent the east coast at the National Music Education Association Festival in 1946. He then taught at his old school, Holy Cross, for twenty years. Even in his later years, he continued to love and teach music. He led a jazz group through his eighties and his name still remains greatly respected amongst musicians and performers in the United States, mainly the ones who were honored to know him personally.
Frederick "Doc" Mirliani, a former educator in New Britain, was known for his enthusiastic and tireless work in establishing music education programs in New Britain schools during the 1930s and 40s. Through his enthusiastic efforts, Mirliani developed the high school's marching band, the orchestra, and choruses, laying the foundation for the current program that provides wonderful opportunities and experience for local students.
From source: www.csdnb.org/nbhs/NBHSWebSite/GolfTournament.htm
Frederick "Doc" Mirliani: A Pioneer in Music Education By Paige Fogarty '00 Frederick S. Mirliani Frederick S. Mirliani was a music prodigy from the age of seven when he excelled at the violin. He was able to play almost every instrument during his lifetime, and often said, "Music is my life." His extraordinary gift led him to Holy Cross where he graduated in 1932 with a bachelor's degree in both English and music. While at Holy Cross, Mirliani was chosen as the best musician in the College. Mirliani's talent was recognized by many professionals in the music industry, including Glenn Miller who invited Mirliani to join his dance band. He turned Miller down in 1938 in order to pursue studies in music education which would become his life's work. "I like to share what I know," he once said. "I could play with any band in the country. I'm that confident, but I want to teach." Mirliani would do just that, receiving his master's degree in music education from Boston University. He went to work at New Britain High School in Connecticut where he earned the nickname "Doc" as the students saw him as a doctor of notes. He was largely responsible for the success of its band and chorus. While there, he was selected to represent the eastern United States at the National Music Education Association Festival in 1946. His success in New Britain led him back to his alma mater where he served for 19 years. During his time at Holy Cross, the music department flourished, As director, Mirliani developed bands and expanded the vocal department to three glee clubs and many smaller groups. His most important contribution to the College was the reintroduction of academic classes in music. Mirliani continued to pursue his interest in music education and performance after he left Holy Cross. During the 1960s, he pioneered a music program in the state community college system in Massachusetts. At the age of 78, Mirliani was still conducting a jazz group. Throughout his career, he could always be found imparting the joy of music and using his extraordinary gift for arranging and conducting. "I know music," he said. "There's a certain sound I get from my groups." "Doc" passed away in April of 1996 at the age of 86, but to those he taught and conducted, that sound will always be remembered.
Frederick married Marjorie Linnehan and had five children: Judith, Marie, Frederick, Marjie, and Gerald. The family was centered in New England. Many of his family attend the tournament every year including his grandchildren; Gerald has been to the tournament almost each time with his son, Matthew Mirliani, to support the never-ending impact his father had on students in New England.
Frederick "Doc" Mirliani, a former educator in New Britain, was known for his enthusiastic and tireless work in establishing music education programs in New Britain schools during the 1930s and 40s. Through his enthusiastic efforts, Mirliani developed the high school's marching band, the orchestra, and choruses, laying the foundation for the current program that provides wonderful opportunities and experience for local students... ...The tournament was established by the family of "Doc" Mirliani to perpetuate the recognition of his achievements through the annual award of scholarships to deserving college-bound students in the New Britain High School Music Program. In 1998 the Mirliani Family enlisted the cooperation of the NBHS Parents' Music Association to assist in managing the tournament. The result of this cooperation has been phenomenal growth in participation and earnings.
From source: http://www.csdnb.org/nbhs/NBHSWebSite/GolfTournament.htm
NEW BRITAIN — The 'Doc' Mirliani annual golf tournament will be held Aug. 22 at the Stanley Municipal Golf Course. A cooperative effort of the Mirliani family and the New Britain High School Parents' Music Association, this is the major fundraiser that provides scholarships to NBHS music students.
From source:http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19835998&BRD=1641&PAG=461&dept_id=595283&rfi=6Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Doc_Mirliani