By Denise Dick
Opera and classical music played in the Pipino home while Christine Pipino Muransky and her siblings were growing up.
The late Donald P. Pipino, a self-taught musician, used to direct classical music and opera selections while the family washed the dishes, said Muransky, his daughter.
“He loved live perform-ances more than anything,” she said.
Muransky and her husband, Edward Muransky, donated $100,000 to the Youngstown State University College of Creative Arts and Communication to support the performing arts series in perpetuity.
The series was named after Pipino, a business owner, musician and patron of the arts, who regularly attended YSU music and theater performances.
The university announced the naming at a news conference Friday that also marked the 145th anniversary of the Dana School of Music.
“He loved coming to Dana and to performances at Boardman High School and to the Met in New York,” Muransky said.
Her father played saxophone, clarinet and mandolin and loved the symphony. She said the family would continue to support the Dana School of Music.
YSU President Randy J. Dunn called it a special day.
“We not only have the opportunity to recognize the long, proud history of one of the nation’s fine music schools, but we also celebrate a man whose life was dedicated to his family, his business and to the betterment of the [Mahoning] Valley,” Dunn said.
During tough economic times, it can be challenging to cultivate support for the arts, the president said.
“Great universities have a wide range of opportunities, particularly in the arts,” Dunn said. “As a supporter of the arts myself, I’m happy and excited about this.”
Bryan DePoy, dean of the College of Creative Arts and Communication, said Dana’s anniversary marks not just 145 years of existence.
“It’s 145 years of commitment to musical excellence,” he said.
Pipino loved live music, and the donation to name the performing-arts series after him will allow it to continue for current and future generations, he added.
“Nothing can supplant the magic of a live musical performance,” the dean said.
Musical performances by students, Victor Cardamone, a tenor, and Spencer Reed, pianist, and soprano Sierra McCorvey with pianist Mary Ann Bush, were part of the festivities, which also included an anniversary cake for the college
Michael Crist, Dana’s director, said the school was started by 23-year-old William Henry Dana on the third floor of a hardware store in Warren in 1868.
“He knew there was a need for a music school for soldiers coming back from the Civil War,” he said.
Dana now boasts 250 majors and 50 faculty.