By Eleanore Turkington
Special to the Voice
The City of West Haven is known for its long, white stretches of sandy beaches and is well known for its coastal beauty. One wonders what makes a location famous, well visited and remains in our memories.
As we hold favorite recollections of lands and places we’ve visited throughout our country and our world, we always remember people who have left such impressions with us throughout our life.
There is a very special man, Dr. Dino Ciaburri, born and raised in West Haven, who has not only left a memory in the lives of many men, women and children during the course of his life, but has inspired, supported and fostered the love of music and the arts in the hearts and minds of countless people.
Recently, Dr. Ciaburri celebrated his 80th birthday with his wife Linda, his children and their families, grandchildren, step-son Jeffrey Busk, friends, fellow musicians, chorale members and celebrities.
Ciaburri, affectionately known as Dino, was encouraged during the celebration, to play the piano. Guests were delighted to hear the maestro perform famous Broadway numbers and didn’t hesitate to sing along as well. During the occasion, North Haven’s First Selectman Michael J. Freda presented Ciaburri with an award expressing appreciation for his music contributions to the Town of North Haven.
Ciaburri, the founder/Director/conductor of the Nutmeg Symphonic Pops Orchestra, has been conducting for many years starting as a youngster, continuing throughout his West Haven High School years . Ciaburri a gifted pianist, has always taught piano, organ and as a church organist in a group or as a soloist accompanying singers or choruses as a source of income during his school years.
As a college student at Southern Connecticut State University, Wesleyan University, Hunter College, Yale University and Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Ciaburri completed his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate in the field of English, Literature and Administration. He began as an English teacher at West Haven High School, certified to teach all grades.
While an English teacher at West Haven High School’s faculty his love of teaching young people, his efforts to inspire them, lead to his exposing the students to appreciate the Arts by bringing them to plays, concerts, opera productions and museums. In addition to serving as West Haven High School’s yearbook advisor, he was director of field trips, wrote WHHS’s first Humanities program for juniors and seniors and chaired commencement ceremonies until he left that school to join in the creation of South Central Community College.
Ciaburri formed his own private school in North Haven, known as Mildin Technical Institute. Mildin’s accomplishments were numerous including minority groups, people facing the loss of jobs due to factory closings, Armstrong Rubber Company included and returning veterans from Viet Nam. Ciaburri wrote every program in Mildin’s offerings and its students became successful in technical areas including court reporters and bank and insurance professionals. Mildin’s graduates were sought after by Yale University and other area employers.
He has served on more than 50 boards and commissions including the City of West Haven/U.S. Government-Director, Federal Poverty Program, City of West Haven Commission of Elderly Services, Shubert Theatre Opera Board of Directors, Milford Fine Arts Council, West Haven Arts Council Board of Directors, Orchestra New England Board of Directors, New Haven Opera Society, President of Long Wharf Theatre Board of Directors, Ward-Heitmann House Museum Board of Directors, Four Havens Music Society Board of Directors.
He has received YMCA Community Service Award; West Haven Man of the Year Award, 1995 and the West Haven Black Women’s Coalition as well as a number of community and music related accolades and honors.
In effect, Dino Ciaburri has touched the lives of much of West Haven’s population, in education, music, community service and theatre.
On Dr. Dino Ciaburri’s 80th birthday, an opportunity exists to wish him many healthy, productive and satisfying years ahead. His devotion to his family, the arts, to education and people of all ages illustrates the committed and dedicated personality of Dr. Dino Ciaburri.