FREDONIA - Dr. Frank and Sallie (Shapely) Pullano will receive the Jessie Hillman Award for Excellence at the Hillman Opera performance at the State University at Fredonia's Marvel Theatre on Saturday.
Specially designed medals will be presented to the couple at 7:30 p.m. before the curtain rises on the Hillman Opera. Virginia Horvath, SUNY Fredonia president, will read a proclamation recognizing the honor that the Hillman Memorial Music Association bestows to recognize dedicated and respected musicians or educators who have demonstrated a passion for teaching or performance.
Pullano enjoyed a long association with SUNY Fredonia, beginning as an undergraduate. He received a bachelor's degree in music in 1956 and joined the School of Music faculty in 1960. He was awarded a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Illinois School Of Music in 1970. For many years, Pullano was head of the voice area at SUNY Fredonia and coordinator/producer of the Hillman Opera project. He appeared in many Hillman Operas as a student or faculty member.
Frank and Sallie Pullano are this year’s recipients of the Jessie Hillman Award for Excellence. The couple will be honored on Saturday before the 56th annual Hillman Opera performance at the State University at Fredonia’s Marvel Theatre.
Throughout his career, Pullano was active in many off-campus organizations. He was heavily involved in music and opera programs at Chautauqua Institution for 10 years, teaching studio voice and conducting opera workshops, and also appeared in many leading roles with the Chautauqua Opera Company and was a vocal soloist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
Pullano has also appeared as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, Erie (Pa.) Philharmonic, Santa Barbara (Calif.) Symphony and the Tri-Cities Opera of Binghamton. He was a baritone soloist at Westminster Presbyterian Church and Trinity Episcopal Church, both in Buffalo.
Mrs. Pullano, a 1958 SUNY Fredonia graduate, has made many contributions to Fredonia. She played the part of the mother in the campus' first production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" in 1957.
Mrs. Pullano was an elementary music teacher at Fredonia Central School system for 25 years. Soon after retiring, she was elected to the Chautauqua County Legislature from District 24. She served 10 years, including eight years as Human Services Committee chairwoman. The committee oversees the departments of Social Services, Youth, Aged, Health, Mental Health and Veterans and the county home. Day care, child support and senior citizen activities were among her key interests.
Mrs. Pullano also served on the board of directors of Hospice of Chautauqua County and Chautauqua Opportunities Inc., on the advisory board of the Chautauqua County Health Network, held a leadership position in the Dunkirk Fredonia Breast Cancer Support Group and belonged to Partners for Prevention Coalition. Along with her husband, she has been very involved in the church community, participating in activities of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fredonia. She is vice-chair for the York County Museum in Rock Hill, S.C., where the couple now live.
They have two children: Dr. Jennifer Pullano, a physician in Charleston, S.C.; and Dr. Frank B. Pullano, an associate professor of Mathematics at Winthrop University in Rock Hill.