Dr. Sal Fiore, director of four musical groups at West Islip High School and popular member of the faculty, died early Tuesday morning. He was 52.
Fiore was well known for his musical guidance of more than 200 students and also acted as the director of Vocal Motion, the high school’s singing and dancing troupe. The group has performed in front of large audiences throughout the country, including Disney World and Universal Studios in both Florida and California.
Nancy Lenz, the district publicist and spokesperson, said that students and their parents were consoling one another in the high school on Tuesday morning.
“It’s a shock to everyone,” Lenz said. “He is loved by his music students and many of them have commented this morning that he’s been like a father to them.
“They are very upset with the news that he passed.”
Fiore, who went by the nickname "Doc," had been with the district for 24 years. He was also the director of the West Islip Choral and the West Islip Concert Choir. Lenz said that just last night, he was at the high school checking on the lighting and sound of the upcoming SEPTA performance.
Fiore held a doctorate in sacred music and master’s degrees in music history, choral conducting and theology. He also had a postgraduate diploma in educational administration.
Lenz said that the district hasn’t received any details as to how Fiore died. She said that the high school was providing counseling for students and their parents on Tuesday.
“He was an extremely talented man who was completely dedicated to his music students,” Lenz said. “This is a very big loss to the students, school district and the community.”
Funeral services will take place at Moloney Funeral Home, 132 Ronkonkoma Ave., Ronkonkoma. Visiting hours are tomorrow, Wednesday 3-5 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m. The funeral is Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Church in Ronkonkoma, 45 Church St., Ronkonkoma.