The choral director of Prince George's County Community College was found stabbed to death in a New York hotel room early Sunday morning, New York police reported. Police called the killing "unexplained" and said there were no suspects in the case.
Peter B. Miraglia, 41, of 5004 Ravenswood Rd., Riverdale, took a train to New York Friday evening with plans to attend the opening performance of the Metropolitan Opera, "Don Carlos," Saturday night, according to associates.
Police said Miraglia's body was found in his room at the Hotel Edison, an aging, modest hotel on West 47th Street, at around 5 a.m. with numerous stab wounds in the body. There was no indication that Miraglia had been robbed, police said.
Yesterday, students and teachers at Prince George's Community College sadly planned a memorial service Wednesday for Miraglia, who they said was a dedicated teacher accomplished at conducting musical performances and in playing several keyboard instruments.
Miraglia began teaching at Prince George's in 1967, after obtaining a master's degree in music and completing a degree at a Catholic seminary, according to Dr. Fank Scimonelli, the college's dean of music.
"He was an expert in early music, in the Gregorian chants and Baroque and Renaissance work," Scimonelli said.
Miraglia taught conducting and music theory, but was best known for his direction of the school choir of several hundred, associates said. Miraglia had already begun to rehearse the college choir for its Easter concert, Scimonelli said.
Friends said that Miraglia often traveled alone to New York for operas and concerts, and spent his summers at choral workshops in Europe, where he frequently was a conductor.
"He was quiet, especially about telling about his own accomplishments," said Sally Long, a fellow music teacher. "But he was also very friendly and charming and the kids liked him tremendously."
In addition to teaching, Miraglia was also choir conductor and organist for a Catholic church in Crofton, Scimonelli said.
Miraglia lived alone, and is survived by his mother, father and sister in Carnegie, Pa., Scimonelli said.