Damian and Tara Savarino speak with The Bridge Online
courtesy of Damian Savarino
|Posters, newspaper articles, and television announcements promoted the recital given by three Messiah College music faculty in Campobello di Licata.
Damian, tell us about your role at Messiah College.
Damian: I’ve been here since 2003, so I’m entering my 5th year at Messiah. Dominic had just been born— he was three months old when we moved. We were living in New York City, in Manhattan. Tara was primarily working in arts administration at the time. But also, we’re both singers, so I was singing and teaching, Tara was doing arts administration and singing. She did her Lincoln Center debut while we were there. When we were anticipating Dominic’s birth, we started to realize that it would be difficult for us to stay in New York with a child. This position came up … and we were very fortunate, things sort of fell into place very quickly. My first year here I was an adjunct. Then became full time the year after.
And you teach voice?
Damian: Yes, I teach voice (I’m a senior lecturer) and I am developing an opera curriculum. Tara has two private studios for voice students, one in the Mechanicsburg area and one in New Cumberland. She splits here time between teaching voice at the two studios— high school level through adults.
Tara: We’ve done one recital here with Richard Roberson, the two of us combined. I’ve done a recital with Dr. Roberson at the State Street Academy with which Messiah is partnering. Damian has done a couple solo recitals since we’ve been here.
Damian: We’ve both been involved as local performers. We’ve both performed at our church and that kind of thing. And Tara is going to be teaching adjunct starting this year.
How do you do all this with a family?
Tara: Well, we tag team, literally. And one day a week we have coverage for our boys.
This may be the only kind of job situation where you could both be fully engaged in the careers that you love and raise a family at the same time. Why don’t you tell me the story of this trip, from the beginning…
Damian: Well, I’ll try to make it brief. When my mother retired she had a lot of free time and she decided to start getting involved in genealogy (and she’s Italian by a different name). She was very interested in getting involved in the Savarino genealogy. She started to trace all these people, and then they were in touch through email. She said, “I want to go and visit these people.” So maybe four or five years ago my parents took a trip to Sicily, and they made contact with all these relatives. Stayed in the same house that we stayed in.
She came back and said, “Oh, you’ll love it.” And we said, Yeah, yeah, yeah,” but you know we were busy with our careers and with the birth of our son. It just wasn’t really on our radar screen to do this. But my mother kept saying, "You really should find a way to go to Sicily. Maybe you could do a concert.” So she sort of planted the seed. So, fast forward into last year. I said to Tara, “Maybe we should think about doing this.” Dr. Roberson helped me to find an internal grant. I applied for it, and I said to Tara, "If I get this grant, that will pay for all my expenses as a faculty member. Then all we’d have to do is find a way to get you over there.”
Tara:: And Dominic.
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