By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
BREVARD -- Summertime is the official season of travel. While many take off for exotic locations throughout the world, Richard Sabino has spent the last two summers in the Ukraine.
"The director of a conducting master class I participated in several years ago introduced me to a service in New York that books qualified guest-conductors with orchestras in Europe," said Mr. Sabino, founder of the Central Florida Winds Orchestra. "If accepted as a qualified conductor by this organization, we can then request dates with orchestras that fit our schedules."
In 2012, Mr. Sabino first traveled to the Ukraine, where he served as guest conductor for the National Philharmonic of Ukraine in Dnepropetrovsk and the State Academic Concert Orchestra of the Ukraine in Kiev.
Before being chosen by the respective groups, both the National Philharmonic of Ukraine and the State Academic Concert Orchestra of the Ukraine reviewed Mr. Sabino's work.
"The orchestras review your work through documents and audio and video recordings or rehearsal and performances," Mr. Sabino said. "If the conductor meets the standards of the organization, an invitation may be made."
This past May, Mr. Sabino once again traveled back to Kiev to work with the State Academic Concert Orchestra of the Ukraine, as well as the United States Embassy and Rotary Clubs in Kiev.
When asked if there are any major differences between working with orchestras in America and those in the Ukraine, Mr. Sabino said there are many.
"Most orchestras in the Ukraine are paid by the state," he added. "Their pay is in-line with median incomes for the Ukraine, which is about $500 per month, after taxes."
Mr. Sabino also noted that the musicians, who are very well trained, have a much different rehearsal schedule than those back in America.
"Their rehearsal discipline is quite different. In our country, a two- or two and a-half-hour rehearsal is the norm," Mr. Sabino said. "I enjoyed the four-hour rehearsals in Kiev."
Despite their differences, Mr. Sabino said that the personality traits of the musicians in the Ukraine mirror that of their American counterparts.
"Violinists always react in a similar fashion, while trumpet players are generally pretty confident folks," Mr. Sabino said. "Cellists are quietly analytical."
Mr. Sabino currently has made no plans to return to the Ukraine in summer 2014, as he has a very busy schedule here in Brevard.
"I will be directing the Mozart Requiem on March 23 at Riverside Presbyterian Church in Cocoa Beach and have been invited to lead the final concert next July for the New York Classical Music Society. So that, the Central Florida Winds and Chamber Winds, and my day job at Edward Jones keeps me pretty busy."
For more information about the Central Florida Winds Orchestra and the Central Florida Chamber Winds, visit www.CFwinds.org, or call (321) 223-6688.