South Shore Conservatory President Robert Cinnante

Robert in the lobby of the Hingham campus with Summer Music Festival (SMF) Teaching Academy Fellows.  

November 9, 2021 by Laura Winters

Earlier this year, South Shore Conservatory (SSC) welcomed a new President, Robert Cinnante. Cinnante will be instrumental in leading New England’s largest community school for music and the arts as SSC kicks off its second half-century.

Cinnante is no stranger to the Boston area having received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music and classical vocal performance from New England Conservatory.

To welcome him to town, the Anchor decided to get to know the man behind the music a bit more and are delighted to feature him as the newest addition to our Humans of Hingham section.

Hingham, meet Robert.

Robert being interviewed by Harbor Media’s Joe Collymore on the stage of the Carr Amphitheater.

What are your goals for the future of South Shore Conservatory?
I strongly believe the work that we do is essential, because it exists in service to the community. I want people in the communities that we serve to see us as a resource, and I want to create opportunities for them to access that resource. This starts with people knowing that we’re here, recognizing our role and relevance as part of the cultural fabric of the community, and understanding all that we offer through programs, partnerships, and performances. This means ensuring that South Shore Conservatory is a warm and welcoming place for all, committed to equity and excellence in the experience that we provide our families.

How do you think the arts impact early childhood education?
The arts are a gift best given early. Music and movement are the foundation of life’s soundtrack, innate to our experience as human beings, so the earlier we can give children a framework to explore this, the better. We are seeing this take shape each and every day with programs like Music Together®, our arts-integrated preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, Suzuki, and FUNdamentals group classes, as well as our partnership with Brockton Public Schools through ImagineARTS. Programs like these help children to look at life through a creative lens that builds confidence, inspires self-expression, and fosters critical thinking.

Robert with Hingham native and South Shore Conservatory alum, Nick Palmer, conductor, after the opening concert of Evenings Under the Stars, which marked South Shore Conservatory’s return to in-person concerts this past summer.

What is your favorite type of music?

If you had to listen to one song everyday on repeat, what would it be?
There is so much wonderful music, so I’d hate to imagine a world where I have to resign myself to just one! “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini's opera Turandot gets me every time.

How long have you lived in Hingham?
Since August of this year!

What do you like most about it here?
I find myself continuously drawn to Hingham’s strong sense of community pride.

Do you have a favorite local spot around town?
This is a tough one, because Hingham is full of so many uniquely wonderful spots, but if I have to pick one, it’s the beautiful, serene Hingham Harbor.

What is your favorite Hingham restaurant and meal you often order there?
Another  tough one, because we are lucky to have several very good restaurants right here in Hingham! I’m going to say Square Cafe, and the meal I order most is their caesar salad with white anchovies and shrimp. I should admit a bit of bias though, because I learned that the owner, Luke Draheim, took trumpet lessons at South Shore Conservatory as a child.

Do you have a favorite or go-to vacation spot? If so, where?
My wife and I spent our honeymoon, January of 2020, in Spain, and can’t wait to go back! We spent the majority of our trip in Madrid, having been inspired by the 2019 critically acclaimed film Pain and Glory.

Robert and his wife, Mijin Choi, at South Shore Health’s Luminaria event this past summer.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it.”—Aristotle

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