Robin Nutter has loved classical music for as long as she can remember. With a piano- and trombone-playing, choir-singing father, Nutter was surrounded by musical stylings throughout her childhood. As a military family, they moved frequently, allowing her to experience a variety of music in all corners of the country.
Upon graduating, she pursued a career in advertising and began volunteering for charitable organizations, all while juggling motherhood. A fundraising stint with Boston’s Make-A-Wish Chapter served as the initial stepping stone in Nutter’s philanthropic career. She combined her two passions, art and fundraising, and realized contributing to the growth and sustainability of cultural organizations was where her time and talents were best spent. After leading the development departments for entities such as the Plymouth Philharmonic and the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Nutter’s next chapter is here in the Coastal Bend, serving as the new executive director of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra (CCSO), and she’s already making strides.
Kylie Cooper: How have the first few months in this new role been, and what inspired you to go out for the position in the first place?
Robin Nutter: The first few months have been incredibly rewarding, busy and challenging. The warmth and enthusiasm of the Corpus Christi community have been inspiring. The dedication of our staff, musicians and the support from our board and patrons reaffirm my belief in the profound impact that symphonic music can have on a community.
I was drawn to this position because of CCSO’s rich history of artistic excellence and community engagement. The opportunity to work with such a talented group of musicians, board of directors and Maestro Hector Guzman was too enticing to pass up. I believe CCSO is a cultural beacon in Corpus, and I am excited to be a part of that journey.
KC: What lessons did you learn from your prior positions you feel will aid in your role with CCSO?
RN: My previous roles taught me the importance of fostering strong relationships with donors and supporters. Philanthropic partnerships are vital in sustaining the growth and impact of any cultural organization. The experience of crafting a compelling narrative to connect donors with the mission of an organization will undoubtedly aid in advancing CCSO’s outreach efforts.
KC: What do you believe to be the importance of a symphony orchestra in a community?
RN: A symphony orchestra serves as a cultural cornerstone for any community. It enriches lives by offering transformative musical experiences, fostering creativity and promoting cultural appreciation. Beyond entertainment, a symphony orchestra contributes to the well-being of a community by nurturing a sense of identity and pride. It provides a platform for local talent and serves as a conduit for intergenerational connections. Any town that is fortunate [enough] to have a symphony in its community is blessed. It is similar to a library book, in that you will find something of interest to everyone. So, be open to a new adventure! How can you judge what you don’t like if you’ve never had the opportunity to hear our symphony? Bring your children and open a new experience to them.
KC: With the 2023-2024 concert series kicking off Sept. 23, what are you most looking forward to this season?
RN: This season is going to be fantastic and one you do not want to miss! I am particularly excited about the diverse repertoire we have curated for our audiences, featuring both timeless classics and contemporary works. From our Opening Night with guest artist Branford Marsalis to the Symphonic Music of Selena on Nov. 11 at Whataburger Field, Home for the Holidays and a great lineup for the spring, there is something for all tastes.
KC: What would a successful first season look like for you?
RN: A successful first season for me would be marked by increased community engagement, growing audience attendance and strengthened partnerships with local organizations and donors. I aim to build a sustainable fundraising strategy that supports the long-term growth of the symphony and enhances our educational outreach programs.
KC: What do you want people who’ve never interacted with the CCSO to know about it?
RN: CCSO is more than just a group of musicians on stage. It is a vibrant community of artists, educators and music enthusiasts working together to bring world-class symphonic performances to our city. Our commitment to artistic excellence is matched only by our dedication to making classical music accessible to all. Whether you are an avid concertgoer or a first-time attendee, there is a place for you at CCSO.
KC: You moved to Corpus Christi this summer for your new role. Do you have any favorite local spots yet?
RN: Corpus Christi is a vibrant city with so much to offer; there are so many great places to visit, eat and explore. After work and on the weekends, I have been out sightseeing at many of the local attractions and dining out to eat at many trendy lunch and dinner spots — from the delicious seafood to Italian and Mexican cuisine, I have been trying it all. It is hard to say I have a favorite spot yet, as I am still exploring the area. Additionally, I have had the pleasure of enjoying the beautiful beaches which offer a serene escape from the daily hustle.