Nashville-based flutist Celine Thackston is a versatile musician, delivering expressive, sensitive performances that blur the traditional boundaries of classical music. She is the founder and Artistic Director of chatterbird, a Nashville-based alternative classical chamber music ensemble.
Celine has performed often with a wide array of ensembles from traditional to the avant-garde, including the New York New Music Ensemble, Pocket Opera Players, Opera Theater Oregon, Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Classical Revolution, Filmusik, and Salem Chamber Orchestra, among many others. She has a special interest in creating musical experiences that emphasize the accessibility and vitality of both contemporary and traditional classical music.
Celine completed her doctorate in flute performance from the University of Oregon, where she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow and studied with Molly Barth, founding flutist of eighth blackbird. She received her master’s degree in flute performance from New York University as a student of revolutionary flutist Robert Dick. She has since served on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University and Fisk University, and has been a teaching artist and clinician for workshops around the United States. Hailed for her unconventional, fun approach to learning, she has maintained a competitive private studio since 2005.
In addition to her work as a flutist, Celine is a skilled grant writer. She coordinates grant writing efforts for the Nashville Symphony and provides expertise and assistance to arts organizations as a grant writing consultant.
“Flutist Celine Thackston’s breathless version of Ian Clarke’s exercise in extended techniques, “Zoom Tube,” would have impressed Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson.” – Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch
“The piece, in Thackston’s virtuosic hands, emphasized the flute’s chameleon-like ability in timbre, shifting from the quietest whisper of a distant shakuhachi to Dopplerian energy.” – Joseph Morgan, Nashville Arts Magazine
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