Celine Thackston is a flutist based in Nashville, Tennessee. She recently completed her doctorate at the University of Oregon, with specializations in Flute Performance and Arts Administration. She has also completed requirements for the Professional Certificate in Non-Profit Management. While at the University of Oregon, Celine was a student of Grammy-winning flutist Molly Barth.
Currently, she serves as the founder and artistic director for chatterbird, a classical chamber music ensemble, winner of the Nashville Scene’s Best Chamber Ensemble award in 2015. Celine has a small private studio, actively freelances in the region, coordinates grant writing efforts for the Nashville Symphony, and works as a grantwriting consultant to nonprofit organizations in Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York.
During her time in Oregon, she performed often with Portland-based ensembles that emphasized the accessibility and vitality of both contemporary and traditional classical music, appearing as a regular performer with Opera Theater Oregon, Classical Revolution PDX, Electric Opera Company, Filmusik, and the Cascadia Composers. She was an on-call flutist with the Oregon Ballet Theater, Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Columbia Symphony, Portland Summerfest Opera and the Oregon ProArte Chamber Orchestra.
As a student of comedy improvisation with Improv Nashville, Celine developed workshops using improvisational theatre games, and has presented classes in free improvisation, theatre games and creative musicianship throughout the United States. She presented a class on creativity and improvisation with her teacher and mentor, Robert Dick, at the National Flute Association’s annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri, and was a recent guest artist at his 2011 summer residency in Seattle, Washington. In 2012, her article on creative musicianship and improvisation games was published in Flute Talk magazine.
From 2005-2009, Celine served on the music faculties of Fisk University and Middle Tennessee State University, where she assisted in teaching flute lessons, general music courses and chamber ensembles. During her time Tennessee, Celine was an active freelance flutist, performing on an as-needed basis with the Memphis Symphony, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Tennessee Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, and the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra. She has maintained a competitive, robust private studio since 2005, and her students have consistently placed in All-State and Mid-State Bands, received college music scholarships, and have won high honors in competitions.
A graduate of the Steinhardt School at New York University, Celine holds a Master’s degree in Flute Performance with an emphasis in experimental music. While at NYU, she studied extended techniques for the flute, as well as traditional and contemporary flute literature with flutist and composer, Robert Dick. Additional studies at NYU were in flute and piano repertoire with Keith Underwood and Suzanne Gilchrest. She also served as NYU Orchestra Manager and Librarian, and assisted in managing publicity and concerts for the student chamber music series. In New York, she appeared with the New York New Music Ensemble, the NYU New Music Ensemble, NYU Symphony and the Robert Dick Quartet, in addition to performing solo and chamber music recitals at the United Nations Romanian Cultural Center, the Tenri Institute, the Black Box Theatre, the Society for Ethical Culture, and the TriBeCa Performing Arts Center.
Celine received her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Flute Performance from the University of Arkansas, where she was a student of Dr. Ronda Mains. During her undergraduate, she was awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda as well as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She started her college career at the University of Alabama, where she was a student of Liana Tyson and Sheryl Cohen.
In addition to the wonderful guidance from her university professors, Celine has had additional studies with Jill Felber and Deanna Little.