Stacy Nickell, cellist, has performed with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra since 1998. She has been a full time member since 2001. Helping to create (and perform)educational and interactive programs for the KSO’s award-winning outreach program at schools, libraries, hospitals, and nursing homes has been a large part of her work with the Knoxville Symphony. The performances are held throughout the season in Knox, Blount, and Loudon counties.
Stacy’s book entitled “Better than Cookies, as Good as Cake” was written to introduce young children to the string quartet, and to the joy of making music. The KSO published the book this year as part of their 75th anniversary celebration and is currently being read and performed by her KSO quartet for story-time in Knox County and surrounding counties. Interest in the book is spreading and has been purchased by libraries and schools as far as Texas and Kansas. Stacy plans to write additional books about the string quartet, developing both the music concepts and the characters.
Stacy has enjoyed playing with the quartet, “The Delights” since 2002. They have performed many KSO outreach programs, including programs at “The School for the Deaf.” A tour in Kansas, where they performed for a library organization, was also a highlight. The Delights have done a variety of eclectic programs at Pellissippi State College. One of these concerts featured music of the Middle East and Asia. Stacy helps arrange and compose music for these programs, and for her quartet’s KSO outreach programs, in order to share unique and unexpected material with the audience.
Though firmly rooted in the classical music world, Stacy’s tastes include many other genres such as Celtic, jazz, Klezmer, and Appalachian folk. As a member of the cello, harp and flute trio Farr Horizons, she regularly performs concerts and other special events throughout East Tennessee. Recently Stacy performed a strictly improvisational program with Native American Flutist, Randy McGuiness at the new Clayton Performing Arts Center at Maryville College.
Before coming to the KSO, Stacy served as assistant principal cellist and director of the public schools program with the West Virginia Symphony for 12 years. She was also taught string education classes for the University of Charleston in West Virginia. In West Virginia, she also performed, arranged, and recorded music with the Appalachian/Celtic band, Mountain Thyme .
Stacy graduated summa-cum-laude with a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a Master’s degree in Music Performance from Ohio University. She also completed and received her teaching certification from the University of Tennessee in 2001. Summer educational experiences, listed sequentially, include Interlochen Music camp (two summers), Aspen Music festival (one season), Bay View Music Conservatory in Michigan (two seasons), and Juennesse Musicale World Orchestra (two seasons).
Stacy taught orchestra classes for two years in the Knox County schools after a part time position as cello instructor at Maryville High School. Throughout her career, she has taught cello privately in her home. She holds annual recitals for the students in her current studio.
Stacy has children, Cecilia, 20, and Max, 19. Other interests, besides family and friends, include tennis, biking, hiking, kayaking, and fixing up old houses.