Christine Harrington is a cellist with a diverse musical background. She is a classically trained cellist, having studied with master teachers, Alexander Kougell, David Wells, and Julie Charland-Ribchinsky. For 21 years Christine was a member of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony. She was also a cellist with the (RI) Ocean State Chamber Orchestra, trios, and duos, as well as performing, premiering, and recording the music of RI composer, Eliane Aberdam. For the past 25 years Christine has pursued a variety of alternative styles of music; Celtic fiddle music, pop and rock, folk, and contemporary Jazz. Christine had the privilege of studying improvisation with bassist, Dave Zinno, and trombonist/composer, Hal Crook.
Since 2019 Christine has regularly performed with the Wilmington, NC, based Tallis Chamber Orchestra and has been enjoying her musical collaboration and performances with pianist/singer/song-writer, Phil Giallombardo. Recently, Christine and Phil recorded a compilation of Phil’s original tunes, as well as a variety of cover tunes, including some by Randy Newman, J. D. Souther, Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer), and Billy Joel, to name a few..
Christine Harrington has also had the pleasure of performing with Ray Charles, Judy Collins, Itzak Perlman, and Jean-Pierre Rampal. She is the cellist on jazz pianist, Joe Parillo’s CDs of original jazz piano/cello compositions, “Sand Box” (2001) & “Turn Around Back” (2018), “Celtic Fiddle Fest” (2001) with fiddlers, Johnny Cunningham, Kevin Burke and Christian LeMaitre. Christine is the cellist on the Bohemian Quartet’s CD’s, “Beyond Tradition” (2010), “Silhouette” (2012), and “For You” (2017). Two of these CD’s, “Sand Box” and “Beyond Tradition”, were placed on ballots for Grammy Nominations by the Grammy Association.
In addition to performing, Christine enjoyed a career as a public-school music teacher and orchestra director. In December 2013 Christine was one of only a few from across the U.S. who were selected to be highlighted as a “Director Who Makes a Difference” by the School Band & Orchestra magazine. She also was featured in the March 2007 STRAD magazine in an article on techniques employed to help students achieve success in the audition process.
Christine has presented many workshops throughout the country on new music for improvising strings as well as workshops for music educators in Rhode Island and Massachusetts on building string programs and teaching alternative strings techniques. In the early 2000’s Christine was one of 8 founders of the International Jazz Educators Association “Alternative Strings Styles” which became a nation-wide movement to teach students a greater variety of musical styles (jazz, rock, fiddle) rather than focusing primarily on classical music. A major component of this initiative was to promote improvisation among orchestra students. At that time, the availability of alternative styles of music for orchestra students was practically non-existent. As a member of the founding group, Christine communicated with composers from around the world encouraging them to write music to fill this gap in music education. As a result, hundreds of composers responded with new music for publication. Since 2008, the American String Teachers’ Association (ASTA) has made the alternative string styles an expansive and valuable component of their annual national conference. Currently, every publisher of student orchestral music carries a large selection of alternative styles music for orchestra.
Christine was the special guest conductor of the RI All State Junior Division Orchestra, the Long Island String Festival, Eastern Region CT Junior Orchestra, and the Southern Region CT Junior Orchestra. She was a conductor for the RI Philharmonic Youth Orchestra program from 1991 until 1999 and the Ocean State Youth Orchestra string ensemble from 1999 until 2000.
Christine is a past president of both the Rhode Island Music Educators Association and the Rhode Island String Teachers Association and was the Education Coordinator for the non-profit, after-school Community String Project in Bristol, RI. Christine collaborated with music educators across the country on developing the national music standards for NAfME that are currently used in our public schools throughout our country
Christine holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT, and an MALS in Literature and Art from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.