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Longmont cellist returns for hometown concert

"Cellista is a unique artist."
Cellista will perform her new album on March 23, 2024 in Boulder

After gathering for an assembly at Burlington Elementary, Cellista sat in anticipation of watching the string quartet perform. Little did she know that the performance would shape her future. 

Cellista said she remembers focusing on the cellist in the performance.

“He was just so striking to me —  he was over 6 foot tall and had an afro and an eye patch. The quartet was playing Beethoven … I remember I was sitting right next to the cellist with my hands on the ground and I could feel the vibrations from the cello and I just knew at that moment that this what I want,” she said. 

Cellista began playing the cello the summer before attending Sunset Middle School around age 11. Her love for the cello grew over the years. She trained in classical music but uses other genres of music that help her tell her story best, she said. 

Now based out of Los Angeles, Cellista is scheduled to return to the Front Range on March 23 with a performance at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder. The performance will mark the debut of her newest album “Élégie” which is the “story of a blackbird who shape shifts into human form and back, in her journey, she finds serenity,” according to a news release. 

Cellista often accompanies circus performers as a traveling cellist. Inspired by the performers she worked with, she began taking aerial performance classes two years ago. When designing her performance with the new album, she wanted to incorporate the static trapeze. She began training over 35 hours a week to prepare for the performance. 

“I do remember feeling as though the apparatus (static trapeze) was such an incredible storyteller, for me it was a very malleable object … it could be almost anything,” Cellista said. “Because most of my work is based on physical theatre, I would say I am a multi-media artist before I’m a musician, it seemed natural to incorporate the static trapeze into my work.”

This is not the first time Cellista will incorporate theatre into her performance. She began adding elements of dance, cinema and visual art in 2016. 

 "Cellista is a unique artist,” says Elsie Smith, co-founder of NECCA and Nimble Arts and Gemini Trapeze. “From music to circus to visual art and the crafted word, Élégie is a full package experience, a feast for the audience."

Cellista said she would not be where she is today without music programs in public schools. 

“I feel I have a successful career. I feel I have a career that I love. That would not have been possible without the public music program through Sunset Middle School, through Niwot High and that initial introduction to the cello through an outreach program,” she said. “Those early, early years shaped my whole life. I feel so honored that I was able to meet the cello in that way.”


Macie May

About the Author: Macie May

Macie May has built her career in community journalism serving local Colorado communities since 2017.
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