Blackinton received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Michigan and his Doctoral degree from Catholic University of America.
Blackinton taught at the University of Delaware from 1965 to 1980 and at Brigham Young University from 1980 to 2008, when he retired from teaching to accept a volunteer position as director of the Nauvoo Brass Band. In addition to his responsibilities as Director of Bands at BYU, Blackinton was head of the Woodwind, Brass, Percussion and Conducting areas of the School of Music. Blackinton co-directed the Cougar Marching Band with Dan Bachelder from 1980-1983 and was the director from 1983-1985.
Blackinton is active as an adjudicator and guest conductor. His bands have performed at Music Educators National Conference and at both the national and divisional meetings of the College Band Directors National Association as well as the American Bandmasters Association convention.
He has conducted the Brigham Young University Wind Symphony in England, Wales, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand,the Philippines and throughout Europe. He is past President of the western division of the College Band Directors National Association and President of the Utah Music Educators Association.