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Chelsea McFarland

Musicians Behind the Scenes

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra on January 02, 2024


Where were you born? I was born in Decatur, Georgia.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? I hope the cellists don’t get mad, but I could play the Bach Cello Suites every day. Even though playing them on the horn is not what Bach envisioned, I still find playing each suite to be so satisfying. 

What is your most treasured possession? I don’t like to think of him as a possession, but I’d have to say my dog, Frank. He’s been my adventure buddy for five years now! 

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Fiorella, in the Italian market. They serve the best pasta I have ever had.

Tell us about your instrument. I play on a horn made by Dan Rauch. He’s only made about 400 horns and I play on one of the few that is made of gold brass rather than the standard yellow brass. I’ve had my horn for about seven years and I love it!

What’s in your instrument case? My instrument! I also like to have high-quality pencils for writing in my music, so I usually keep several Blackwing pencils and a sharpener in my case. 

What piece of music never fails to move you? Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”). I don’t think I can listen to the end of that piece without shedding a few tears. 

When did you join the Orchestra? I joined in 2022, so this is my second season with the Orchestra. 

Do you play any other instruments? I grew up playing piano and singing in a choir. I started playing the horn at what is considered a pretty young age, 10, so I didn’t end up playing any other instruments through middle or high school. My mom can play just about anything though. We have a music room back home that has just about any instrument you can think of! 

What’s your favorite type of food? I like any cuisine, but I’ve always had a huge sweet tooth. I love ice cream the most!

Do you have any hobbies? I love to rock climb as well as camp and backpack.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? I first heard The Philadelphia Orchestra when I was auditioning for the Curtis Institute of Music. I remember being amazed by the talent but I was mostly in awe of the incredible sound the Orchestra could produce. 

Photo: Pete Checchia

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