Chelsea McFarland joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as third horn in the 2022–23 season. Born in Decatur, Georgia, she fostered a love for orchestral playing with the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Jennifer Montone and Jeffrey Lang. After graduating in 2018, Ms. McFarland joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as third horn for four seasons. Additionally, she has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and as a member of Symphony in C.
A passionate educator, Ms. McFarland was a faculty member at the Atlanta Horn Festival, where she was also a featured artist; a faculty member at the 2022 Brass Blast at Kennesaw State University; and a coach at the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. She also filmed a season of Music for the Young produced by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a French horn clinic for the Georgia Music Educators Association.
Ms. McFarland participated in numerous music festivals, including the National Repertory Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West, Le Domaine Forget de Charlevoix, and the Brevard Summer Music Institute. Active in chamber music, she most recently appeared on WQXR’s Performance Today with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Pre-Concert Chamber Music Series.
Ms. McFarland lives in Philadelphia with her rescue pup, Frank. When not playing horn, she enjoys running, rock climbing, hiking, and trying new recipes.
Photo by Pete Checchia