About Kristen


Kristen Friend is a Virginia based hornist and educator. She recently held the position of second horn with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, where she has performed with guest artists such as Time for Three, Sylvia McNair, and Rachel Barton Pine. She has performed with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra in Virginia and has performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, the Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, and the Laura Turner Concert Hall Stage at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. She has performed under the baton of Grzegorz Nowak, Thomas Wilkins, Cliff Colnot, and Stephen White, and in master classes for William VerMeulen, Jeff Nelsen, Bernhard Sculley, and David Jolley.


In her youth, Kristen dreamed of becoming a writer of poetry and fiction, but at the age of 11, she fell in love with story-telling and emotional expression through the language of music. One of her favorite ways to be musically expressive is through solo recitals. Her most recent project, "Stories of Survivors" is a "docu-recital" featuring interviews with survivors of sexual assault paired with repertoire by female composers. In the spring of 2016, she performed a recital tour advocating for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


Kristen has an intense love of chamber music and was a founding member of the Elemental Winds woodwind quintet at Virginia Tech along with several chamber groups at Indiana University. She has collaborated in master classes and performances with the Imani Winds, the Langley Winds, and Ensamble Quito 6. She has pursued summer chamber opportunities in the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, Bar Harbor Brass Week, and the Virginia Blue Ridge Music Festival, during which she performed in community outreach projects. Kristen is committed to community-building through musical outreach and has planned and performed outreach programs with chamber ensembles in schools, retirement communities, and local venues.


In the field of education, Kristen's focus is student empowerment. She currently teaches band at Mercer Middle School in Loudoun County, Virginia where she also teaches private brass lessons and works with the John Champe High School Marching Knights.


Kristen studied with Jeff Nelsen at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and will earn her Masters of Music in Horn Performance in May of 2016. She holds a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Performance from Virginia Tech where she studied horn with Wallace Easter and music education with Dr. Vernon Burnsed, Dr. Stephen King, and Dr. Kelly A. Parkes.


The photos of me with the pretty yellow scarf were taken by the amazing Nina Nelsen. You can check out her photography page here.