The James Marion Poyner Chair

Kimberly Van Pelt was born in a small town north of Boston, Massachusetts. She took up playing the flute at the age of nine, but by the age of fourteen decided she wanted to play something different. The French horn was her choice and soon it became clear that this would be her career choice.

After playing in two youth orchestras in Boston during her senior year in high school, she went on to receive two degrees in horn performance. She has a bachelor’s degree in music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Upon completing her education, Van Pelt spent ten months as a freelance horn player in the Los Angeles area. She then moved to Cape Town, South Africa to play with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and lived there for three and a half years. She arrived back in the United States in early 1993 and within a few months took a position with the North Carolina Symphony as second horn. In 2003, she was appointed to her current position of Associate Principal Horn.

Van Pelt has appeared as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony and performs chamber music throughout the state.