Born in Williamsport, PA, Keirsten Schwanbeck began studying the cello at the age of eight. She attended Hope College in Holland, MI on full scholarship, graduating Magna cum laude in 2006 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance. Keirsten went on to study at the Pennsylvania State University and graduated with a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance in 2008.
Currently an active freelance musician in the Boulder/Denver area, Keirsten was previously a member of La Pochette string quartet, Altoona Symphony Orchestra, and Holland Symphony Orchestra, among others, and has toured the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Keirsten has been teaching cello and coaching chamber music in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Colorado for more than ten years, and served as teaching assistant in musicology, world music, and film & musicat both Hope College and Penn State. She lives in Boulder, CO with her husband, trumpet player Derek McDonald, and enjoys baking, hiking, and yoga.