California Collage


A choral cycle with piano duo and percussion.
highlighting different eras of California’s history

featured in a concert entitled:
“Made in Hayward”

performed by the East Bay Singers of
California State University East Bay
under the direction of Dr. Buddy James

June 2, 2018



Teacher, Composer & Author


Nancie Kester teaches piano and music composition in her private East Bay studio.  She recently retired from her long-standing faculty position at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Ca. In addition to her teaching, Ms. Kester is an award-winning composer and arranger.  She received a BA in piano and music composition from California State University, East Bay, and an MM in Kodaly Music Education from Holy Names College with piano as her instrumental focus. Nancie Kester has continued her piano and composition studies with Julian White, Jason Levis and other master teachers.  Ms. Kester has composed and arranged numerous works for chorus, piano and instrumental ensembles. She is an author and partner in Calicanto Associates, publisher of books, CDs, choral arrangements, and musical plays featuring songs with historical relevance.  Nancie Kester resides in Berkeley, California.


Testimonials from former students




Nancie Kester has decades of experience teaching piano to all ages and levels in her private studio and as a retired music faculty member of two community colleges. 

Nancie treats all students as individuals and teaches to their strengths.  She helps build well-rounded pianists and musicians, solid in technique and theory, with the ability to interpret pieces in a variety of genres and styles. As a composer, Nancie also helps students tap into their creative potential, learning to write and arrange music, improvise and play by ear.

Read more about Nancie's teaching →


Composing and Arranging


Nancie Kester has written and arranged music all her life.  As an award-winning composer, she has written for chorus, voice, piano, and various instrumental ensembles. On November 4th, the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra performed her work for winds, strings and hammered dulcimer:  “Turkish Impressions.”

Nancie is a retired music faculty member of two community colleges and currently teaches piano and music composition in her private studio.

Read more about Nancie's compositions →

Click here to hear music samples →


Further Reading on the Blog


Please check out my blog! I am delighted to share my ideas concerning teaching and composing with other piano instructors, composers, students, parents and all people that love music!  Check in for monthly insights into the practice and performance of piano or subscribe to get the latest updates.