About Nancie Kester


I have been composing and teaching music for most of my life.        I also consider myself a perpetual student, heeding the advice of the amazing mentors who guided me through the various facets of my musical education.  In both the community college setting and in my private studio, I have taught students of all ages and levels, and I am convinced that every person has the potential to become a competent and enlightened musician. In my home studio, I work with children and adults, teaching to their interests and strengths.

My work as a composer and arranger has spanned almost five decades.  However, I have been most active in this capacity since 2000.  There were many years that had been primarily devoted to teaching piano and music theory at Diablo Valley College and in my private studio; and to collecting and publishing the traditional music of California through Calicanto Associates.

Since composing has taken a central focus in my life, I have written pieces for chorus, voice, piano and instrumental ensemble. I have been fortunate to win several awards through the Music Teachers Association of California Composers Today Competition.   The recent awards have been given to all three parts of my triptych: “California Collage,” written for chorus and piano duo plus percussion.  With my background in Kodály Music Education, I am ever aware of the beauty and historic significance of authentic folk music.  This has propelled me to create many vocal and piano arrangements of these memorable songs. 

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