Originally from Armidale, NSW, she was the first Australian to study an MA in Choral Conducting with Simon Halsey CBE, Bob Chilcott and Julian Wilkins at the University of Birmingham, UK, in 2019, for which she was awarded a Distinction. After returning to Australia in 2020, Hester worked with the New England Conservatorium of Music in Armidale before accepting the role of Director, Western Sydney Choirs, at Gondwana Choirs in January 2021. Prior to leaving Australia, she enjoyed conducting groups of all ages and abilities, from inner-city groups with Sydney Children’s Choir massed choirs to the NSW Schools Spectacular, and from adult community choirs to university ensembles. Hester made her international conducting debut in March 2020 at the Australian Bushfire Benefit London (ABBL) charity concert.
Hester holds a Graduate Diploma in Education (Music), a Bachelor of Arts (Music), and in 2010 was awarded the only Pass with Distinction for an AMusA in Singing by the Australian Music Examinations Board. As a singer, Hester has performed with the Brandenburg Choir; the Choir of Cantillation; the Choir of St. James King St; the Choir of St. Mary’s Cathedral; the Pearl and Dagger Company; Opera Prometheus; and her own group, Sospiri, formed in 2019 with Alana Blackburn (recorder) and Michael Atherton (strings/percussion/vocals). When not conducting, teaching, or singing, Hester supplies baked goods to family, friends and colleagues.