As Dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts, Dr. Lester serves the departments of art, dance, and music, as well as the preparatory department. He is passionate about the lifelong impact higher education can provide individuals, families, and communities, and believes the pursuit of academic excellence with both a global and entrepreneurial perspective enhances educational experiences and opportunities. With this in mind, Dr. Lester has secured partnerships and collaborations with organizations and businesses that foster pragmatic learning experiences and cultivate civic-mindedness within experiential learning environments that support Fine Arts programs.
Prior to his service as dean at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Dr. Lester served as the dean of the School of Fine Arts at Houston Baptist University and was the director of vocal studies for a program at Houston Grand Opera. His students have participated in numerous summer music programs, have been winners or finalists in many vocal competitions, and have been accepted into the Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, Boston University, San Francisco Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Rice University among many others. A longstanding member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), he has served as the governor of the Texoma Region, president of the Greater Houston chapter, and was elected the national Secretary-Treasurer of the 7,000-member organization for the 2018-2020 term.
An accomplished performer, Dr. Lester is at ease in operatic, concert, and song literature repertoire and has performed over thirty operatic roles in musical styles from baroque to 21st century, with roles including Colline in La Bohème, Mephistopheles in Faust, Raimondo Bidebent in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sarastro in Die Zauberflӧte and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. As an active concert soloist, Dr. Lester has participated in many of the repertory’s standard works, including Mozart and Brahms’ Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, andBeethoven’s Ninth Symphony.