Arts, Humanities, and Languages Department: Faculty and Staff

Yoo, Esther D.M.A.
Assistant Professor of
Director of Choral Activities

Office Location: 1060 Bishop Street, Penthouse 1
Office Phone: (808) 544-1127


Dr. Esther S. Yoo is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities at Hawaii Pacific University. Dr. Yoo is also the Artistic Director of the O’ahu Choral Society and conducts both the Honolulu Symphony Chorus and Honolulu Chamber Choir. Currently, she serves as the president of the Hawaii Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, and music director at Christ United Methodist Church.

A native of Toronto, Canada, she holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Conducting, both from the University of Toronto studying with Raffi Armenien and Doreen Rao. In addition, Dr. Yoo graduated with an Artist Diploma in piano performance from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and has studied extensively with Russian pianist Vera Gornostaeva. She has appeared in festivals and masterclasses in France, Austria and Switzerland and has given recitals in Germany, France and Italy. As a conductor, Dr. Yoo was invited as a conducting fellow at the Oregon Bach Festival and Toronto Bach Festival with Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She has also participated in conducting master classes with Robert Shaw, Sir David Willcocks, Harry Christophers, Stephen Darlington and Dale Warland.

Esther Yoo brings professional choral singing experience, having sung under the batons of Robert Shaw, James Levine, James Conlon and Helmuth Rilling, among others. A versatile conductor, she has worked extensively with choirs and orchestras, including University of Toronto Women’s Chorus, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Blue Ash Presbyterian Church as well as Canada’s professional chamber choir, The Elmer Iseler Singers. She has previously held faculty positions at Hollins University in Virginia and University of Hawaii Manoa. Since coming to Hawaii, Dr. Yoo has conducted major choral/symphonic works with the Honolulu Symphony, Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus, Hawaii Youth Symphony and the Hawaii Symphony.

As an advocate for contemporary choral music, she has premiered new choral music at every opportunity, working with her students and faculty at the University of Toronto, University of Cincinnati, University of Hawaii at Manoa, as well as two recent premiers with O’ahu Choral Society.