The daughter of Opera singer, Jennifer Barnes, and jazz musician, Rod Barnes, Heather was surrounded by music from birth. Both singing and stringed instruments caught Heather’s ear from an early age and she commenced violin lessons from the age of 5 while also picking up singing tips by sitting in on the lessons her mother taught.
As Heather grew she tried her hand at many instruments, but it was her father’s offer to buy her a bass (if she would learn it and play in his jazz bands), that initiated her love for the bass end of the string section. Heather played for her father’s various jazz outfits (with brother, Ben, on drums) and also began her own original, rock band (Silent Scream) in which she was the lead singer, bassist and songwriter. All this by the age of 16.
Ever interested in ALL styles of music, Heather completed a Bachelor of Music degree on Double Bass (1999–2002), taking out the Valma Barker String Award for highest performance mark in her final year. She went on to be Principal Double Bassist for Australian Youth Orchestra, to complete a fellowship with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and to then play professionally with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. She has also featured as a soloist on various recordings.
Her songwriting, singing and electric bass playing also continued to develop during and after her University studies. Heather became the singer, bass player and co-writer for original, indie-act The Good and traveled the U.K., Europe and Australia with this band between 2004–2006. Dolce and Gabanna even featured the band and Heather’s singing, live at their 2005 Men’s Fashion Show in Milan, a career highlight for Heather.
Heather has played electric bass for the likes of Ben Gillies and Wes Carr in their band Tambalane, with acclaimed Australian dance act, On and has sung, with Cotton Sidewalk (for whom she also arranged string and choral parts for the album ‘Evil Versus People’) and played on songs featured on ABC’s Giggle and Hoot show.
Heather is now based in Newcastle, NSW where she continues to perform, compose and record while running a busy teaching studio through her parents’ business, Barnes Music. Heather is passionate about passing on a love for all genres of music to her students and believes that no matter your age or ability, learning to play music enhances life in an exciting and awe-inspiring way.