A 5th generation Texan, Jo Dee began dancing and playing piano at the age of six and continued her musical education studying clarinet in middle school. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in business. Working in the Executive offices of Shell Oil Company and Supervising the Professional Education Division at Arthur Andersen & Co. instilled a desire to participate in the community through volunteerism in the non-profit sector. Jo Dee returned to the performing arts as a teacher and Assistant Director of the Suzanne Semans’ Studio of Dance while also studying classical music with Lynne Gush for ten years.
Her involvement with the Houston Symphony has spanned three decades. As a long-time Houston Symphony League Board member and volunteer, she has served in numerous leadership positions as the League’s Treasurer, Vice President-Finance, and Houston Symphony Store Treasurer.. Also, she is currently serving on the Board of the Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers (AMSOV) as Treasurer.
As an emerging leader, Jo Dee served on three critical League committees (Nominating, By-laws, and Strategic Planning) where the focus was on discussion of leadership, defining organizational processes and procedures, and sustainability. Currently serving as the Vice President-Education, she has volunteered and assisted with many education projects including Magical Musical Morning, Children’s Fashion Show, Family Concert activities, Junior Patrons event, and the League’s Concerto Competition.
As Chair of the 2016 Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition, she was a tireless champion in networking with her peers and other arts organizations to increase awareness of the competition and meet the $300,000 fundraising goal while spearheading a committee of 34 volunteers. Jo Dee and her husband, Cliff, gave the initial gift establishing the Ima Hogg Competition Endowed Fund to ensure sustainability of the competition for future generations of aspiring, young musicians.
More recently she Chaired and developed a one-year pilot mentorship program for the Houston Symphony League entitled “Reach Out and Touch Someone”. This program was selected as a League of American Orchestras (LAO) Roundtable Award presentation at the 2018 LAO Conference held in Chicago.
Jo Dee was recognized with the Ardyce Tostengard Crystal Cello Award in 2015 for the education volunteer of the year and the 2016 Ellen Kelley Volunteer of the Year Award for her many years of active volunteer participation and involvement with the Houston Symphony League.
She and her husband are musician sponsors for Houston Symphony violist, Jarita Ng. Jo Dee is a member of the Houston Symphony’s Legacy Society and is a supporter of the Concertmaster Consortium for River Oaks Chamber Orchestra as well as Houston Public Media, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Methodist Society for Leading Medicine, and Stages Repertory Theatre.
Her journey to the Moores School of Music began eight years ago as an Advisory Board member. Currently serving a two-year term as President and Trustee of the Moores Society for the University of Houston’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts (KGMCA) Moores School of Music, she welcomes the opportunity to provide leadership support through scholarships, special projects, and educational opportunities for music students. In addition, a KGMCA Young Artist Endowed Scholarship in Piano was recently established by Jo Dee. She is also serving on the University of Houston’s KGMCA $1 Billion Campaign Volunteer Committee through 2021 Her philanthropic giving is focused on music education and sustainability of classical music for the next generation of musicians and music audiences.