Psalm 100 instructs readers to “Make a joyful noise unto the lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra board member Joe Bailey takes that instruction to heart.
“I sing whenever I am asked,” Bailey laughs, mostly gospel and R&B music. “Music is hugely inspiring for me.”
A Pittsburgh native, Bailey has spent about 30 years in banking – and is currently the vice president of ATM operations for US Bank. He credits music, specifically singing, which he began doing in high school, with honing his drive and helping him overcome his innate shyness.
“Music opened doors for me and helped me express who I really am,” he explains.
Bailey is a true Renaissance man. Along with his career in banking, he runs a business that provides motivational speaking, mentorship, staff development, and professional and personal growth. He serves on the board of directors for the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Bailey became involved with the symphony when he was part of the same Leadership Pittsburgh class as Chief Development Officer Jodi Weisfield, which enabled him to meet a variety of arts leaders across the city and learn about the symphony in particular.
“I became fascinated with the idea that the symphony allows different people from different backgrounds to enjoy the same level of music — to hear and speak the same musical language,” he says.
Bailey joined the Pittsburgh Symphony board in 2014 and works with the marketing and diversity and inclusion committees. His work on these committees again allows him to enjoy the dual sides of his personality — he can work toward identifying opportunities financial growth for the symphony and influence the symphony’s efforts in one of his favorite aspects of music — its ability to bridge differences and bring people together.
“It’s been interesting to help people understand that diversity is not just about color. Diversity is about differences,” he says. “To best serve the communities around us, we need to have representation of those communities in everything we do. We need to be inclusive of what they are.”
Bailey has been named one of the Pittsburgh Courier’s “50 Men of Excellence” and was listed in the 2014 “Who’s Who in Black Pittsburgh.” He has been married for 25 years and has three children who are graduates of Thiel College, Carnegie Mellon University and La Roche College.
“The Pittsburgh Symphony allows different people to get together and enjoy one space — The Pittsburgh Symphony is amazing and Heinz Hall is equally amazing — the whole experience is mind blowing,” says Bailey. “When we look at the growth of our city, Heinz Hall has to be at the heart of it.”
Watch Bailey sing Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”