Jocelyn ‘Jo’ was born in Fremantle, Western Australia to a Scottish artist father and Irish writer mother. Her upbringing was gloriously bohemian in a home filled with music, art, literature and an endless array of family, friends and acquaintances who would come together over whisky and late night suppers to discuss philosophy, theology and metaphysics. She began learning piano at the age of 5, published her first poem at 11 and began teaching piano at 15. After leaving school at 16, Jo studied fashion design before making a career shift back to music and completed her formal training in piano performance and music teaching at the Western Australian Academy of performing arts (WAAPA) where she studied between 1981 and 1994 while raising a young family.
Jo’s compositional work has been wide-ranging and has followed the changing landscape of her life from her teenage years onwards. She writes across most genres - from powerful contemporary ballads of love and loss and folk songs which speak of social, cultural and environmental issues to jazz/blues and musical theatre style songs.
Her classical composition has often been in response to the needs of her students and as such includes a considerable amount of educational music. In 40 years of teaching, Jo has specialised in many areas, from early childhood music through secondary school curriculum development (Steiner) and general across the board music education. Accordingly, her music ranges from fun songs for young children and piano music at all levels to vocal/instrumental ensemble work for high school students and choral writing on demand for all sizes and styles of choir.
Currently Jo lives near Fremantle with her husband and a menagerie of animals, their three daughters having long since flown the coup! She maintains a busy private practice and continues to write prolifically, with many of her works published by Wirripang and others available through her websites