top of page

Dotti S. (Dot)

Dot Nelson_edited.jpg

Dot was born in Cisco, Texas, in 1953, lived in Houston through high school, then pursued a

degree in English and mathematics at Austin College. In the years following, she worked in

the engineering industry as technical editor and data technician in Texas, Alaska, California.

In 1994, she started a home-based business,, providing data processing services

to geologic and environmental consultants using industry-specific software.

Dot’s interest in music is rooted in the Baptist church of her childhood. As a member of the

youth choir and hand bell choir, she performed on summer tours to Canada and New York.

She was not introduced to classical music until marriage and a move to Oakland, California.

There she and her husband, Rick, attended Saturday afternoon Oakland Symphony concerts

and soon were annual subscribers to the full concert series of the San Francisco Symphony

(then conducted by Edo de Waart). When she and Rick moved south to Irvine, their shared

love of music led them to Pacific Symphony’s Classical Connections series, the intimate Café

Ludwig chamber music series, and the full orchestral concert series.

Dot’s passion for programs that engender a love of creative expression and an understanding

of all genres of classical music led her to become involved with the Music Academy of the

West Summer Festival in Santa Barbara, an eight-week tuition-free training and performance

venue for young musicians. In 2007, she became a member of their Council of Contributors

and in 2008, a participant in their Compeer program supporting one or more musicians with

friendship and social support. Her support for the Summer Festival and its “fellow” musicians


In 2011, Dot became a member of the Pacific Symphony Board of Counselors and, within a

year, was invited to serve on the Governing Committee. As a member, she has been involved

with supporting various BOC initiatives and events as well as representing the BOC at Board

of Directors meetings and annual retreats, thereby gaining insights into the challenges facing

the symphony and the short- and long-range plans to meet those challenges.

In 2012, Dot joined the Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles Board as a way of formalizing her

support for the three ensembles: the middle school string orchestra and the high school Wind

Ensemble and Youth Orchestra. Serving on the Board involves an active commitment, not

only to attend rehearsals and concerts but also to coordinate with the Director, the staff, and

the three music directors. Dot has worked with the Director each year to determine financial

support and work-study recipients for each season’s musicians and for participants Youth

Ensemble tours (China, Puerto Rico, Vienna).

Not having children of their own, she and Rick have “adopted” several of the Music Academy

of the West musicians they met as Compeers, attending conservatory recitals and

performances and weddings. One of those was Minyoung Kang, currently Artistic Director of

Kallos CMS. Dot was in awe of her talent and endless years of dedication to develop that

talent, and now is happy to be part of her current chamber music endeavor as a friend, donor,

and board member. 

bottom of page