Following an exhaustive nationwide search, Dr. Chris Winstead, Dean of USM’s College of Arts and Sciences, has announced that faculty member, Dr. Colin McKenzie, will become the new Director of the School of Music, effective July 1.

McKenzie assumes the position held by Dr. Jay Dean, who will be retiring from full-time employment in June after serving 33 years in the University’s School of Music.

“Dr. McKenzie has served with distinction as our Associate Director of Bands and has provided strong leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Winstead noted. “I look forward to working with Dr. McKenzie as he serves in this critical leadership role.”

“I am simultaneously thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and world-class faculty of the School of Music as director,” said McKenzie. “There is no better place to study music in the country than within the walls of The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music. World class faculty, dedicated staff, and an environment which is ripe with opportunity for students at all levels are hallmarks of what makes our school so great.”

Dean served as the Director of Orchestral Activities and the Director of The Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company from 1988 until 2018. After leaving those positions he served as Associate Dean for Arts and External Relations, the Executive Director of the Arts Institute of Mississippi, and now serves as the Director of the School of Music.

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