Jay Dean

Associate Dean for Arts and External Relations

Jay Dean has been the Music Director and conductor of the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra since 1988. During his tenure the orchestra has grown into a university ensemble that has earned a distinguished national reputation. Founded in 1920, the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is the oldest operating symphony orchestra in the state of Mississippi. It presents a umber of annual subscription concerts per season in Hattiesburg, as well as many concerts throughout Mississippi. In addition to its regular symphonic concerts, the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performs as the orchestra for all opera and musical theatre productions.

Dean received his DMA in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to The University of Southern Mississippi, he was Music Director of Dekalb Youth Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta, the Mercer University/Atlanta Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus State University Orchestra, the Atlanta Festival Orchestra and Chorus, the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the Southwest Chamber Orchestra. He also served as assistant conductor for the Austin Lyric Opera.

He has conducted concerts featuring world-renown soloists such as Plácido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sir James Galway, Joshua Bell, Denyce Graves, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Jean Pierre Rampal, Christopher Parkening, Edgar Meyer, Roberta Peters, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, and Ricky Skaggs. He has also guest conducted many orchestras in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.

He has been the executive director of the Professional Resource Institute for Musical Excellence, the executive director of the Vicksburg International Chamber Music Festival, president of the Mississippi Orchestra Teachers Association, the Artistic Director of the Southern Arts Festival, state president of the National Opera Association, regional membership chair for the International Conductors Guild, and past president of the Mississippi Music Educators Association Orchestra Division. He also served as the representative from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning on the advisory board for the formation of Mississippi School for the Arts, and has served on the board of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters and the Mississippi Opera Education Committee. He was also music coordinator for four international art exhibitions presented by the Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange.

Dr. Dean is a member of the International Conductor’s Guild.