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The University of Southern Mississippi

School of Music

School of Music

When you think music, think Southern Miss

The School of Music is dedicated to its longstanding international reputation for excellence. We provide musical and educational opportunities for professional and artistic growth. You will work with distinguished faculty who perform on world-class stages and teach at international festivals. You will also perform in ensembles such as the Southern Chorale, the USM Symphony Orchestra, the USM Wind Ensemble, the USM Opera and Musical Theatre, and the USM Jazz Band. You will perform at regional, national, and international events, and attend master classes with guest artists. At USM you will master your musical artistry and thrive as a 21st-century musician.

The School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Meet our faculty    Virtual Visit


Our Programs

We have excellent performance programs including Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Opera, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Percussion, Guitar, and Piano. We have strong programs in Music Education, History, and Theory; and private lessons on all instruments and voice.


Vienna: City of Music
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Explore the vibrant history and culture of two iconic musical cities in our three-week music course. 

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Discover the School of Music

band playing

University Bands is dedicated to its tradition of excellence, presenting at national and international venues, including The College Band Directors National Association, American Bandmasters Association, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, and many others. From concerts halls to half time entertainment, its performing ensembles include the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band, the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Winds and the Concert Band.


The Symphony Orchestra is the oldest orchestra in Mississippi and includes over eighty musicians from the United States as well as fourteen other countries. This renowned ensemble presents quality performances of varied symphonic repertoire through an intense performance schedule covering classical to pop musical styles and drawing both students and guest artists from around the globe, the Symphony Orchestra truly is bringing the world to Mississippi.


Southern Miss Choral Activities has become a regional leader in choral music excellence, presenting works on world-stages and receiving many accolades. Students have the chance to participate in singing opportunities in any of its 4 major ensembles, including The Southern Chorale, The Concert Choir, University Singers, and The Hattiesburg Choral Union, as well as in the 5 exciting secondary ensembles.

opera singing

Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company has accrued a reputation as one of the finest opera and musical theatre collegiate companies in the region. Recent and current fully staged productions vary from the landmark, sold-out production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera to Puccini’s masterwork, Turandot, which was presented in a joint production with the Mississippi Opera.

jazz students playing

Jazz Studies has a long tradition at Southern Miss, spanning almost 50 years. Its ensembles include  two 20-piece big bands and a variety of combos, including the award winning Southern Miss Jazztet. Notable guest artists have performed with the Jazz Lab Band from Ira Sullivan to Bob Berg, and The Kenton Legacy Orchestra.

man playing drums

The Percussion Studio at Southern Miss has earned an excellent national and international reputation, performing at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and several national and international percussion festivals. From performing with the Drumline and Percussion Ensemble to the Steel Pan Orchestra—one of the elite steel pan programs in the country—there’s always an opportunity for students to build on solid foundations.


300+Recitals, performances, and master classes annually 
400+Majors from the United States 
13Areas of study, including music education 

Why Choose the School of Music?

We are the flagship music institution in the State of Mississippi, having more than 40 full-time faculty members whose disciplines range from musicology, theory, educators, as well as conductors, instrumentalists and vocalists.

  • We are the only School of Music in Mississippi that has a full-time faculty member in residence who specializes in every wind, brass, percussion, and string instrument.
  • With over 300 performances a year, our students receive a hands-on performance experience.
  • Our ensembles host renowned guest artists and perform with legendary musicians of every genre, from Plácido Domingo to Yo-Yo Ma.

Learn about the transfer student admission and piano competency exams and class piano placements.

Transfer Students

Learn about the graduate admission process and financial aid opportunities.

Graduate Students

Concert Hall

Join Our Musical Family