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School of Music



Music Directors



Michael Miles


Dr. Michael Miles is a unique brand of musician whose career includes a blend of musical and academic positions.  Dr. Miles’ academic career includes appointments at Western Carolina University and Florida International University.  He also served for seven years as chair at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and six years as Director of the School of Music at Southern Miss.  Dr. Miles’ interest in arts advocacy and education in the community has led him to administrative positions in several community and state organizations.  He served on the Hattiesburg Concert Association staff, and as Executive Director and founder of the Red River Arts Academy, an intensive summer arts training experience for students 14-18 years of age.  Dr. Miles also served eight years as President of the Board of Directors of the Red River Arts Council in Durant, Oklahoma.

Dr. Miles’ appreciation for all forms and styles of music are evident in the variety of conducting and music directing positions he has enjoyed. In addition to his current duties as Interim Director of Orchestral Activities, Miles’ conducting appointments include Associate Director of Orchestral Activities at Southern Miss, Music Director of the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera Company (HCLO), Music Director of the Oklahoma Youth Symphonies  and Music Director of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival.  In 2013 Dr. Miles served as guest conductor with the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra backing  the legendary Beach Boys at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Dr. Miles has also served as guest conductor with the Xinghia Conservatory Orchestra of Guangzhou, China, Vidin (Bulgaria) Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic, Tallahassee Symphony, and Oklahoma Youth Orchestra.

In his career Dr. Miles has served as music director/conductor for over 175 musical theater performances involving 50 different musical theater productions, including the recent highly acclaimed Southern Miss productions of The Phantom of the Opera, Magic of the Musical Stage, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Ragtime, Showbiz Showstoppers, Showbiz Harmony, and Sweeney Todd.   Dr. Miles served as Music Director of HCLO’s recent productions of Into the Woods, Cabaret, Wizard of Oz, Camelot, and Tommy. Dr. Miles also served as Chorus Master for the Hub City Players production of Rock of Ages, and Music Director for their production of James and the Giant Peach.  

In his tenure at Southeastern Oklahoma State University Dr. Miles led a highly regarded Jazz Ensemble that was recognized by the Oklahoma State Legislature as the “Official Jazz Ambassadors of Oklahoma”.  This ensemble made three concert tours of the People’s Republic of China. 



Michael Miles, music director

Michael Miles

Music Director





Ivan del Prado

Ivan del Prado

Music Director


Awarded with the highest honors bestowed to exponents of the national culture of Cuba, Ivan del Prado is recognized as one of the most gifted Latin American conductors. Maestro del Prado was the Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, Artistic and Music Director of the Gran Teatro de La Habana Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of The Baja California Orchestra and General Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Havana, which he founded in 2006. Currently, he is the Assistant Conductor of The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro del Prado musical excellence has been nurtured by his assisting conductors including Daniel Barenboim at the Deutsch Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Leo Brouwer in the Cuba National Symphony Orchestra. The great pianist Jorge Luis Prats has special place in his artistic training as a mentor and artistic guide.

Del Prado has been guest conductor for numerous symphony orchestras including The Staatkapelle Berlin; Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville; Oviedo Symphony Orchestra; The Gran Canarias Philharmonic Orchestra; The Symphony Orchestra of the “Comunidad de Madrid”; Tenerife Symphony Orchestra; Metropolitan Orchestra of Lisbon; National Symphony Orchestra, USA; The Pacific Symphony Orchestra; Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Mississippi Symphony Orchestra; Meridian Symphony Orchestra; Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra; Shanghai Broadcast Symphony Orchestra; Symphony Orchestra of the Beijing Central Ballet; Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra; Nuevo Leon University Symphony Orchestra; The Xalapa Symphony Orchestra; Philharmonic Orchestra of UNAM; Medellin Philharmonic Orchestra and The Dominican Republic Symphony Orchestra. . In addition to his vast repertory, he has been praised by critics on several occasions for his masterful interpretation on both standard Romantic literature and works from the 20th Century.

His versatility spans the genres of symphony, opera and ballet. Opera has given del Prado the opportunity to collaborate with outstanding artists such as Maestro Luigi Alba, José Carreras, Victoria de Los Angeles and Fernando de la Mora. Ballet has taken him to conduct the Deutsch Staatsoper Unter den Linden Ballet and The Cuban National Ballet collaborating with eminent artists such as the Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso and the French choreographer Patrice Bart.

Ivan del Prado has also excelled in the field of education. Currently he is the Artistic Director of the Premier Orchestral Institute in Jackson, MS. Previously, he offered a course of Musical Interpretation in the National Conservatory of Lima, Peru and organized and led the First Workshop for Young Conductors in Latin America and the Caribbean held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2000. In addition he was a founder of the national movement of youth orchestras in Cuba in 1993.

Ivan was born in a family of musicians in the Cuban city of Holguin. He studied violin and viola there before receiving Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestra Conducting Summa Cum Laude from the Instituto Superior de Arte (Havana’s High Institute of Arts, Cuba).


Stage Directors


Dr. Mike LopintoDr. Mike Lopinto 

Stage Director


Dr. Mike Lopinto, originally from New Orleans, grew up surrounded by the pageantry activity associated with the city’s annual Mardi Gras celebrations and was also a part of a successful restaurant family.  He parlayed his talents into numerous artistic endeavors including event planning, directing, designing, choreographing and music. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi where he served as principal bassoonist for the school’s premiere ensembles as well as numerous other orchestras around the South.  Lopinto spent a decade teaching in some of the most successful programs in Texas winning state and national honors and judging music and visual arts events internationally.

He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts at Southern Miss and currently serves as the Assistant to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for Arts PR/Marketing at the same. Lopinto brought a new level of recognition to arts programs in Mississippi, most notably the acclaimed symphony orchestra at his alma mater. While there, he coordinating events with classical celebrities from Plåcido Domingo, Renée Fleming, and Sir James Galway to pop icons Dionne Warwick, the Pointer Sisters, and Patti LaBelle as well as directing the award-winning Symphony Galas and later, the College of Arts and Letters Galas. He is the PR/Marketing Director for the Hattiesburg Concert Association and helped create FestivalSouth® that has reshaped summers in the Hub city. He is the creative director of Consult M, a multi-faceted arts development organization that has worked regionally with Mississippi Opera and the Natchez Festival of Music.

A true Renaissance man, he has written, directed, music directed, designed sets and lighting for numerous productions, most recently directing Magic of the Musical Stage (2018), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera (2017), Showbiz Harmony (2016), Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins (2015), Showbiz Showstoppers (2014) and Sweeney Todd (2013) for the School of Music The Hub City Players productions of James and the Giant Peach(2017), and Rock of Ages (2016) for FestivalSouth, as well as Sondheim in the City in its Off-Broadway premiere in 2011. He is artistic director of FestivalSouth®, Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre festival. Lopinto is one of the founding members of The Hub City Players, that has produced LOL comedy cabarets, variety shows and more statewide. On stage, his theatrical credits include Les Misérables (Thenardier), Hairspray! (Edna Turnblad), The Producers (Roger DeBris); Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth), Cats (Old Deuteronomy), A Catered Affair (Mr. Halloran), Annie (Daddy Warbucks),Carousel (Mr. Snow), Die Fledermaus (Frosch) and many more. His voice can be heard at all Southern Miss games as "The Voice of The Pride" and on commercials across the South.



Rob MullholandRob Mulholland

Stage Director


Rob Mulholland has directed and designed over 100 productions regionally, nationally, and internationally. As Artistic Director of American Festival Theatre in London, he directed film and stage actors Imelda Staunton, David Thewliss, George Takei, Steve Guttenberg, and many others in various multiple award-winning productions.   He has worked with actors and singers from The Royal National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Broadway, The Metropolitan Opera, and Hollywood.  For The University of Southern Mississippi: West Side Story, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, The Barber of Seville, The Fantasticks, Company, Side by Side by Sondheim, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Marriage of Figaro, The Tender Land, Godspell, As You Like It, and others.  For Mississippi Opera: Carmen, Passion and Fireworks, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance.  He has served as Production Manager for Placido Domingo in Concert and Ray Charles in Concert.  In New Orleans: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (twice), Into the Woods, and Mel Brooks’ The Producers, for which Rob won a New Orleans Award as Director of the Year. His numerous musical theatre credits for Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera include the record-setting Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Oliver!, Grease, The Music Man, South Pacific, The Drowsy Chaperone, Camelot, A Christmas Carol, and many others. He is the author of Best of the Mississippi Blues (starring Vasti Jackson), a two-time featured presentation of FestivalSouth and A Signature Event at 2015’s Natchez Festival of Music, where he has also done Don Giovanni, Kiss Me Kate, A Little Night Music, and the Natchez Tri-centennial production of Showboat. Last Fall in Hattiesburg he directed Macbeth, the first-ever Shakespeare-in-the-Park in Hattiesburg. This spring he will direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream, another Shakespeare-in-the-Park event, produced by Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera. Rob holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a graduate degree from Duke.


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