HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Dr. Colin McKenzie will become the new Director of the School of Music at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg.
The position had been held by Dr. Jay Dean for 33 years, and now faculty member McKenzie will take the helm. He is best known for his leadership role as Associate Director of Bands and Director of The Pride of Mississippi at USM. He’s served in that position for the last five years.
McKenzie also conducts the Symphonic Winds and administers all facets of the comprehensive athletic band program. He has also served as a Associate Professor of Music, teaching course work in conducting and assists in student teacher preparation and observation.
McKenzie said he started playing piano when he was five, and later took up the saxophone, bassoon and organ. He said he no longer plays the bassoon much anymore, but he still plays the piano and the organ.
Through the new role, McKenzie will help students through the degree program and advocate for faculty. He will also face tough decisions with regards to budget management and personnel management. When it comes to making decisions about what is good for the students, he believes that keeping that in mind will help guide all his decision making as the new director.
In his first 30 days, he will get reacquainted with the faculty as their new leader. He said he will spend his time plotting the path forward of reintroducing the School of Music to the public and overall laying down the foundation of the initiatives the department has planned moving forward.