Headliner & Classical
Jay Dean received his doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been the Orchestra Director at The University of Southern Mississippi since 1988. His work as a conductor has reached many orchestras in Europe, the United States and Latin America. In addition, he has directed performances with internationally known classical icons such as Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sir James Galway, Joshua Bell, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, and many more. He has also conducted popular concerts with major artists such as Doc Severinsen, The Pointer Sisters, Patti La Belle, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, and Sandy Patty.He is the Founding Artistic Director of FestivalSouth and General Director of the Hattiesburg Concert Association. He has been the Artistic Executive director of the Vicksburg International Chamber Music Festival, Artistic Director of the Southern Arts Festival, and Music Coordinator for the Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange. In 2009, under his leadership, the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra received the Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts and he was inducted into the USM Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2011 he received an award for Leadership in the Arts from the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association and received the Excellence for Global Arts and Culture award from the Mississippi World Trade Center. In addition to his work at Southern Miss, Dean is currently the Artistic Director of the Natchez Festival of Music and the Mississippi Opera.
Classical & Coffee
Theresa Sanchez, Pianist, pursues a varied performing career as a soloist and collaborative musician. She has presented recitals in the United States, Canada, and Europe and has performed as soloist with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (including the Southern Nights CD) and The Wind Ensemble. With the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, she premiered and recorded Carey Smith’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Dr. Sanchez was the founding Artistic Administrator for the Vicksburg International Chamber Music Festival and performed in each series with various outstanding artists. She has been a faculty member at Jones Junior College since 1995, and is a past president of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. She was formerly on the faculty of William Carey College and has taught at the Mississippi Keyboard Camp and the Okanagon Summer School of the Arts in British Columbia. From 2003 to 2006 she performed in the International Music Institute in Pontlevoy, France, and joined the Touring Artist Roster of the Mississippi Arts Commission in 2003. She has been featured on WQXR (New York) Radio’s Reflections from the Keyboard and WMSV Radio’s High Notes. She currently serves as Chamber Music Coordinator for the Hattiesburg Concert Association and FestivalSouth, and performs frequently with the Impromptu Piano Quartet. As an avid chamber music pianist, FestivalSouth has opened up many possibilities to plan musical events and make music with a wide variety of musicians from many places, and I love being able to feature an inspirational solo pianist.
Jorge Iván Gonzales is the Educational Programing coordinator for FestivalSouth. As a violinist, Mr. González was a finalist at the 1995 “Canadian Music Competition Incorporated”; winner of the 1999 Collegiate Artist Strings State Competition in Mississippi; the 2001 “William T. Gower Concerto Competition” at USM; and awarded 2001 “New Young Artist” of the Victoria Bach Festival. With the Austin, TX based Conspirare Ensemble, Jorge González has toured and recorded a CD, “Threshold of Night”, nominated for two GRAMMY awards. Mr. Gonzalez has given solo and chamber music performances in Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Austria and in the U.S. and has had the opportunity to work with great artists such as Jean-Pierre Rampal, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sir James Galway, Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang and Leonard Slatkin. As a conductor, Jorge Ivan Gonzalez is adjunct professor at The University of Southern Mississippi as the Music Director of the Southern Mississippi Youth Orchestra; Artistic Director of the FestivalSouth Academy Symphony Orchestra; and conductor of the HPSD orchestras. He has guest conducted the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, the FestivalSouth Chamber Orchestra and was the conductor of the 2012 Mississippi All-State Orchestra. Mr. González is currently serving as concertmaster of the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra; assistant-concertmaster of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra; and principal second violin and Personnel Manager of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. “I am looking forward to working with exceptional national as well as international youth talent during the week of FestivalSouth’s Orchestral and Chamber Music Academy”
Jennifer Clark is the owner of Emerge Events, an event planning company located in Hattiesburg. This business started with her first signature event in 2011, the Pine Belt Women’s Expo. Since then Jennifer has created several other signature events and also works with businesses on their events. Emerge Events was created to utilize her passion of bringing people together through events. Jennifer joined FestivalSouth in 2013 to coordinate the Artie Events for Kids. She is extremely excited about her 4th season coordinating these unique events. Jennifer has a passion for children and the arts, and combining the two has been a dream job. The concept of Artie was created by Ivey Swan in 2011 to show that the Arts are a Road To Success. Jennifer is honored to take Ivey’s vision and coordinate events for children that get them excited about the arts. The Artie program allows children to be immersed in the arts through events that engage them in a fun and inspiring way. Adults love Artie, too! Come to any Artie event this year and see the arts come alive through the eyes of a child. Last year Jennifer was recognized as a Hattiesburg American’s Top 20 Under 40 and believes that it is through involvement with events like FestivalSouth that allow her to continue to receive these kinds of awards and recognition. When Jennifer is not creating events she enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters, Artie patrons themselves, Emi and Ella.
Miles Doleac, Director, has worked as an actor, director, writer and producer in television, theatre and film. His feature- length directorial debut The Historian, starring William Sadler (Shawshank Redemption, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, Iron Man 3), John Cullum (Northern Exposure, Kill Your Darlings, Mad Men) and Colin Cunningham (‘John Pope’ on Falling Skies), received a theatrical release and is being distributed in various video, internet and retail outlets in North America and internationally by Devolver Digital Films. Miles also wrote, produced and starred in the film, which was shot in Hattiesburg and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Miles’ next film, The Hollow, is scheduled to lens in summer 2015, also in Mississippi. Miles has appeared in numerous television shows and films, including American Horror Story (FX), Banshee (Cinemax), Sleepy Hollow (Fox), Treme (HBO), Breakout Kings (A & E), the upcoming Vacation (with Chris Hemsworth, Ed Helms, Christina Applegate and Leslie Mann), Cat Run 2, Bad Ass 3 (with Danny Trejo and Danny Glover), See Girl Run (with Adam Scott and Robin Tunney), Jake’s Road (with Eric Roberts), Mighty Fine (with Chazz Palminteri and Andie McDowell), The Livingston Gardener, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, award-winning director Dustin Schuetter’s Rejects and SyFy Channel Originals Swamp Volcano (with Brad Dourif and Rachel Hunter) and Storm War (with Stacey Keach). Miles co-founded New York’s Southern Playwright’s Theatre Project in New York and starred in their off-off Broadway production of Horton Foote’s 1918 and produced and starred in an acclaimed production of Julius Caesar at Los Angeles’ Lillian Theatre. He is a member of SAG, Equity, DGA and WGA. Miles is also an impassioned advocate of education. He holds a BFA in Drama from the North Carolina School of the Arts, an MA in History from the University of Southern Mississippi and a PhD in Ancient History from Tulane University. He has studied the history of antiquity all over the world, including at the American Academy in Rome, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and the Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany. Miles currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he teaches courses in Latin, Greek and the history of the Greco-Roman World. Miles’ book on Alexander the Great, In the Footsteps of Alexander: The King Who Conquered the Ancient World, is currently available at various retail outlets.Miles will also appear in a recurring role of 'Dr. Ian Blair' on the new USA series, Complications with Jason O'Mara and Jessica Szohr.
Best Of Pine Belt Awards
David Gustafson is the editor/publisher of Signature Magazine and oversees the entire HubCitySPOKES family of publications including a trio of Hattiesburg weekly newspapers – The Hattiesburg Post, The Lamar Times, and The Petal News. An 18-year veteran of the newspaper/magazine business, he led daily and weekly operations in Oklahoma, Maine, and Iowa prior to moving to south Mississippi in 2009. Gustafson’s ongoing transformation of Signature Magazine has led to its recognition as one of the top magazines in the state of Mississippi. “The exposure to the elements that make FestivalSouth what it is are among the primary reasons I moved my family to Hattiesburg six years ago: music, art, theatre, dance – the community of it all helps define Hattiesburg as a leader in the arts and education and I’m thrilled Signature Magazine can be a part of it.”
Erin Granberry is a long-time supporter and participant in the Hattiesburg arts, having been both onstage and backstage in many theater productions over the years. She and her husband Dennis have graced the stages together, and can also be seen cheering each other on from the audience. She is a Chi Omega advisor at Southern Miss, a member of the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg and a choir member and Sunday school teacher at Main Street United Methodist Church. She is a part-time health care consultant with HORNE LLP, and she has a BS and two master’s degrees from Southern Miss. Erin is happy to help bring the fitness factor to FestivalSouth with the inaugural Festival 5K. In honor of the 5K’s start and finish line at the Hattiesburg Zoo, she hopes everyone who participates will come dressed as an animal for the costume contest . “Where else can you dress up like a tiger, get a little exercise and support Make-A-Wish? What a fine combination,” she says. Even though the race is near and dear, her favorite event is the LOL Festival. “My husband and I don’t just LOL,” she says. “We have a reputation of laughing so hard we actually fall out of our chairs. The LOL Fest is not complete until there is a Granberry on the floor.”
Randy Swan has been part of the media world for more than 30 years. Most know him as someone who came into their home each evening at 6:00 p.m. on the WDAM-TV newscast until he retired in February 2015. Randy had been a part of the WDAM, NBC affiliate since the mid 1970’s. He was born and raised in South Mississippi and has spent his entire life here with the exception of five years as News Director, Anchor, and Station Manager for W.A.B.G. in Greenville, Mississippi. Randy was born into broadcasting as his father even held a radio contest to name him. A graduate of Hattiesburg High School and the University of Southern Mississippi, he has received numerous honors including being inducted into The University of Southern Mississippi’s Journalism Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Mississippi Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007. He is a board member of The Extra Table, Forrest General Healthcare Foundation, the Hattiesburg Concert Association, and is called on as a favorite voice to host major events for South Mississippi. He continues to be involved in numerous community organizations and events including the fight against heart disease and cancer as a heart survivor himself and now as a cancer survivor. Randy enjoys golf, bowling and traveling. He has been married to Millie Swan for 26 years. They have two children Ivey age 22, and Zoey age 11.
Ben Watts is a full-time sculptor from Columbia. He has been involved in FestivalSouth from its inception and was the festival’s inaugural featured sculptor. Each of the first seven years of the Festival he has created a FestivalSouth signature sculpture, the first four of musicians who together create a string quartet titled “The Winds of Sound.” Watts, a graduate of Millsaps College, has created many large monument and commissioned bronze sculptures including a majestic eagle, “To the Top” installed on the Thad Waites Fountain on the patio of the Ogletree House on Southern Miss campus, “Carey Turns to the World,” on the William Carey University Campus, NFL Great Walter Payton at Columbia High School which was featured on the ESPN special "Beyond the Glory," and Fred Bear, Bass Pro Shop’s Archery Hall of Fame, Springfield, Missouri, among them. Watts teaches sculpture for the South Mississippi Art Association and was named Columbia’s 2015 Citizen of the Year for his volunteer work with youth and children in the arts. He is a founding member of the Columbia Artist Alliance and its Artwistic Revolution cooperative art gallery in Columbia. His sculpture of Coach Bull Sullivan of East Mississippi Community College was highlighted in the Netflix series "Last Chance U." Other life-size portrait sculpture monuments by Watts can be seen on college campuses and in corporate settings across the Southeast. During 2017 Watts will see five unveilings of his works representing 2 years of production. Future projects include work for Kappa Sigma Fraternity National Headquarters, Millsaps College and other corporate clients.
BIO COMING SOON!