HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Convention South, a magazine dedicated to providing information and news to event planners, has recently named the “Atlantis Gala” for the Symphony Orchestra at the University of Southern Mississippi as the Top Event for 2007.
Organized for the purpose of raising funds for the Symphony Orchestra’s Five in Five Scholarship Endowment, the gala was held Sept. 6, 2007, at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. The theme of the festival centered on the mythical underwater kingdom of Atlantis, which has been described in Plato’s work as a once great naval power which sank into the ocean after a failed attempt to invade Athens.
The gala’s planning committee transformed the Convention Center into a lavish reincarnation of the legendary Greek empire, by merging together ten football fields of fabric, with massive inflatable props, shimmering projectors, video screens, lights, smoke and confetti—all in a single day’s work.
Breathing life into the quaint aquatic ambiance, the show featured an eclectic array of spectacles, including a full orchestra, dance band, Indian musicians, circus performers and actors. For more than three hours, patrons were immersed by the sights and sounds of this majestic lost world of gaiety, music and mirth.
“The idea behind this event was that the attendants were not only spectators, but they were actually part of the show,” said Dr. John Lopinto, event planner and marketing and educational outreach coordinator for the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra. “Regardless of where people were sitting, they were ensured to have a good perspective because the show included an array of [exhibits], on stage, overhead and on the floor.”
Lopinto said he was moved by the energy and tenacity displayed by the gala’s planning committee to work within a constrained timeframe and make the event successful. “This event was all about getting the right team of people together and putting plans into action,” Lopinto said. “I’ve been involved with various committees on different projects in the past, but I must admit that the Atlantis team went beyond all expectations. I believe the honor of being named the ‘Top Event’ for 2007 is truly a recognition of their effort, as well as all the performers who were involved.”
“It was a pleasant surprise to have our event recognized by industry experts in event planning,” he added. “Nevertheless, with this recognition, the bar has been raised for next year’s gala, and our patrons can look forward to something new and exciting as we are already generating exciting ideas.”
For more information, visit the Web at www.usm.edu/arts or contact Angela Kilcrease at (601) 266-4988.
The “Atlantis Gala,” named “Top Event” by Convention South magazine, featured aquatic ambiance with an array of performers in September 2007 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. (Submitted Photo)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss, with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.