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A Partners for the Arts Gala

Celebrating the USM Symphony's 100th Anniversary

Buy Tickets   Sponsors

Partners for the Arts Gala

Partners issues you a passport to mesmerizing art when underwriting art projects and student initiatives at Southern Miss—taking us to places we can only imagine! As you journey through our arts offerings this year, we are thrilled to announce our most enchanting and memorable stop. 

Set amid the enchanting wonders of Morocco, it promises an affair as memorable as the one between the characters in the legendary film. The most exciting fundraising event of the year in South Mississippi, the Gala “Casablanca,” will take place on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Hattiesburg-Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport. The proceeds raised will bring vital support to the arts programs at Southern Miss.

After an exclusive sale to Partners for the Arts members, tickets are now available to the public. We expect to sell out for this very special centennial celebration, packed with some of the most dazzling experiences we’ve ever presented.  

Michael Miles

“We are grateful to Partners for the Arts for hosting a Gala to kick off the USM Symphony Orchestra's year-long Centennial Celebration. Our Symphony Orchestra is a fixture in the arts community of the Gulf South region, and we hope all of those we have touched through our history of providing excellence in orchestral performances through the years will join us in this historic celebration."

Dr. Michael Miles, interim director of orchestral activities

 Our Casablanca Gala Committee



Leigh Ann Underwood



“As the chair of the Gala, I have been overwhelmed by the excitement from our announcement revealing our “Casablanca” theme. This elegant evening will showcase our Symphony Orchestra in its 100th Anniversary. Art is too important not to share — you won't want to miss an evening you will surely remember as one of your favorite memories in Hattiesburg.”

Leigh Ann Underwood, Event Chair


Leigh Ann Underwood

Chris Winstead
Jay Dean
Michael Miles
Ron Hancock

Mike Lopinto

Nancy Leader
Mike Lopinto
John David Williams

Anita Murphey
Traci Rouse
Wes Rouse
Sally Sullivan

Stacy Ahua
Lisa Conn
Cory Ferraez
Linda Boutwell Griffith
Amy Hinton
Dick Jordan
Millie Swan

Jerry DeFatta
Lynn McMullan
Becky Montague

Jim Coll
David Gustafson
Mike Lopinto
Randy Swan


Thank you, Gala Sponsors!

Thank you for becoming a corporate or individual sponsor of the Partners for the Arts Gala in commemoration of the founding of the USM Symphony Orchestra 100 years ago. The Gala kicked off the USM Symphony Orchestra's year-long Centennial Celebration, while raising much-needed funds to enhance the arts offerings at Southern Miss.



Forrest General Hospital 
 Wells Fargo


Special thanks to Dr. Bennett York, Forrest Roberts,
Chip Gibson, the South Aviation Team, John Hickey, Toby Brown,
Sid Gonsoulin, Sgt. Carl Dean and Camp Shelby



The Power of Partners

Partners for the Arts provides thousands of dollars annually to underwrite the arts programs that bring the world to you and secures the scholarship, mentoring, creation and production of art in our community. A membership in Partners for the Arts directly enhances opportunities for our students to have life-changing and career-altering experiences, at the same time providing essential support to expand access to regional, national and international arts events and artists.

Learn more