Gulf Coast Symphony gets a boost from IP

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra just got a nice boost Thursday from one of its biggest supporters. IP Casino Resort and Spa presented the symphony with a check for $50,000. That money will help fund the day-to-day operations for this year's classical concert series.

"We rely on fundraisers and contributions from individuals and corporations," said John Strickler, Musical Director for the Gulf Coast Symphony. "The gift from the IP is the largest one that we've received and it's really fantastic."

"We feel a community is as vital as its art community," said Elaine Stevens with IP Casino Resort & Spa. "It's a draw for many new people come in, and it helps really in our development in our social development."

Symphony past President Linda Sherman said, "We use the money to continue bringing talent and great music for the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. We bring in guest artists from around the country and overseas and feel our symphony is one of the finest in the Southeast. Without the IP, we would not be able to do many of the projects we do each year."

IP has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Gulf Coast Symphony over the past five years. This year's classic concert series begins Saturday at the Saenger Theatre with Beethoven's 5th Symphony, and the performance is already sold out.

To learn more about the Gulf Coast Symphony and its musicians or to see a list of events for the symphony's 2010-2011 season, visit

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.