- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2021

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A new performing arts center that will host the Gulf Coast Symphony and prepare students for careers in the arts has opened at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

The ribbon-cutting was held Thursday for the 1,200-seat auditorium called the Immersive Media Performing Arts Center, WLOX reported.

The first concert by the Gulf Coast Symphony at the new auditorium is set for March 13.

The 54,000-square foot facility also features a recording studio and classrooms. Students at the college will be able to study Live Entertainment Technology at the facility, a new curriculum designed to prepare them for an array of jobs.

The center is a teaching facility where students can learn about lighting, staging and sound systems, said Peggy Schloegel, who used to be on the symphony’s board.

The school wants to prepare students for high-demand jobs, college President Mary Graham told the station.

“We wanted to make sure that we are training the students on the newest technology, not dated technology so they can get these good experiences and go get these jobs that are in such high demand right now,” she said.

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