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Culture Shock: The Merger of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School


This case profiles the merger between the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra (RIPO) and The Music School (TMS).  Completed in 2000, the merger of the two organizations represents the first and largest successful merger of a professional orchestra with an existing community music school in the United States.  After a look at the genesis of the merger, the early challenges, and the evolution of the new organization, students are asked to identify ways to enhance collaboration between the divisions of the enterprise. 

Author: Eric M. Laprade, ed. Michael A. Anderson
Published: Volume 1, Summer 2016
Details: PDF Download – 11 pages plus Appendices
ISSN: 2475-4994

Teacher’s Instructions and Notes

Never utilized a case study before? Each study has the option of coming with teaching instructions on how to use the case study and specific discussion notes to help direct the classroom conversation.

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Case Study Methodology

Eastman Case Studies for classroom use have three key attributes:

1. They offer an issue encountered by management in music administration, which demands a resolution or action.

2. They put the student into the business situation, creating an immersive experience that will sharpen student judgement and acumen for similar circumstances.

3. They are presented as chronologically compact scenarios, keeping to facts that bear on the case, and minimizing long histories and extraneous stories about musical arts organizations. The cases shine a light onto particular business problems and are packaged concisely for student learning.