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Jun 27, 2012
Merit School of Music (Chicago, IL) recently gained a free IT strategy valued at $200,000 from a unique partnership with Indiana University Master of Science in Information Systems students and an Ernst & Young technology team. Equipped with new solutions to its outdated technology infrastructure and a practical, easy-to-follow road map to manage its technology, Merit can now focus on its mission of providing quality music education.
The project was sparked by Justin Geis, a senior manager in the Information Technology Advisory Practice of Ernst & Young, a professor of information systems at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, and a Merit School of Music board member. Justin saw the opportunity for growth for all three parties and initiated a mutually-beneficial partnership from which Merit would gain a new IT strategy; Indiana University students would gain first-hand, real-world client experience; and Ernst & Young would recruit client-ready students.
Over the course of four months the project team interviewed Merit executives and studied the organization's technology systems. The project resulted in a full technology overhaul for Merit.
“We were impressed with the insight and professionalism of the E&Y and IU technology partnership that has given us invaluable tools and resources as we transform ourselves to a more advanced and efficient organization,” said Merit School of Music Executive Director Tom Bracy.“They addressed every IT aspect and demand of our school—hardware, software, email, and collaborative platforms. We are always looking for new opportunities to work in partnership with local and national companies. We appreciate the valuable advice and resources they have provided our organization and look forward to other similar partners to meet the needs of our growing student body.”
About Merit School of Music
Merit School of Music provides high-quality music education to students in metropolitan Chicago. Its primary goals are to help young people achieve their full musical potential, to remove economic barriers to participation, and to stimulate personal and educational growth through music. Merit School of Music was founded in 1979 to provide life-changing experiences for children through music. This year, the School will reach 7,000 young people at nearly 90 locations throughout Chicagoland. Merit is committed to helping children realize their full musical potential, while supporting them as they excel academically and grow personally. Merit offers a full range of music programming for children, ages newborn to 18 years, including early childhood classes; beginning, intermediate and advanced instrumental and vocal group instruction; private lessons; and ensembles. In 2009, Merit added classes for adults to help even more people grow through music. Last year, Merit provided nearly $3 million in support to its students through program subsidies, need-based tuition relief, low-cost instrument rental, music supplies and more. Merit’s student body comes from more than 140 Chicagoland ZIP codes and is diverse culturally, geographically, and in skills and aspirations.
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