After announcing a potential merger in June, Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory said Tuesday they will officially join together to create a combined institution. The merger was unanimously approved by each institution’s board of trustees, according to a joint statement released by the schools.
The schools, located less than 500 feet from each other in the Fenway neighborhood, have begun the necessary regulatory and accreditation review and approval process, which they expect to be completed by early summer 2016. The College of Music will be called “Berklee,’’ with the Conservatory becoming “The Boston Conservatory at Berklee,’’ according to the statement.
When the potential merger was first announced, college officials said it would better allow students to respond to the needs of artists in the 21st century. The Conservatory would retain control over its programs in music, dance, and musical theater, but Berklee students would benefit from more hands-on experience in dance and theater. Conversely, Conservatory students would have more access to Berklee’s technology, music business, music therapy, sound design, production, film scoring, and online programs.
Students are already embracing the merge, according to the statement. The student government associations from both schools created a joint group, Bridge the Gap, to program and publicize initiatives that bring students from the two institutions together, including various music and dance projects, instrumental duos, and musical theater stagings.