Joe Rapolla is the Chair of the Music & Theater Arts Department at Monmouth University and Director of the Music Industry Program (MBA ‘90, Monmouth). Since taking over as department chair in July of 2013, Rapolla has completely redesigned the program, helming the launch of Blue Hawk Records, a student-run record label.
In addition, Rapolla is responsible for forming innovative partnerships with organizations such as Asbury Park-based Lakehouse Recording Studios, as well as the GRAMMY Museum. Monmouth University is one of only nine universities nationwide with access to GRAMMY Museum content for educational purposes, curriculum resources, research programs, professional development seminars, collaborative marketing and promotions, project-based learning and unique student internship opportunities. These partnerships further the goal of providing students with real world experiences and hands-on projects to complement Monmouth’s comprehensive academic offerings.
Rapolla is also a marketing and strategy consultant for music, media, entertainment and consumer brands. He built and headed integrated consumer marketing departments at both Universal Music and Warner Music Group, where he successfully introduced and created direct-to-consumer marketing/CRM strategies, campaigns and platforms. Additionally, Rapolla directed all digital marketing for a video game start-up partnered with Def Jam Enterprises.
Rapolla’s work has won honors by AdAge for innovative campaign design and results, and has also been recognized by the Direct Marketing Association, which endowed him with two top ECHO Awards. Case studies of his work are highlighted in The Customer Loyalty Solution written by direct marketing pioneer, Arthur Hughes.
As a performing songwriter and producer, Rapolla has released three studio CD’s and produced dozens more, including a film soundtrack. Rapolla collaborates with top writers and artists in NYC and Nashville, and continues to perform locally and abroad.