Project STEP

Project STEP (String Training and Educational Program for Students of Color) is an independent organization that partners closely with NEC, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. Through its comprehensive, long-term string training program, Project STEP provides talented young string musicians from backgrounds underrepresented in classical music with access, opportunities, and support. Within a strong community of peers and families, youth from Greater Boston who participate in Project STEP develop strong musical, academic, and social skills that help them excel in their musical and non-musical pursuits.

Since 1982, Project STEP has trained thousands of children focusing on those who identify as Black and/or Latinx. The organization is a pioneer in the movement to build racial equity in classical music. Approximately 60% of Project STEP’s graduates are pursuing music as their profession, with others working in fields including medicine and financial services. Every Project STEP graduate has attended college or conservatory and recent graduates have attended the New England Conservatory, Juilliard, Harvard, and Brown. Project STEP won a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2014, the highest award in the country for youth arts programs, and was invited to perform at a White House State Dinner for President Barack Obama in August 2016.

Project STEP’s Artistic Director is cellist Javier Caballero, and their Artistic Advisor is violinist Mariana Green Hill, who studied at the NEC Preparatory School through Project STEP from 1990 to 1997. Many of Project STEP’s faculty members also serve on NEC's Preparatory School faculty or are alumni of NEC.

Project STEP is proud to be a founding partner of BEAM (Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music) along with the New England Conservatory, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, The Community Music Center of Boston, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

For more information about Project STEP, please see their website at