Project STEP (String Training and Educational Program for Students of Color) is an independent organization created by NEC, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Boston University School for the Arts to identify, train, educate, and guide promising young string players of color toward successful careers in classical music—as soloists, teachers, chamber music performers, and orchestra members. The program espouses the following principles:
- The classical music profession should reflect racial and ethnic diversity.
- Children, if identified at an early age and immersed in long-term, rigorous music instruction, can flourish as professional classical musicians and as individuals, regardless of their ultimate career choice.
- STEP students can reach their full potential when held to high standards and provided with the support and active engagement of teachers, mentors, family members, and alumni.
- Music can change lives and that the disciplined study of classical music enhances educational opportunities and opens doors for our students and their communities.
The Artistic Director of Project STEP is violinist Jin-Kyung Joen, and the Artistic Advisor is Mariana Green-Hill, who studied at the NEC Preparatory School through Project STEP from 1990 to 1997. Many faculty members also serve on NEC's Preparatory School faculty or are alumni of NEC.
For more information about Project STEP and FOCUS on the Boston Schools, please call the STEP Office at 617-267-5777.