From the Archives
Project STEP Students Head to Summer Camp
Students in our core program are attending summer camps such as BUTI, Sphinx Performance Academy, Apple Hill, Encore/CODA, and many more. We can’t wait to hear back from them about their life-changing experiences!
Project STEP Celebrates Our Seniors at Their Senior Recital
We celebrated our three graduating seniors at their Senior Recital on June 1st. They played wonderfully! Project STEP’s cycle of academic success continues as this year’s graduating seniors head off to college. Lev and Isabel were both accepted to Harvard University. Lev was also accepted into the Harvard/New England Conservatory dual degree program, for which 5 to 6 students are selected annually. STEP’s third senior, Valandrhah, will attend Syracuse University. We are thrilled for all of them, and are proud to be maintaining Project STEP’s record of sending 100% of our graduates to college. For photos of the recital, click here.
Students Perform in Spring Recital and Parents’ Benefit
On Sunday, May 18th, 2014, Project STEP held its 21st Annual Spring Recital and Parents’ Benefit to celebrate our students’ accomplishments in the last year. Our students played beautifully! We’re so proud of their accomplishments. For photos of our talented students at their recital, click here.
Project STEP’s work has been chosen for recognition as a 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) Finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Project STEP’s selection as one of 50 Finalists from 360 applicants distinguishes it as one of as the top arts-and humanities-based programs in the country. If Project STEP is selected, we will receive a $10,000 grant and the opportunity to visit the White House and accept the award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Student Wins Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, Will Perform on From the Top
Tenth grade violinist Tristan Flores recently won the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Congratulations, Tristan! He performed at a taping of the radio show From the Top on Friday, March 28th. The taping was private, but his performance was broadcast on WCRB 99.5FM on Sunday, Apr 27 on an episode of the hit radio show From The Top!
Triple Helix Piano Trio Visits Project STEP for an Exciting Masterclass
On Sunday, April 6th, Triple Helix Piano Trio gave a great masterclass at Symphony Hall. The award winning and internationally known trio is made up of violinist Bayla Keyes, cellist Rhonda Rider, and pianist Lois Shapiro. We were thrilled to have them here and look forward to partnering with them again in the future. You can see more photos from the event here.
Project STEP Competes at the Sphinx Competition
Project STEP violinist Tristan Flores competed in the 17th Annual Sphinx Competition on February 20th and received the Achievement Award/Honorable Mention. He played amazingly – we couldn’t be prouder! Congratulations to the 3 Jr. Division finalists, Sterling Elliott, Hannah White, & Mira Williams, and to all who participated in a great competition! For more information about the competition, click here.
Project STEP Student Plays with Dinosaur Annex
Project STEP violinist Tristan will perform with Dinosaur Annex in their Young Composer’s Concert on Friday, January 31st at 8pm at the Pickman Concert Hall at Longy School of Music. Ju Ri Seo has composed this year’s Commission for Young Performers for string quartet, which will be performed by members of Dinosaur Annex along with Tristan and two other talented student musicians. Tickets are available here.
Project STEP Performs at Concord Chamber Music
On Sunday, January 26th, at 2pm, five Project STEP students performed a free mini-concert before the Concord Chamber Music Society concert. They played wonderfully and really enjoyed the event! Thanks so much to the Concord Chamber Music Society for the opportunity.
Project STEP Student Solos with Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
On Sunday, January 26 Project STEP student Tristan Flores performed the last movement of the Bruch Violin Concerto with the wonderful Cambridge Symphony Orchestra for their annual Family Concert. It was a great event and we enjoyed being part of a concert that introduced so many young children to classical music! Thanks, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra!
Project STEP Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
On Monday, January 20th, Project STEP celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday with a performance and gathering for our families. It was a lovely occasion and a great chance to celebrate the life and legacy of MLK, Jr. You can find photos from the event here.
Masterclass with Rebecca Young
Rebecca Young came to Symphony Hall for a Masterclass on Sunday, November 10th, 2013, from 3pm-5pm. Ms. Young is the Associate Principal Violist of the New York Philharmonic. She has performed with many renowned groups, including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Project STEP Students Perform at the 2013 Classical Cartoon Festival
On Saturday November 9th, Project STEP students performed for the 15th Annual 99.5 Classical New England Cartoon Festival here at Symphony Hall.
See more photos of the event here.
Project STEP Welcomes New Board Leadership
On Tuesday, November 5th at the Project STEP Board of Directors and Advisor’s meeting, Board President Goetz Eaton officially retired from his post, passing the baton (literally) to new President Dianne Luby. Goetz was brought onto the Board in 1995 by Nina Doggett, then President of Project STEP, and a group of Boston Symphony Orchestra Overseers who were on the Project STEP Board. He was recruited to be Treasurer of STEP, and remained in that role until two years ago when he stepped in as President when Randy Hiller retired. Goetz has seen a lot in his 18 years as an officer. His stepping down is a huge change for him and for us, but we are excited to welcome Dianne’s leadership and vision to the Presidency. Dianne has more than 30 years of leadership experience in non-profit and for-profit organizations and has been a valued member of our board for 10 years. See photos from the event here.
Project STEP Attends Terezin Music Foundation Gala
Terezin Music Foundation welcomed Project STEP students, parents, and friends to their Gala concert on October 22nd. TMF is dedicated to preserving the musical legacy of composers lost in the Holocaust, and our students were honored to attend such a special event. The Gala included performances by Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra performing works by Bach and Mozart, along with a special performance by inspiring musician George Horner, who played several works he performed as a prisoner in the Nazi camps. Thank you to the Terezin Music Foundation for such a wonderful evening
Lev Mamuya Performs on From the Top
Project STEP senior Lev Mamuya performed on From the Top on October 6 at 2pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall. Lev is a 17 year old cellist who won 1st place in his division in the Sphinx Competition this February. From the Top is one of the most popular weekly music series on public radio. It is hosted by Christopher O’Reilly and is in its thirteenth year on air. For information on when the From The Top show with Lev’s performance on it will air on the radio, please see the From the Top website here and keep an eye out on Project STEP’s social media.
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Project STEP Celebrates 30 Years
Project STEP was thrilled to celebrate our 30th Anniversary this summer with a recital and reception for over two hundred guests. The spectacular performance consisted of pieces by students, alumni, and professionals like Ann Hobson-Pilot and Mark Churchill. We were delighted to welcome family and friends and see many familiar faces from the over the years coming together to celebrate with us. See more photos here or watch the video created for the event.
Christopher Johnson Wins Orchestral Bass Competition
Congratulations to Christopher Johnson, Project STEP 2002, NEC 2006, who just won first prize in the Orchestral section of the International Society of Bassists Competition, held during the Society’s 2013 Convention June 2—8 at the Eastman School of Music. Chris, an alumnus of Project STEP who studied at NEC with Donald Palma and then received his Master’s at the Manhattan School, won a paid week of performance with a major symphony orchestra.
Chris returned to help Project STEP celebrate its 30th anniversary on June 2nd, in the middle of the competition! He uses a double bass that STEP helped him purchase. Based in the New York City area, Chris is a section bassist for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and percussionist/rapper for the Pitch Blak Brass Band, a hip hop ensemble. He has previously held positions with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, the Pacific Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra.
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There’s a Sphinx Winner Among Us
We are thrilled that Project STEP student Lev Mamuya, a 16 year old cellist, was the 1st Place Laureate in his division at the 2013 Sphinx Competition this February! The Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting.
Lev will now be a part of the Sphinx Soloists Program, which will provide him with professional performance opportunities with orchestras around the country.
See Lev’s Sphinx performance here.
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STEP Student Wins First Annual Competition
We just learned that Project STEP student Tristan Flores, 14 year old violinist, placed First in the Roman Totenburg Violin Competition for his age division! The competition was held on December 2, 2012 and was open to all musicians ages 8-18 who were residents of Massachusetts. It was the first such competition in memory of violinist and teacher Roman Totenberg. We hope you’ll come celebrate Tristan with us the next time he performs!
February 2012: Mark O’Connor led a Masterclass at Project STEP Sunday, February 27th, 2012 at 5 p.m. See Mark O’Connor with the Boston Pops.
February, 2011: Alumnus Colin Benn, violist in Haven String Quartet, organized MLK, Jr. Day Celebration in New Haven, CT.
Fall 2010: Read more about Artistic Director Javier Caballero’s ‘Travels to the Middle East,’ here.
Project STEP is fiscal sponsor for new film celebrating Ann Hobson Pilot.
Ann Hobson Pilot, Principal Harp of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has been in the orchestra since 1970. As a revered and cherished teacher, one of the first African-American BSO member musicians, and one of the first women to join the orchestra, she has been called an icon in the orchestra world. Ann retired from the orchestra at the end of the Tanglewood season this past August, 2009, and jumped into two immediate, full time projects: She will be premiering a harp concerto written for her and the BSO by John Williams at Opening Night at Symphony, September 23rd and again on October 3rd; and playing the piece with the BSO at Carnegie Hall’s 2009-2010 Opening Night, October 1. And she is making a sequel to the film of 1999, A Musical Journey. Project STEP is the fiscal sponsor for that project, which is at full throttle now, with filming and recording going on this September and October.
Project STEP Alum Takes Home $10,000 Prize, Career Management, Naxos Recording, Opportunities to Solo with Professional Orchestras.
Tony Rymer, a 19-year old cellist who received his pre-conservatory music training through Project STEP (String Training and Education Program) and is currently a second year student at New England Conservatory, won the 12th Annual Sphinx Competition, February 1 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. His winnings include a $10,000 prize, a one year contract for career management, a professional CD from Naxos, and an opportunity to appear as soloist with a number of symphony orchestras. Within two days of his winning performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto (fourth movement), he had already received expressions of interest from the Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and Cleveland Orchestras.
Mariana Green-Hill, NEC Prep Faculty and Artistic Director of Project STEP Honored for Achievements as Sphinx Alumna.
Also honored at the Sphinx Competition was Mariana Green-Hill, another graduate of Project STEP and an NEC Preparatory School alumna. She won the Sanford Allen Award in recognition of her “artistic merit, persistence, and extraordinary achievement.” Green-Hill was named Artistic Director of STEP in June 2008 succeeding the retiring William Thomas. As a STEP student, she studied at NEC Prep from 1990-1997 where her teachers included Farhoud Moshfegh, Marylou Speaker Churchill, and Tamara Smirnova. She also played with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and as a member of the highly regarded Amaryllis Quartet. Coached by the late Eugene Lehner, the Amaryllis won the 1995 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (Junior division). In 1996, Green-Hill won the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition and was a featured soloist with the BSO. That same year, she performed with the Boston Pops and the Civic Symphony of Boston.
Mariana Green-Hill is First Former Project STEP Student to Return to Take On Leadership Role in Organization
Read the press release here.
Randall Hiller elected President of the Board of Directors
Project STEP announces that Randall Hiller is the new President of the Board of Directors. Randy has served on the Project STEP Board since 1999 and participated in various committees including Executive, Finance, and Board Development. His background in music and mathematics suit the needs of Project STEP perfectly.
Randy says he plans to “refocus our efforts on the next 25 years. How can we bring all of our students to their full potential? How can we balance the pressure of our highly demanding program with the understanding, care and support that young children so critically need? How can we publicize our program more effectively so that everyone in and around Boston knows who we are and what we do? These are a few of the issues I would like to address during my tenure.”Randy is succeeding Margaret Williams-DeCelles, to whom Project STEP is most grateful for her exceptional wisdom, experience, knowledge of STEP and the BSO, and warmth, which helped STEP navigate some of its most exciting and most challenging times. Margaret completed two terms as President of the Board of Directors of Project STEP on June 30th, and we are very pleased that she will continue to serve on the Board of Directors.
Project STEP is very fortunate to have both members on the Board and is grateful for their continued passion and support of the program.
December 2006: STEP students perform at the Museum of Fine Arts
Project STEP students were invited by the Museum of Fine Arts to perform in December 2006 and January 2007 at special celebrations hosted by the museum. In December the String Chamber Orchestra performed in the stately Koch Portrait Gallery, a sumptuous setting for Christmas, Hanukkah, and classical works. The MFA opened its doors to thousands of visitors for a holiday celebration during which the STEP performance was one of the highlights.
Again in January, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the MFA featured Project STEP students in two performances, at 11 a.m., and again at 2 p.m. Both performances featured solos. The program included Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, with Mariana Green-Hill, who is a Project STEP alum, graduate of The Juilliard School, and currently teaching young string players in Project STEP. Tony Rymer, a senior this year, was also a featured soloist, playing the cello for the Haydn Concerto in C Major for Violoncello.