Artistic Director

Project STEP, Inc. - Boston, Massachusetts

Job Category: Administration (other)

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Compensation: $60000

Application Deadline: June 04, 2020

About Our Organization

Project STEP (String Training and Education Program, or STEP) was founded in 1982 to rectify the vast underrepresentation of certain racial and ethnic minorities in classical music. STEP’s mission is to address this imbalance by identifying talented young musicians from communities that are historically underrepresented in classical music and providing them with long‐term, rigorous music and string instrument instruction. Based at Symphony Hall, STEP provides programming for students in grades 1‐12 to develop strong musicianship and life skills through an intensive curriculum of lessons, classes, ensembles, performances, and enrichment opportunities. STEP provides instruments and individualized training for up to twelve years on violin, viola, cello, or bass, placing students with teachers in the area including members of our partner organizations the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory (NEC), and Boston University.

Job Summary

Project STEP seeks an experienced and visionary Artistic Director. The successful candidate serves as the key artistic leader of Project STEP. This position works closely with the Executive Director to develop and implement the artistic vision, while leading youth development in line with Project STEP’s mission and core values.   Project STEP is a string training education program for talented young musicians from communities that are historically underrepresented in classical music.

Position Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

  •  Plan, implement, and direct all of Project STEP’s string instrument curriculum for grades K-12 (FOCUS & Core programs)
  • Oversee day-to-day student/family and teaching artists’ operations
  • Represent and advocate for Project STEP to continually enhance its image, visibility, and influence across the community


Program Development and Delivery

  • Create, implement and continuously evaluate curriculum
  • Responsible for student placement with private lesson teachers, ensuring that the process is done with respect to all parties involved
  • Responsible for student placement for Project STEP chamber music groups and coordinating with teaching artists the repertoire and performance readiness
  • Provide guidance and mentorship to students and their families in correlation to their musical development; topics ranging from summer music camp selection to the college audition process
  • Oversee pathways into Project STEP via our FOCUS program and annual auditions
  • Attend and program all scheduled public performances to provide support to our students and assist in the general promotion of Project STEP
  • Coordinate and design events and performances, including but not limited to the following duties:
    • Coordinate musicians, including students, accompanists and guest artists as applicable
    • Create and format written program
    •  Work in collaboration with Project STEP staff to book event space and other vendors as needed
  • Serve as the Student Advocate for the BEAM initiative (
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director in developing long-range artistic plans
  • Stay abreast of artistic activities in the orchestra field as it relates to youth development; stay abreast of diversity, equity and inclusion developments and opportunities in the orchestra field
  • Cultivate and strengthen relationships with collaborating artists and community partners

Administration and Operations

  • Coordinate scheduling and use of Project STEP’s space at Symphony Hall
  • Manage and organize all aspects of the student class and performance schedule
    • Each individual student (~60) has their own class scheduled that is developed and coordinated by the Artistic Director in conjunction with the student, family and partnering organizations
  • Recruit and hire teaching faculty and guest artists, in collaboration with the ED, to fulfill the program vision
  • Maintain a professional working relationship with students, families, teaching artists, volunteers, staff, guest artists, board members and partner organization staff
  • Manage and maintain all student records/files; files are stored electronically
  • Facilitate student progress reports and regularly scheduled check-ins with students, their families and teaching artists to ensure students are meeting individual goals and program standards
  • Administer end-of-year evaluations for all students; schedule and secure panelists for jury
  • Responsible for all aspects of FOCUS (kindergarten program) including recruitment and evaluations to select students into the program
  • Responsible for all aspects of the annual audition process for new students including setting audition requirements, recruiting, and securing panelists
  • Write, administer, and annually update the student handbook and yearly activity calendar
  • Oversee instrument use of Project STEP owned instruments; develop systems and procedures to ensure that instruments are well maintained and stay in good condition
  • Attend quarterly Board meetings and provide reports on artistic activities as needed
  • Attend bi-weekly staff meetings as well as weekly 1:1 weekly meetings with Executive Director
  • Provide clear, consistent and efficient communication with program stakeholders and outside constituents


  • Review and approve faculty and teaching artist invoices
  • Assist in drafting annual programming budget
  • Responsible for adhering to annual programming budget

Job Qualifications & Requirements

Position Requirements

  • Candidate is a string musician with an undergraduate degree in music;  preferably the candidate has a graduate degree in music 
  • Experience in designing youth programs focused on classical music coupled with a successful track record of sustainable implementation and execution of large-scale projects
  • Extensive knowledge of string repertoire
  • Demonstrated experience supervising and collaborating with teaching artists
  • Understanding of the diverse perspectives of stakeholders and ability to work with them to resolve differences
  • Experience working in community settings with a track record of achieving shared goals and successful program execution with multiple stakeholders and agendas
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with demonstrable ability to effectively facilitate meetings and present publicly
  • Ability to work well on a team and in a high-pressure, multi-tasking environment
  • Ability to think strategically, and to balance day-to-day operations with long-term planning
  • Ability to work most Saturdays, typically 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, September – May

Additional Details

Work Environment

  • This job operates in a professional office environment; office space located in Symphony Hall. Software and apps regularly used by the administrative staff include: web-based Microsoft 365, Google Suite for Nonprofits and 

Work Hours

  • Full-time, 40 hour work week. Flexible work-hours and location, however, the person in this position must be available to work onsite (Symphony Hall) most Saturdays, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, September - May. Occasional evening and Sunday hours as needed.

Physical Demands

  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. This person in this role frequently moves equipment weighing up to 25 pounds across the building(s) for various class and event needs.

Other Duties

  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Other Information

Compensation & Work Schedule:

  • Full-time position, 40 hours per week
  • $60,000-$70,000 annually


  • Healthcare
  • Generous paid time off
  • Simple IRA
  • Flexible work environment and schedule [with the exception of Saturdays, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Sept - May]
  • Professional development, including an opportunity to travel domestically, typically once a year
  • Ability to work most Saturdays, typically 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, September – May

How to Apply

How to apply: Position open until filled.

Project STEP is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. We are dedicated to hiring employees who reflect the communities we serve and strongly encourage applications from candidates of color. 

Project STEP provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, gender identity, genetic information, service in the military, or any other category protected by applicable law. Equal employment opportunity applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, transfer, leave of absence, compensation, and training.

Please send both a cover letter and resume to Rachel Forbes, Program and Communications Manager, either by:

  • email: with subject line “Artistic Director Application”
  • or mail to the following address:

Project STEP, Symphony Hall

Attn: Rachel Forbes

301 Massachusetts Avenue

Boston, MA 02115