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About FAYM

On November 21, 2007, the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians (FAYM) was born. Established by Harold Weller, the Founding Music Director and Conductor Laureate of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, FAYM is, with help from many generous supporters and volunteers, succeeding in its mission. Watch our story below and read.

Mission Statement

FAYM is threefold:
1)  To encourage and support young musicians in early training,
2) Advanced study,
3) Professional career development, specifically those who are in need of financial and/or mentoring support up to the age of 26, and to develop innovative programs for children in low income communities to receive musical instruction and opportunity.


Committed to Education


Hal Weller



Art Ochoa

FAYM President

Elliot Photo.jpeg

Past President

Board Members

Arturo Ochoa                 President
Richard McGee              Vice President
Claudia Rivera                Secretary
Stephen Waldron          Treasurer

Elliot Gorlin                    Past President
Sandra Pelaez                Board Member

Bill Thornhill                   Board Member

Hal Weller                      Founder/Trustee
Jamie Bernstein             Hilary Hahn
Gary Karr                        De Ann Letourneau    
Valentina Lisitsa             
Alexander Prior           
Juan Soto

                         IN MEMORIAM
Gloria Gorlin                   Dennis Ortwein
Christopher Bonds

FAYM History

Violins For Kids

In the fall of 2009 retired symphony conductor, Hal Weller, and retired inner-city school principal, Arturo Ochoa, saw the need and launched the “Violins for Kids” project to offer music instruction to youngsters in underserved neighborhoods in Las Vegas.  The program has grown from 15 to 230 students from 51 elementary schools currently enrolled in four community center locations.  A fifth location for 30 first grade students is scheduled to open in February 2004.
As an affiliate of the worldwide El Sistema movement, FAYM’s “Violins for Kids” project, provides youngsters with instruments, materials, two to four lessons a week, a free Summer Institute, and special musical field trips at a suggested fee of $25 per month. Parents are urged to attend lessons with their child which forms a strong common family bond. The year-long program is coordinated by Timothy Thomas and staffed by instructors Candace Chun, Faride Acosta, Belinda Boswell, Alexandr Dzyubinsky, Marla Huizar, Anthony Rodriguez, Won Na, Nataliya Karachensteva, Susan Rasmussen, Yvette Sital and student assistant Valeria Carbajal.  Renowned Luthier, Juan Soto, volunteers his expertise to keep all of FAYM’s string instruments in top condition and retired school principal & “Violins for Kids” co-founder, Arturo Ochoa, serves as President of FAYM's Board.
The “Violins for Kids” project has won recognition from the Clark County School District’s Partnership Program, the Clark County Board of Supervisors, and such celebrities as singer, Josh Groban, world-famous solo bassist Gary Karr, Teller (of Penn & Teller), and Jamie Bernstein, daughter of renowned conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein.

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