About FAYM

On December 20, 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 which is stated as follows:

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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

Founder/Board Member


Art Ochoa

VFK Co-Founder

Board Member

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FAYM President

Board Members

Elliot Gorlin                   President

Richard McGee              Vice President

Claudia Rivera               Past-President

Arturo Ochoa                Past-President

Juan Soto                      Board Member/Luthier

Gloria Gorlin                 Secretary 

Stephen Waldron          Treasurer

Ana Anguiano                 Board Member

Christopher Bonds          Board Member

Bill Thornhill                   Board Member

Hal Weller                       Board Member



Jamie Bernstein             Hilary Hahn

Gary Karr                        Valentina Lisitsa             

Dennis Ortwein              Alexander Prior

                   De Ann Letourneau

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 200 students from 51 elementary schools currently enrolled in three community center locations.  FAYM has exciting plans for further expansion.
As an affiliate of the worldwide El Sistema movement, FAYM’s “Violins for Kids” project, provides youngsters with instruments, materials, two to three lessons a week, a week-long music camp experience in June, and special musical field trips at just $25 per month tuition. 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 Ocosta, Alexandr Dzyubinski, Marla Huizar, Jovonie Tejero, Arturo Hernandez, Brigido Galvan, and Azaria Carruthers.  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 Past 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.