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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 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



Art Ochoa

VFK Co-Founder

Board Member

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FAYM President

Board Members

Elliot Gorlin                    President
Richard McGee              Vice President
Claudia Rivera                Secretary/Past President
Stephen Waldron          Treasurer
Christopher Bonds        Board Member

Arturo Ochoa                 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


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 four 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 four lessons a week, a free Summer Institute from June 1st to July 20th, 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, Alexandr Dzyubinsky, Marla Huizar, Anthony Rodriguez, Brigido Galvan, Jillian Johnson, Won Na, Nataliya Karachensteva and student assistants Ja'Nyah Newson, Carrianne Laird, & 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 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.

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