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:
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
Elliot Gorlin President
Richard McGee Vice President
Claudia Rivera Secretary/Past President
Stephen Waldron Treasurer
Christopher Bonds Board Member
John Cochener Board Member
Arturo Ochoa Past-President
Sandra Pelaez Board Member
Bill Thornhill Board Member
Hal Weller Founder/Trustee
HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS
Jamie Bernstein Hilary Hahn
Gary Karr De Ann Letourneau
Valentina Lisitsa Dennis Ortwein Alexander Prior Juan Soto
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.