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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

Christopher Bonds  Secretary

Stephen Waldron    Treasurer

Arturo Ochoa           Board Member

Sandra Pelaez          Board Member

Claudia Rivera          Board Member

Bill Thornhill             Board Member

Hal Weller                Founder/Trustee              

Jamie Bernstein       Hilary Hahn

Gary Karr                  Valentina Lisitsa   

De Ann Letourneau  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 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 four classes a week, a free Summer Institute from June 1st to July 20th, and special musical field trips for just $25 per month tuition.  Parents are urged to attend and participate in 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 and Carrianne Laird.  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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