September has been a big month for the school! At the end of the recent term we held our first ever student concert. Look at all our wonderful players! That’s Guitar 1 above.

It really felt like we’d done what we set out to do – turn everyone who walks through our door into a musician. I felt grateful to be working with the kind, skilled and tenacious people who stuck with us this first year.

Which brings me to my second point – it’s our first anniversary! One year ago co-founders Bob Bakert and Frank Hamilton welcomed the first group of curious students to the school. We made it through the first wobbly twelve months of finding our sea legs, finding our permanent home at Oakhurst Baptist, and finding enough volunteers to keep the whole thing moving. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for being there!

And then, to top it all off, the IRS awarded us tax-exempt status. We thought we had another couple of months to go on that one, so we were relieved as well as thrilled to get the notice! About five months ago our extraordinarily generous lawyer, Tom Lauth, guided us through the assembly of literally a book’s worth of forms, and now we’re a full-fledged non-profit! Which means any donations you make will be deductible from your taxes.

It also means we’ll be gearing up to produce entertaining fundraising events, attracting major donors and doing all the things non-profits do to expand their programs and professionalize their staffs. We love the students we’re serving, and we want to be able to share our unique kind of social learning with hopeful musicians from more walks of life.

We’ll be celebrating our success at Porchfest ( on October 8; from 12-1 we’ll be in the courtyard of Oakhurst Baptist Church. Come play with us!

Shelley Satonin-Hershkovits,

FHS Director

photos by Eli Hershkovits