We've built a community around music
and you're invited to join us

Our group was founded in 1980 by amateur musicians who wanted to enrich their community through music. Over 35 years later, our goal remains the same. We remain committed to impacting lives through music education and mentorship opportunities. We firmly believe in supporting musicians of all walks and stages of life. A love for music bonds us all and we want to share it with you.

Officially the Filarmonica Artista Amadora de San Leandro, our name translates to the Band of Amateur Artists of San Leandro.

aka the FAASL

Our founders were mostly Portuguese immigrants with varying musical experience; some with no experience at all. They pooled their knowledge and resources to help each other and create this band. Today, our all-volunteer organization has grown into a heterogeneous group representing many different social classes and backgrounds. We each pool our abilities to invest in each other and elevate our lives.

What a musical community looks like

Two young members posed and smiling, holding a clarinet and a flag

New musicians are guided every step of the way
by credentialed music teachers

A community has to make a priority of providing for its future generations. We do this with our free beginner and intermediate programs. All lessons are taught in a group setting, with all the same amenities of our volunteer band. The beginner class introduces new musicians, aged 8+, to their instruments and written music starting each February. The intermediate class is a transitional program whereby students rehearse and perform with our volunteer band, but also have a separate weekly lesson to focus on excerpts and musical theory.

    In our programs, students learn:

  • How to play and maintain their instruments
  • How to read music and keep time
  • Common scales, musical keys, and notations
  • Musical etiquette and how to practice at home
Learn with us
Many uniformed musicians of different ages in alignment and playing music together

Novice musicians growing
together with experienced musicians

A community must nourish its core. For us, this is our volunteer band. This mixed-age group of new and experienced musicians are dedicated to improving one another as much as improving themselves. Younger musicians play along side older musicians, learning in a manor that simply can't be replicated in a peer-aged group. Experienced musicians take pride in helping a future generation of musicians while expanding on their own skills with a challenging and changing repertoire.

After joining FAASL, I think I've grown as a musician because I have the opportunity to play with more experienced musicians.

Aubury Freed
More stories
Grow with us
Our band performing at a carnival

Public performances
and social events

A community thrives when it shares its talents with others. We work with our contacts in neighbouring communities to maintain a robust performance schedule that takes us around the SF bay and into the central valley every year. These performances give our musicians both a sense of accomplishment and a drive to improve. We host many dinners during the year, organized by the board for the benefit of our music programs. These fundraisers bring classic Portuguese meals to our tables, as well as some American staples. Breaking bread together reaffirms our commitment to our community.

Holy Ghost parades
Many parades are hosted by Portuguese organizations each year
Music festivals
Similar bands host us for concerts just as we host our own
City events
Cherry Festival parade and others
Bringing cheer to the holiday season
Have fun with us

Meet our community

Visit http://calendar.faasl.org for our upcoming events. Hope to see you soon!

Add our calendars to yours

Our leadership team

Portrait of Steve Silva

Steve Silva

Conductor & Lead Instructor

Steve joined us in 2008 as the conductor for our volunteer band. Since then, he's taken his experiences teaching in public classrooms and brought it to strengthen our program.

Portrait of Lorenzo Tomaz

Lorenza D.L.G. Tomaz

President of the Board

Lorenza raised her son in our program years ago. She actively volunteered in non-musician roles and has served as the president for over five years now.

Portrait of John Martins

João "John" Martins

Director of Stuff & Things

John was born into our program, pushed in his stroller as his father volunteered musically. He learned to play as a child and continues to help develop the program in new and innovative ways.

Contact us today!

Contact form

P.O. Box 2354
San Leandro, CA 94577-0235


857 'B', Alvarado St.
San Leandro, CA 94577


(510) 357-1449









Lorenza D.L.G. Tomaz
John Martins