MAYS Honorary Founder, Jonathan May was the founder and artistic director of numerous orchestras in Central Florida, as well as orchestral programs in schools all across the country. While his knowledge and approach to orchestral music education made him a success, it was his compassion and nurturing education style that made him a hero to his students and countless community members that were lucky enough to know him.
He worked with young musicians for twenty-five years and developed orchestras throughout the United States including Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee, and Florida. In the summer of 2001 he conducted a successful tour of Italy that featured performances in Milan, Fiesole and the Academy of Music at Santa Cecilia in Rome. He also led young musicians in concert tours of England, Scotland, Australia and Austria.
An active clinician, he was regularly featured as an All-State conductor, and was a frequent conductor of large regional string festivals. In January 2007 he conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague.
Mr. May received many awards for his work on behalf of young musicians, including:
* Teachers Who Make A Difference award in Denver, Colorado
* Faculty Merit Award from Moorhead State University
* Bryan Symphony Award from the Bryan Symphony in Tennessee
* ASCAP Award (1997) for the programming of Twentieth Century music
Mr. May was an active advocate for arts education and served on the National Board of the Youth Orchestra Division of the American Symphony Orchestra League. In addition, he served on the Board of the state chapters of the American String Teacher's Association in Minnesota, Tennessee and Florida. Mr. May maintained a busy teaching schedule and developed string programs at Trinity Preparatory School, Park Maitland Elementary School and Flagler County. In addition to his exceptional work in the Orlando area, he was also the Music Director of the Central Florida Youth Orchestra in Lake County.
Mr. May’s lifelong mission was to provide opportunities for a well-rounded musical education. The Metropolitan Area Youth Symphony is dedicated to his honor and maintaining the high musical, educational, and ethical ideals that he brought with him to each of his orchestras and students.