Mr. May

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. 


Mr. Jonathan May Day

In 2010, Orange County, Florida dedicated May 1 as Jonathan May Day.  Read the proclamation below.


Mr. Jonathan May Day Proclamation

Mr. May in the News

For nearly two decades, Mr. May worked diligently for his orchestral programs and his thousands of students.  The following list of news articles helps tell the story of Mr. May and how his efforts live on through the work of the MAYS and the people that he touched through music.


1994 - July 24 - The Orlando Sentinel
1995 - February 16 - The Orlando Sentinel
1996 - April 18 - The Orlando Sentinel
1997 - September 6 - The Orlando Sentinel
1998 - June 7 - The Orlando Sentinel
2002 - April 26 - The Orlando Sentinel
2006 - May 5 - The Orlando Sentinel
2008 - March 21 - The Orlando Sentinel
2008 - June 15 - The Philippine Daily Inquirer
2009 - December 7 - FlaglerLive
2010 - March 1 - The Daytona Beach News-Journal
2010 - March 1 -  The Orlando Sentinel
2010 - March 14 - The Daytona Beach News-Journal
2010 - April 1 - Winter Park-Maitland Observer
2010 - May 16 - FlaglerLive
2010 - May 16 - FlaglerLive
2010 - May 16 - FlaglerLive
2010 - July 21 - The Orlando Sentinel
2011 - Orlando Family Magazine
2011 - February 13 - FlaglerLive
2011 - February 18 - Central Florida Future
2011 - February 25 - The Geneva Courier
2011 - February 26 - FlaglerLive
2011 - March 4 - The Orlando Sentinel
2011 - April 21 - The Orlando Sentinel
2011 - April 28 - FlaglerLive
2011 - May 13 - The Orlando Sentinel
2011 - May 14 - The Orlando Sentinel
2011 - June 24 - West Orlando News
2011 - September 9 - Independent Retailer
2012 - March 17 - Trinity Voice
2012 - April 29 - FlaglerLive
2012 - June 26 - Orlando Life
2012 - July 19 - The Daily Commercial
2012 - September - Trinity Alumni Magazine
2012 - November 1 - The Orlando Sentinel
2012 - November 3 - The Orlando Sentinel
2012 - December 6 - The Seminole Chronicle
2013 - February 9 - The Daily Commercial