May Takes A Final Bow

Fine Arts Teacher Maureen May retires after 18 years at Trinity
Fine arts teacher Maureen May conducts the orchestra during Easter Chapel. She has expanded the orchestra department since joining full-time in 2010.
Fine arts teacher Maureen May conducts the orchestra during Easter Chapel. She has expanded the orchestra department since joining full-time in 2010.
Olivia Prince

   Fine arts teacher Maureen May has a long history with Trinity, starting her position in 2005 and expanding the orchestra program since then. She is retiring at the end of the year after 18 years of teaching.

   May started teaching at Trinity as a part-time teacher with her husband, Jonathan May. He was behind the creation of the orchestra program and the Jonathan May Foundation.

   “He was always adamant about making sure everyone has the opportunity to play, no matter their financial abilities,” May said.

   May switched to working full-time after her husband passed away in 2010 so that her youngest son could attend Trinity. According to her, when she began teaching, the school’s setup was different.

   “The faculty was smaller, [and] the administration was smaller,” May said. “There was a lot of excitement around [adding to] an orchestra program because…there were two orchestras for [students] who just started and people who had already played.”

   She added four more levels from the starting two, including chamber music and AP Music Theory. The Jonathan May Foundation also supports the Metropolitan Area Youth Symphony (MAYS). According to the Jonathan May Foundation Website, this is done through offering scholarships for the students involved, funding for concerts, and assistance with fundraising initiatives. 

   “We try to scholarship students who couldn’t otherwise go to camp, or if we have an instrument need, we [cover the expense] and help them further that ability,” May said. “Hopefully, when they get to college, they have that ability to get scholarship money.”

   Sophomore Lauren Hayes plays the violin and has been in orchestra since sixth grade. She said May’s teaching greatly impacted her from her start in the beginner’s orchestra to chamber orchestra.

   “One of the few reasons I stayed in orchestra was because I liked [Ms. May] so much,” Hayes said.

   According to May, her time teaching has been memorable because of unexpected situations that always keep her on her toes. A student once got hit in the head with another student’s electric guitar and had to receive stitches afterward.

   “You tend to remember those things that are unexpected,” May said. “One of the memorable things is when we did Star Wars six years ago.”

   The concert was made memorable from the use of lightsaber bows. They were created using filaments connected to batteries put on the bows, and they lit up in the dark. Seeing the improvement of students with their instruments is her favorite part of teaching.

   “Having students be able to go from beginning all the way to the end [and] the fact that I could see them all the way through that really is my favorite part,” May said.

   May plans on remaining involved with orchestra in her retirement as she plans on continuing to participate in multiple orchestras outside of Trinity.

   “First and foremost, I plan to play a lot with my grandchildren. But I perform a lot [with] the cello,” May said. “I’ll still play with the Philharmonic, Orlando Philharmonic, and [the] Bach Festival Orchestra too, and I’m looking at kind of expanding some of my solo cello playing. We’ll see where that takes me.”

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