Artistic Staff

Maureen May, Artistic Director
Symphony and Intermezzo Conductor

As a professional cellist, school music teacher, musician’s advocate, founder, artistic director, and conductor of numerous youth orchestras and strings programs in Florida and beyond, Mrs. May brings to every musical endeavor thirty years of education and experience.

She has developed all of her programs with a lifetime of acquiring knowledge in the area of music education and music performance, and she worked closely with Mr. Jonathan May to develop a unique and inclusive teaching philosophy to which she continues to adhere.

In Colorado, after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in cello performance, Mrs. May started the Canyon Youth Orchestra with Mr. May and learned the immeasurable value of garnering genuine community support for music programs. Mrs. May then started the Cumberland String Project in Tennessee, which introduced strings and music education to an area that otherwise had no music education in the schools or community. Upon arrival in Florida, Mrs. May served as the orchestra director at Maitland Middle School and Winter Park High School, started the strings program at Park Maitland School, taught music at Millennium Middle School in Sanford, and currently teaches strings at Trinity Preparatory School, where she helped grow the comprehensive program started by Mr. Miller and Mr. May well over a decade ago.

The foundation of each program has always been community support and enthusiasm for musical education. Mrs. May has been instrumental in continuing the legacy of Mr. Jonathan May helped found The Jonathan May Foundation in 2012, to provide further opportunities to music students in Central Florida. It is through the MAYS and The Jonathan May Foundation that Mrs. May seeks to further the musical ideals of Mr. May, as well as inspire countless students to find the beauty and joy of orchestral music.
Dr. Mauricio Cespedes Rivero, Conductor 
Concertino and Repertory Conductor

Dr. Cespedes is a winner of the New World School of the Arts Concerto Competition, Ibero American Symphony Competition, Aspen Music Festival fellowship, and finalist in the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, sponsored by the Japan Chamber Music Foundation.

As soloist, he has appeared with the New World School of the Arts Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Maitland Symphony, Bolivian National Symphony Orchestra, La Paz Symphony Orchestra, COFES International Festival Orchestra, Festival del Sol Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Concertante of Cochabamba, National Conservatory of Bolivia Symphony Orchestra, and El Alto Symphony Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Dr. Cespedes has performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, South and North America. He has been featured at the Aspen, Mimir, and Sewanee music festivals, and at the Michigan Chamber Music Society.  Dr. Cespedes has collaborated with notable artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Charles Pikler, Glenn Dicterow, Cynthia Phelps, Suren Bagratuni, Randolph Kelly, Jonathan Crow, Robert DeMaine, Seunghee Lee, Susana Perry Gilmore, Anton Neil, Roger Benedict, Colin Jacobsen, Stefan Jackiw, Zoya Leybin, and Richard Tognetti.

Currently, Dr. Cespedes serves as principal violist of the Orlando Philharmonic. In the past he served as principal violist for the Lansing, Miami, New Word  School of the Arts, and Bolivian National Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Ash Lawn Opera Company.  One of his most memorable performances was with members of the New York Philharmonic at the Millenium Concert at Lincoln Center in New York.  In 2011 Dr. Cespedes won an international competition to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and perform at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He has collaborated with composers such as Mason Bates, Stella Sung, Ellen Tafte Zwilich (Naxos Recording), and John Williams.

As a frequent guest conductor with the Orlando Philharmonic, Dr. Cespedes has conducted the orchestra in Young People’s Concerts, pops concerts, and had the privilege to conduct excerpts of the Brahms Double Concerto with Colin and Eric Jacobsen as soloists. Other orchestras he has conducted include the Stetson University Orchestra, the New Score Chamber Orchestra, the A Gift for Music orchestra, and Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras. 

Currently, Dr Cespedes is a conductor for the Metropolitan Area Youth Symphony. He holds music degrees from New World School of the Arts, Michigan State University, and Florida State University, where he obtained his doctoral degree.  Besides music, Mauricio holds a degree in Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Management of Protected Areas in Bolivia.  

MAYS Lake County and MAYS At Your School

Elliot May ~ Mr. Elliot May is a strings teacher from Orlando, Florida. He studied Music Education with Michael Allen at Florida State. As a bass player, he has played in numerous orchestras in the Southeastern United States and studied privately with Michael Hill, Luciano Carneiro, and Melanie Punter. He teachers strings through the MAYS at St. Paul’s Catholic School and also performs and maintains a private studio in the Central Florida area. Growing up in a musical family, Elliot learned music in all forms from his parents Jonathan and Maureen May. His experiences as a student have fostered a lifelong love for youth orchestra and music education.

Nathan May~ Mr. Nathan May is a strings teacher from Central Florida, who teaches strings at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts as well as in his private studio. Nathan is a gifted performer, and regularly teaches and performs on all string instruments as well as piano and voice, and looks forward to teaching beginning strings in Lake County. .