Music program gains new professor

Beth May 8.19.15After spending the past 13 years in either the extreme heat of Texas or the extreme cold of upstate New York, new music professor Dr. Beth May says one reason she was drawn to Centralia was because she liked the weather. “I have always been partial to rainy weather. The thought of four relatively temperate seasons was very appealing.”

Dr. May was also impressed with the rich history of Centralia College and the overall feeling of community and student-centeredness. Visiting campus during her interview, she observed that the faculty and staff she met all seemed happy to be here, and “there was a buzz of excitement about learning.”

In her new role, she will be teaching a variety of music courses, recruiting new students to the music program, and growing and diversifying our music offerings. She is looking forward to working collaboratively with her colleagues and getting to know her students.

“It will be really interesting to learn what Centralia College students’ interests are and to help build the music program up—to offer them things that will support them in their endeavors.”

With many successful endeavors of her own—including serving in the United States Peace Corps in Namibia, managing several coffee shops, operating a Pilates Studio, and teaching music for over a decade—Dr. May has much to offer her students.

She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received her Bachelors of Music in theory/composition in 1996. Following that, she earned her Masters of Music from Yale University in 1998 and her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

She was instrumental in founding the music program at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio. While there, she also started the Jack Stone Award for New Music, a national competition for community college student composers that was awarded last year for the sixth time annually.

Actively involved in community organizations, Dr. May served as volunteer Director of Outreach for Stand Up for Kids – San Antonio. During the past year, in addition to owning a small business, she served on the board of the Society for New Music.

An avid reader, Dr. May enjoys hiking and doing Pilates, knitting, and cooking vegetarian meals. She and her husband have a dog and three cats.

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