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Connor May ’16

Class of 2016
School of Music graduate
Composer and musician


Connor May never shies away from a stage.

He’s performed as a trumpeter in jazz and concert bands, on cruise ships and toured the country with hip-hop artist Kid Quill. Last year, he added a new experience to his impressive repertoire – composer for a national commercial.

May ’16 created the original soundtrack to UofL’s Here & Beyond advertising campaign, a feat he is extremely proud of as a Cardinal alum.

“It feels like a full-circle thing,” May said. “I’ve done so many projects, but this one just hit different. It meant more to me, and I hope everyone likes it.”

May unleashed his potential as a graduate student in the School of Music, where he was given opportunities to perform live concerts throughout the city of Louisville. Those performances were vital in building his confidence and launching his career as a professional musician.

“There were so many opportunities to play in the community. Our professors would organize shows at churches and we had a few jazz band concerts out in Cherokee park,” May said. “All that practicing went into real performances for members of the community who were there to see a show of you, professionally. You get that experience and tell yourself, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’”

One of the lessons May learned at the School of Music was “iron sharpens iron.” So when it came time to write the Here & Beyond campaign music, he recruited fellow music producer Travis Moore to collaborate with on the soundtrack. He also assembled a group of current UofL students to record the music.

“The experience of recording with the students was amazing,” May said. “They gave the music the energy and life it needed so the track could really breathe. And seeing the whole thing come together with visuals and the music was incredible.”

Although May has flown the nest since graduating and now resides in Indianapolis, Louisville still holds a special place in his heart.

“Because of music, I’ve traveled across the country, across the world and there’s no other city that is anything like Louisville,” May said. “It has its own culture and nothing else comes close. The school is embedded into the city. Feeling the energy in the city was amazing and I made it my home.”

May aims to continue diversifying his musical career and hopes to eventually become a professor like the ones who helped shape him.

“I’ve accomplished so many goals I’ve set out for myself,” May said. “My definition of success always changes, and I’m always searching for what’s next.”

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