Tom May directs a group of elementary orchestra musicians at a Delavan-Darien all-district orchestra concert at Delavan-Darien High School.

Two of Delavan-Darien School District elementary instrumental music teacher Tom May’s works will be published.

The Hal Leonard Corp., the world’s largest publisher of print music, selected two of May’s original compositions, “Bowin’ the Blues”

Tom May

and “Treasure Quest” for publication.

May teaches 190 fourth- and fifth-grade orchestra and band students and hopes the publication of his compositions will help kids throughout the world make music.

“Hopefully, many students across the country will enjoy studying the musical concepts within these pieces as they work toward performing them in their own concerts,” he said.

The pieces May composed are written for beginning to early-intermediate level string instrumentalists, including violin, viola, cello and bass.

The Hal Leonard website lists the following descriptions of the two works:

“Bowin’ the Blues” — “Great fun for all with this blues tune that effectively introduces the difference between F-sharp and F-natural for violins and violas, and C-sharp and C-natural for all instruments. Let your group jam their hearts out on this great ensemble teaching piece.”

“Treasure Quest” — “Students love great adventure music, and “Treasure Quest” is sure to please. A seafaring, swashbuckling tune in 3/4 with bold statements for all parts, this mini-overture by composer/string educator Tom May is a delight to learn and perform.”

May has penned many other original works and arrangements for his young learners. These were the first two he has had published.

“It’s very gratifying to have it happen,” May said. “Being published is an honor that further validates your work and makes it accessible to a much larger variety of people.”

May, who has been teaching, composing and arranging for more than a decade in the district, writes music mostly for his strings students in fourth and fifth grade.

“I started writing music because I had a difficult time finding concert pieces that fulfilled the needs of my students,” he said. “So I began to take recognizable melodies and arrange them as pieces that students at this level could perform in an ensemble setting. That eventually grew into composing original works for string orchestra.”

May also occasionally writes or arranges music for his band students, but he typically has enough band literature to choose from for his liking, he said.

May wrote, “Bowin’ the Blues” about seven years ago. His students have performed it often at district orchestra concerts.

“Treasure Quest” is a newer piece written and modified in the past two years.

The Delavan-Darien School District is one of two public school districts in Walworth County to maintain a strings music instruction program.


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