LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 22, 2017) — A University of Louisville School of Music graduate student has been selected as a George J. Mitchell scholar.
James May is the university’s first Mitchell Scholar, an award given to just 12 Americans each year for Ireland postgraduate study that includes tuition, accommodations, travel expenses and a stipend. Receipients are selected based on scholarship, leadership and community service. He will use the scholarship to study new music production and performance at Ireland’s University College, Cork.
May has created over a dozen original compositions that have been performed by students and ensembles around the country.
He has served as a peer mentor, volunteer program coordinator and student speech coach while an undergraduate student and currently teaches contemporary music at Louisville’s Youth Performing Arts School.
“James is a perfect fit for this award,” said School of Music dean Chris Doane. “His work as a composer, volunteer, teacher and leader is inspiring to all of us and I have no doubt that he will use this scholarship as a springboard to continue these good works on an international level.”
A native of Pittsburgh, May came to UofL on the Bomhard Fellowship after graduating from The College of Wooster in Ohio, with degrees in music composition and English.
Patricia Condon, who heads the university’s Office of National and International Scholarship Opportunities, said she “had no doubt” that May would earn the scholarship.
“Rarely, in 15 years at the University of Louisville working with fellowship candidates from across the university, have we ever presented an applicant better matched to the ideals of the scholarship the candidate is applying for. The minute we saw the opening of May’s personal statement for his Fulbright application, which stated ‘I decided to study classical music because of punk rock,’ we knew we were working with a candidate of exceptional creativity and humor.”
May expects to begin his study in Ireland next fall after his spring graduation from UofL.