New Music Director and Conductor Announced

“As a northwest native, I am beyond delight to be returning ‘home’ to join the SOGO team and find my place in Olympia’s musical community. My top priority as Music Director is an always-fulfilling musical experience, and I am eager to discover how we can all work together most effectively to achieve that.” ~ Cameron May

Cameron May
Music Director & Conductor beginning 2018-2019 season

Cameron May joins SOGO as Music Director and Conductor of the Conservatory Orchestra beginning with the 2018-19 season. Though a native of Portland, Oregon, Cameron comes to Olympia from Champaign, Illinois, where he is finishing a graduate degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the tutelage of Donald Schleicher. At Illinois, Cameron is Music Director of the Illini Strings and a graduate teaching assistant in the orchestral conducting department. A strong advocate of collaboration in the musical arts, Cameron led the University of Illinois Philharmonia in a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto, Op. 15, with internationally-renowned Beethoven scholar and performer William Kinderman in February, 2018. In April, he will bring together the Illini Strings, Illini Women and University Chorus, as well as combining the Illini Strings and Philharmonia for a large-scale performance of Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Cameron has conducted performances or premieres of works by several contemporary composers, including Morgan Denney, Carolyn Quick, Steffen Schmidt, and Stephen Andrew Taylor.

Cameron’s guest conducting appearances include engagements with the University of Illinois Chamber, Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestras, the University of Colorado’s Pendulum New Music series, the Portland Festival Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra. He received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, and served for three years as a conductor of the University of Colorado Middle School String Ensemble. Cameron’s additional conducting study includes workshops in Boulder, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Sofia (Bulgaria) with pedagogues such as Mark Gibson, Jeffrey Grogan, Gary Lewis, Larry Rachleff, and Donald Schleicher. He also participated in a conducting masterclass taught by Osmo Vanska of the Minnesota Orchestra at the University of Illinois in January, 2018. As a violinist, Cameron studied with William Hunt, Cynthia Raxter, and Charles Wetherbee.