Mr. May was 9 years old when he tried out for the NYC Boys Choir. Now what I want you to understand is that being a part of this choir meant living there! The boys who were a part of this Choir attended and lived at the Choir School of St. John Divine. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine where they sang was the largest Cathedral in the world! This is where he lived his dream for four years! "Onward Christian Soldiers", was the song he sang at his audition and he was chosen to be a boy soprano. There were 40 boys and they were divided into sharps and flats, 20 in each. Mr. May was a flat, which seems like an oxymoron to me because he is "sharp" as a tack! Hehehe!
As I talked to Mr. May about his time here, I learned he was quite a little hoot.....just like he is today! I asked him what his favorite part about being in the program was, and he told me that just being in, and singing in the Cathedral was almost overwhelming! The acoustics were beyond incredible and just listening to, and being a part of something so beautiful was an honor that he was so proud to be a part of! Not only was Mr. May in the program, but a few years before he got into the program...his older brother participated for two years! I guess singing was a talent that ran deep in their family.
I asked Mr. May what his life was like living away from home at such a young age. He told me that it was o.k. and that it was a really neat place to live. The building they lived it was a Gothic style building and they each had their own alcove that they lived in! The first section was where the sharps lived and then there were the flats. What I am about to tell you next is what will show you how creative Mr. May was.........On Sunday nights, the boys were allowed to go to a movie with their parents in town. While at the movies, he would always go to the candy counter and buy "Good and Plenty"s. Now at the school it was forbidden to have candy, but when he would come back from the movies, the proverbial store was open! He had become quite the entrepreneur in the candy business by selling the candy by the piece! He also found out how quickly his business could be shut down when busted by the Priest! Alas.......this was the end of Mr. Mays great candy enterprise!
Mr. May also decided to share with me one of his memorable moments.....the day he was allowed to sit at the Head of the table! He had written something that awarded him the honor of sitting at the head of the most beautiful table! While sitting there, the Head Master was watching him as he took his cup of tomato juice and mixed it in his milk to make tomato soup. From that moment on the Head Master made sure that tomato juice and milk were served at EVERY meal while he was in this position of honor! At the age of 12 his soprano voice started to change......and that is when he moved back home and his grand adventure came to an end. Mr. May has such fond memories of his time there, and he truly saw it as an honor to be a part of something that special! I wish I could have seen him up there singing as a child. My guess is that his smile back then was every bit as special as the one that lives so happily on his face now! I have known many people, but very few with a joy that comes from so deeply within. Getting to know Mr. May is such an honor, and such a joy for me. I look forward to our next visit and seeing his smile that forever lives in my mind......and in my heart! Please come back again for our next adventure! May God bless you all!