Skip to main content

Monday 16 November 2015

Simon May receives honorary degree

Simon May was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Southampton Solent University on 16 November 2015, in recognition of his contribution to the music industry.

Famous for composing themes including EastEndersHowards’ WayTrainerCastaway,Animal ParkBrat Camp and ITV’s Seoul Olympics coverage, Simon also created the musical Smike and has worked on numerous hit songs for stars such as Nick Berry, Marti Webb, Kate Robbins and Amii Stewart.

On receiving his honorary degree, Simon says: “This is a very special day for me and I feel honoured to receive this honorary doctorate of music.”

Simon currently teaches music therapy to students with Aspergers at his local school, Unsted Park in Surrey, and recently co-wrote a number one hit song in Belgium with Ben Robbins. Fragile Not Broken was performed by the winner of Belgian’s Pop Idol.

Simon has received numerous awards and nominations for his music, including an Ivor Novello for Every Loser Wins (a number one hit in the UK for Nick Berry) and three TRIC awards for Best TV Theme for EastEndersHoward’s Way and Trainer.

simon-may-degree

Speaking to those graduating Simon said: “I would like to finish by giving you, if I may, a quick word of advice as you graduate. I have a unique way of spelling ‘no’. We all hear it when we aren’t picked for a sports team, are rejected for a job, or fail an examination… I spell no, YES.

“When you go into that job interview, when you fail it, remember please you are the same person. If someone says I don’t want you, you are the same person and you will come back in the future and wave a YES in that person’s face.”

His own musical career started as a choral scholar at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he gained an MA (Hons) in French and German. He then taught modern languages at Kingston Grammar School before signing to ATV Music as a professional songwriter.

Simon is Patron of the Devizes Junior Eisteddfod, Vice-President of the British Federation of Festivals and Patron of the Swindon 105.5 Community Radio Station.

A frequent face at the University as a Visiting Professor, in his recent autobiography,Doof Doof My Life In Music, Simon shares his knowledge and experience with his top 10 tips for music students.