Arch Alumnus Peter May Receives Grammy

The Paul Winter Consort’s latest release, CRESTONE: A Celebration of the World of Crestone, has just received a Grammy® nomination for Best New Age Album. The album was produced by Winter and Peter May, B.S. ’88 and native of St. Clair Shores, Michigan. A total of 13 albums featuring Paul Winter have been nominated for a Grammy Award over the years. CRESTONE is May’s first Grammy nomination.

“I was fortunate to find in Crestone, Colo., an extraordinary guide in Peter May, a natural architect who knows the mountains intimately and who also happens to play trumpet,” commented Winter. “Peter and I hiked to several places and played our horns to test the acoustics, but found no magical-sounding spaces. Peter volunteered to continue making reconnaissance trips and over the next year he hiked to fifteen sites, recording his trumpet on a video camera and sending me the cassettes so I could hear the acoustics.”

The primary recordings for this new release were done in the natural acoustics of North Crestone Lake, at an altitude of 11,800 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The album introduces to the world the voice pow-wow drum and cedar flute of John-Carlos Perea, a young singer of Apache heritage, who sings in the Northern Plains Indian tradition. The album also features the sounds of the Mountain Bluebird, Red-winged Blackbird, Whooping Crane, Meadowlark, Sandhill Cranes, Coyotes, and Buffalo.

On scouting locations and natural background sounds Peter May commented, “we found Buffalo, in remote parts of a ranch in the San Luis Valley, but weren’t able to get close enough to record. One evening I decided to play my trumpet for them. Three of them were very attentive, and we were able to drive our pick-up within twenty feet of them. We quietly set up our recording equipment. Gradually the Buffalo began to come around us, until we were surrounded by perhaps 200 of them, making gentle grunts and chuffing sounds.”

The Consort includes Paul Winter, soprano sax; Paul McCandless, oboe and bass clarinet; Eugene Friesen, cello; Glen Velez, percussion; Don Grusin, keyboard; Koji Nakamura, Japanese taiko drum; Peter May, conch shells

About Peter May:

May lives in Crestone, Colo., where he practices architecture, leads wilderness education programs, and is chief of one of the fire departments. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he has a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan.

For more information, contact Kevin Curtis at or (313) 617-3036.