Omar Carmenates is currently the Associate Professor of Percussion at Furman University in Greenville, SC where he oversees all aspects of the percussion program including classical, jazz, and world percussion studies. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida. Under his direction, the Furman University Percussion Ensemble has become known for its performances and recordings of ecoacoustic music, helping promote Furman’s standing as one of the nations academic leaders in sustainability. Most recently, the ensemble received major support from the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability to collaborate with composer Matthew Burtner on the premiere recordings of his Six Ecoacoustic Quintets and a new interdisciplinary work written expressly for the ensemble, "Avian Telemetry", to be released through PARMA Records. Students of the ensemble have also presented interdisciplinary performances and research on sustainability and music at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies conference, the nief-norf Summer Festival Research Summit, and the Esri International GIS User Conference.
Omar is also a versatile musician with a strong interest in performing and recording contemporary solo and chamber music. His debut solo recording, entitled The Gaia Theory, was released through Rattle Records in 2013 and he can also be heard on the Cantaloupe Records release of John Luther Adams’ concert-length Inuksuit for 9-99 outdoor percussionists, a work that he both co-commissioned and directed in its United States premiere. He is also the director, producer, and arranger of the “John Psathas Percussion Project”, a multi-year collaboration aimed at recording and performing percussion ensemble arrangements of the works of New Zealand’s most prominent composer, John Psathas. The recordings and scores from this project are published through PARMA Records and Promethean Publications respectively.
Also active in the marching arts, Omar has been the Percussion Arranger for the Cadets, the Spirit of Atlanta, and the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, as well as for numerous ensembles in all levels of the activity.
Omar is a proud endorser/artist for Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, Inc. Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, and Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments.