Omar Carmenates

Omar Carmenates

Professor of Music, Percussion

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Omar Carmenates is currently the 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 Avian Telemetry, a new interdisciplinary work written expressly for the ensemble. Students of the ensemble have also presented interdisciplinary performances and research at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies conference, the nief-norf Summer Festival Research Summit, the International Conference on Romanticism, 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.

In addition to his duties at Furman, Omar is an avid participant in the pageantry arts whose work can be seen and heard around the globe. While currently serving as an adjudicator for WGI Sport of the Arts, he has also served as a composer/arranger for the Cadets, the Boston Crusaders, the Spirit of Atlanta, and the Beatrix (Hilversum, Holland) Drum & Bugle Corps and has also acted in various teaching capacities at the Phantom Regiment, the Spirit of Atlanta, and the Boston Crusaders. Additionally, he has been the percussion arranger for high school programs across the United States including the Bands of America Grand National Champion Tarpon Springs High School Outdoor Performance Ensemble.

Omar is a proud endorser/artist for Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, Inc. Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, and Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments.


  • D.M., Florida State University
  • M.M., University of North Texas
  • B.M., University of Central Florida

Training Under:

  • John W. Parks IV, Florida State University
  • Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Ed Smith, Ed Soph, Robert Schietroma, University of North Texas
  • Jeffrey Moore, University of Central Florida


I seek to give students a focused yet broad music education encompassing both performing and teaching. From Afro-Cuban Music to Beethoven, and from solo marimba to drumset, I emphasize the importance of a diverse course of study in order to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving musical landscape.