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School of Music Student Wins Prestigious Drapeau Summer Research Grant

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 13:47pm | By: Mike Lopinto

Omar Martinez playing at the Leon RecitalThe Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) recently awarded junior music performance major Omar Martinez a grant to further his research on music for the double bass.

The grant allowed him to travel to Mexico to examine works by Mexican composers that feature the double bass and will establish an important addition to double bass repertoire. Ultimately, Martinez hopes to illustrate the significant contributions that Mexican composers have made to classical music.

Martinez, a native of Uruapan in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, engaged in a project that involves cataloging pieces of chamber music and solo repertoire, as well as transcribing compositions from other instruments of similar characteristics to bass.

“At USM, I have found a variety of opportunities as a musician and as a student” Martinez said. “Through the support of Dr. Jay Dean, the encouragement of my English instructor, Jennifer Roy, and the resourcefulness and guidance of my bass instructor, Dr. Marcos Machado, I have been able to find the time, energy, and funds to extend my interests in music, not only in performing, but also in research.”

According to Dr. Sabine Heinhorst, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Outreach in the Honors College and DCUR director, she is “… grateful for the generosity of our benefactor Mr. Drapeau and for the financial support from our Vice President for Research, Dr. Gordon Cannon. Thanks to their vision, the Center is able to fund the research and creative projects of many students like Omar through its grant programs.

A former Fulbright Fellow in Belgium and a Kress Fellow at the Harvard Business School, Southern Miss alumnus Donald Drapeau is a passionate advocate of undergraduate students at his alma mater and enjoys the opportunity to foster their initiative, drive, and lifelong commitment to education and personal growth.

His passion has led to his sponsorship of the student prizes at the Undergraduate Symposium on research and Creative Activity and his support for the Eagle SPUR and the Drapeau Summer Research grants, which provide funds for students to devote time to their research and creative activities.