FORT PIERCE - Transforming from faith-less to faith-filled was an eye-opening journey for Eric Martinez, a choral educator at Fort Pierce Central High School. Martinez’s conversion to the Catholic faith began with his search for truth and beauty through the arts, specifically music.
“I’ve always loved music,” Martinez said. He first began exploring the artform when he took up piano instruction at the age of 22. Shortly following, he entered Stetson University in DeLand as a four-year undergraduate. He took a year off to study privately while playing for worship services at a Presbyterian church.
Although he majored in piano performance, it was a dean of students that brought out the singer in him.
“I wanted that voice,” Martinez said. “It was the most beautiful, transcending experience of my life.”
Martinez began to pursue more vocal opportunities. He also began dating a devout Catholic girl who was the eldest of seven and top in her class. An invitation to a chili cook-off on campus laid the groundwork for their friendship. During Martinez’s freshman year, they sang in chorus together and performed at the Stetson Christmas Candlelight Concert.
“I knew Jingle Bells, but not the real significance of Christmas. There was no Jesus,” he said.
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