ORCA scholarship program makes trips possible

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    By Ruth Busbee

    Spencer Walsh plans to take a trip to Fiji to learn about their traditional folk music this summer.

    To pay for the trip, he has applied to receive one of the $1500 scholarships from the Office of Research and Creative Activities.

    The Office of Research and Creative Activities, ORCA, exists to support the university community by encouraging and supporting research, creative expression, and other expressions of academic scholarship.

    Walsh, 23, a senior from Farmington, Davis County, majoring in anthropology, applied for his first ORCA scholarship on Nov. 1, 2002. He would like to go to Fiji and translate the music lyrics from Fijian into English as part of a senior project for his anthropology degree.

    While on his mission from 1999-2000 in Fiji, Walsh became interested in the traditional music performed during birth and death rituals. As a result, when Walsh came to BYU he decided to major in anthropology.

    “The field of ethnomusicology looks at how music and culture are interrelated,” said Walsh. ” The work done in the oceanic region has been pretty limited.”

    Fijian music is a very big part of Fijian life. Walsh will not be looking at Christian music, but at the traditional music stemming from beliefs from the pre-westernizations era.

    “Most of the music isn”t modern pop music, it”s the traditional from-the-village music revealing their cultural beliefs surrounding birth and death,” said Walsh.

    Walsh said if he receives the ORCA scholarship, the $1500 dollars would be used mostly for transportation.

    “Free money is what inspired me to apply for the scholarship,” he said.

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