Thursday, April 5, 2012

Caleb Plays with Orchestra!!!

It is early Spring and pretty much Caleb was just waiting until the end of March where he would have his annual Con Brio competition in Park City, Utah.  Not too much excitement, but then all of the sudden, out of the blue, his teacher sends a text to ask if Caleb would be able to perform the concerto he was working on with the University orchestra in a little over 2 weeks time.  

Woh.  He had his concerto memorized, but he hadn't really been working on it, and he didn't have a cadenza leaned (the end solo part of the concerto), and woh, this was only 2 1/2 weeks away.  Could this even happen?  

There were 7 other kids (all older, from ages 10 to 17) who had been asked to perform, and yet some of these kids had been working on their concertos for almost 2 years!  Caleb had only started working on this concerto since after his arm surgery, so maybe it had been a couple of months, but not consistently.  

This was a big decision, and there were some costs of some sorts to pay for orchestra, a suit for Caleb, time, preparation.....stress.....the worry that this was a short notice and could Caleb really do it?

Should we let him do it?  Should we come up with the money?  Was it worth it?  

Really, playing with an orchestra is a huge opportunity.  As we researched, we found that there were many accomplished pianists who may have won competitions over the years but had never had the chance to play with orchestra.  Here Caleb was only 9 years old, but this was a huge opportunity and who was to say if he would have other chances in the future?  

So, we decided to do it.  Caleb was a little nervous about the idea at first, but after talking with his piano teacher, he seemed very excited.

He prepared the next 2 weeks.  He worked very hard.  He got special permission at school to practice everyday after lunch on their piano in the lunchroom.

His mom freaked out a little when they were coming up with a new cadenza the night before the rehearsal that Caleb had yet to learn and memorize.  His teacher just laughed and said, "Chill out!  We're musicians here!"  

The night came to rehearse with the orchestra.  He had met with the conductor the week before, and now he had one night to rehearse his concerto in a small 15 minute time slot and that was it.  

He was extremely nervous, as he had never played with an orchestra before.  Caleb has always been a very distracted pianist and will often look at everything else besides the piano when he is playing.  We had told him to stay focused and not to look at the violinists or out into the audience while he played, but it came to mess him up, when the conductor started the orchestra and it came to his part the conductor motioned him in but Caleb did not start.  He was so much concentrating not to look anywhere else, that he missed his start.  Well, that, and he had never heard the orchestra part as how he is to start.  It's a little different than when his teacher plays.  So as he failed to come in, the orchestra all laughed.  This made Caleb even more nervous. We knew Caleb would be alright, he always performs well under pressure.


Caleb's teacher was there and she was helping him out and being very reassuring.  

At home, he was very excited when his new suit came in the mail that evening.  It even had tails!!

The night of the concert came and Caleb was very excited.  
Some of his biggest fans were already there to support him!

He was to wait backstage until he performed, but he was number 5 to go on stage, so we volunteered his dad to keep him occupied until it was time.  You never know what a 9 year old could do backstage waiting all that time.....

We did get some nice pictures on stage before it began.

The concert began and we were all so nervous waiting for the 5th pianist to come out.  It finally came, and out came Caleb to perform!  

Here is the amazing performance we got to witness:


He did so well!  There were a few spots Caleb had continued to forget during practice, but he remembered them all and did amazing!  What an awesome accomplishment for a 9 year old boy!

We tried to get a picture of all the performers over the audience's standing ovation!  
See little Caleb was the smallest as always.

Afterward, he got to meet a huge fan club!

This isn't all of the group.  He even had some teachers from school come to see him.

His piano teacher was so proud of him!

He even signed an autograph!

So exciting and wonderful it was!  It's just so amazing and awesome that he was able to be a part of it, and he did so well!  And as we just noticed, this is Caleb's 100th blog post!  How fitting to play with orchestra for his 100th post!

Thank you so much to all the friends and great family support to allow Caleb to have this wonderful opportunity!  We love you!

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