Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Caleb Plays at Disneyland!

As a celebration for recording 1 year of "Sundays @ 6", Caleb got to go to Disneyland!  
(Well, not really---it just happened to be a pretty good coincidence that his family planned their vacation the day after his 52nd week.)  

Caleb had so much fun and as he was walking past the Ragtime Piano on Main Street USA in Disneyland on his first day, he met Eric the awesome ragtime pianist.  Eric was a nice guy and saw that Caleb was wearing his "Caleb the Piano Player" shirt and asked if he could play.

Well, of course Caleb wasted no time in hopping up there and playing a little Pirates for the crowd! 


They seemed to like him and the pianist even asked where to get the arrangement.  We told him it is Jarrod Radnich's piano arrangement and you can check it out here.


Caleb had so much fun in Disneyland.  He can't wait to go again.






1 Year of Sundays @ 6!!!


It's official!!  Caleb completed 52 weeks of his "Sundays @ 6" web series where he has been playing a different church song arrangement each week.  That makes 1 full year!  

He had so much fun doing it that he has decided to go on to another year!  

You can check out all of Caleb's Sundays @ 6 songs at www.sundayswithcaleb.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Caleb Wins 1st Place at WestFest!

Caleb entered a talent competition at part of WestFest in West Valley City.  It is where they have a city wide celebration with booths and show and it's kind of like a fair with rides and games as well.  

Last year he entered and won 2nd place, so he thought he'd audition again.  
He decided he would do his fun Pirates song, so he auditioned and made it in the competition.  

This time he was competing with 8 other talented youth.  They were all girl singers, and one boy who played saxophone.  We thought he had a pretty good chance of getting a prize, but then when we began hearing some of the older girls sing, we weren't too sure.  

He knew this competition was a little different than just a piano competition.  This was a talent competition that focused more on stage presence and originality than just the talent of the performance itself.  So, Caleb got together a little skit to go before he actually played the piano.  

Here is the video of what he did on stage before his piece:

video

He did pretty well, but these older girls were really talented.  We were sure they would win.  At the end, we told Caleb he probably wouldn't get anything, but he was young, and talent competitions were a little trickier than just piano competitions.  He had fun performing and that's all that mattered.  

The MC announced that they had ice cream gift cards for all the participants, so he was excited about that.  

They had all the kids line up on stage before they announced the winners.  We thought maybe he'd be lucky if he got 5th place or really lucky if he got 4th.  

They began announcing the winners, and he didn't get 5th, and when he didn't get 4th, we figured, oh well, it was fun.....and we knew it was OK, because he was so excited about his ice cream.  

We knew 1st place had to go to this awesome girl singer, but then they announced her as 3rd, hmmmm.
Then 2nd was another talented singer, and we looked on stage to try to figure out who they would have picked to be 1st, and we thought they already called the best performers, so we were stumped. 

And then they called 1st Place "CALEB SPJUTE!!!"

Really, Caleb does really well, but we were surprised this time on a 1st Place win.  
Here is the line up of winners:


Caleb was really happy and excited.  (Mostly just for that ice cream!)  
He got a nice certificate and a $100 prize!  (Which he still didn't care about---he put it all in the bank, but when was he going to get ice cream???)


Caleb is a good humble kid, and he's a polite winner.  He went around and told the other performers they did a good job and he thanked the judges.  

We asked him if he thought he was going to win and he had the same thoughts.  He said he thought maybe he would get 5th and if he was really lucky he might get 4th.  Lucky boy!  I'm glad he doesn't have a big headed attitude and expect to win competitions.  He is always surprised and grateful to win anything and if not he is still always happy just to have come and performed.  

Because he won the Junior Competition, they asked him to come back on Saturday to perform in a Winner's Showcase.  He performed his Pirates once again, but then they asked him for an unexpected "encore" performance.  He took off his Pirates hat and patch and played some of his jazzy piece he had played at his last recital.  Here's a little clip of how fun he made it look:

 
video

What a fun time he had, and he's so excited to be able to put another certificate up on his wall.  That, and of course the ice cream!  



Friday, June 21, 2013

Photo Shoot for Caleb the Piano Player


After Caleb turned 10 he had a little photo shoot. 
 We missed posting his pictures, but it hasn't been that long, so here they are.

He dressed up in his nice tux with tails.


He took some pictures with all his sheet music.....

This next one was all Caleb inspired.  This is his "Ta-Da" pose.


This is very true to Caleb because every day he insists on posing this ta-da pose after every single scale, book or song he is practicing.

Also, we did family pictures at a music shop so Caleb got to have a lot of fancy pictures taken by some fancy looking pianos.   



He liked this next one so much that it became the main picture to his Sundays @ 6 blog and to his cover of his CD "Sundays with Caleb".




Caleb is the Featured Young Artist!


Could this silly face actually be selected as this months "Featured Young Artist"?  
It's true!
Caleb was selected by concert pianist Josh Wright to be his very first Featured Young Artist on his blog!  Caleb and Josh are old friends and so he was very happy to be asked.  

You can check out Josh Wright's blog here to see the featured article about Caleb.  
Also you can find out more about talented artist Josh Wright and even enter to win his new CD "My Favorite Things"!


Caleb gets Braces!


Could Caleb get any cuter?  Well, what if he got braces?
Caleb got braces across the front of his top teeth.  He has a pretty small mouth, but the orthodontist is going to help him have a giant smile soon!  

Caleb's School Talent Show

Caleb played in his school talent show.  He played the Pirates song once again since he thought it would be fun and the kids would like it.  

            

He also played in several ukulele numbers;

             

Caleb's Spring Recital


Caleb had a Spring Recital. 
He was excited about this one because he would be playing a jazz piece and would get to dress a little more snazzy and even get to wear his fancy hat.  

Here he is playing Kapustin's Sonata Op. 100;

              

Caleb's New Piano


Well, it finally happened.  
Caleb outgrew his upright piano.  Although it was a good little piano, he needed something more to progress as a pianist.  

So, one day, Caleb came home from school and there was a baby grand piano sitting in the living room!
He was so happy!  

Monster Concert 2013


It's that time of year again---time for Monster Concert at the U.  
Every year the piano area at the University has a giant fundraising concert where they put a whole bunch of pianos on stage and have students play fun songs all at the same time.  

This year's theme was Academy Award nominated songs.  Caleb's studio was asked to play the song "Suddenly" from the movie Les Miserables.  Caleb was a bit disappointed when he saw the music as it was really really easy, but his teacher said it wasn't a big deal and he had other harder things he was working on anyway.  

It is hard to put so many students on stage of varying skills and levels, so often not everyone even gets to play all the parts.  Sometimes they have students share pianos and only get to play 1 hand.  
Caleb got his own piano this year, but he didn't get to play everything.  They split up different parts for different students.

Caleb had lots of fun though as always.  He just hopes next year will be a fancier song.

Here is video from the song they played;

Caleb Learns the Ukulele!

Caleb had the opportunity to take a ukulele class at school.  Here is one of the first songs that he learned to play:

video

Caleb Loves His Great Grandma


Every Tuesday after piano lessons, Caleb visits his Great Grandma at the care center.  He brings her stuffed animals and draws her pictures, and many times he gets to play the piano for her. He loves his Great Grandma very much!


Caleb Wins a Whole Bunch of Honorable Mentions


Caleb competed in the Salt Lake Piano Competition.  He competed in several different categories and won many Honorable Mentions.  (Although we're pretty sure he was the best!)  He played a lot more difficult pieces than the other students, but the judges seemed to think he should not be playing such difficult pieces.  Oh, well,  Caleb had a good time, and he loves all his yellow ribbons!

Caleb's Piano Variety Act Live in Concert

Caleb was invited to be in a Scholarship Benefit Concert hosted by Miss Utah and Miss Murray.  He was really excited.  He even handed out flyers.


The concert was to help raise money for local college scholarships.  
Caleb put together a piano variety act where he would play 3 songs.


He would play a classical song, a jazzy song, and then a fun song.

He was awesome!  
Here is the video from the event.  
We cut off the first part, but I'm sure you've all seen and heard his Sparks by now.



His sister performed as well singing Castle on a Cloud while he accompanied her on piano.
She was a perfect Cozette.


                   

Caleb Accompanies his Sister

When Caleb isn't working on his piano songs, he often acts as an accompanist for his sister Jewelia.  She plays the violin.  

Here they are performing the Sleeping Beauty Waltz;


To see more of Jewelia, you can check out her blog at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Caleb Performs at the University of Utah's Piano Area Centennial Celebration


Woh, it's a mouthful, but Caleb was asked to perform at a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Piano Area at the University of Utah.  There was a fancy luncheon where many donors and faculty of the University Piano department came and told of the success and future of the Piano Area.  They had 4 students of various ages invited to perform a number, and they asked Caleb to come play his Sparks, as they heard he had been honored by the Utah Symphony Youth Guild.

Caleb was the youngest student, but he did a wonderful job!  Even the chair of the piano area said it was an "expert performance"!  Caleb was so happy to hear that!  

The luncheon and performances were held in this sort of central atrium within the University's Music Building across from the Concert Hall.  While he was playing his piece, although we did not see it, another person in the audience informed us that there was a small group gathering along the side windows and doors.  Apparently when Caleb had started to play, some students outside in the surrounding hallways were listening and when they looked through the windows to see who was playing they were amazed and started waving other students over to see.  By the end of the piece, Caleb had several groups of college students watching in awe at this little boy who could play such a complex song.  

Here is Caleb's performance of Sparks by Moszkowski;

Caleb wins the Pinewood Derby with his "Piano Racer"!


Caleb is in cub scouts and had the chance to compete in the Pinewood Derby.  
The Pinewood Derby is a race where scouts carve out and design a car from a block of wood.

As this is Caleb's last year to participate, he decided to make a special piano car.  He had his uncle help cut out his shape in the wood, and then he painted it just like a piano keyboard.


When he got to the races it did very well!  It wasn't the fastest car overall, but it did well enough to give him a 1st Place out of his den and 3rd place overall!  

What an awesome job and an awesome car!

Caleb Receives an Honorable Mention from the Utah Symphony Youth Guild


This year Caleb entered the Utah Symphony Youth Guild music competition.  He was the youngest competitor, and although he was not asked to play in their Youth Guild recital, he was honored with an Honorable Mention.  It may not sound like much, but they only select 2 students to perform and then give out 2 Honorable Mentions.  So Caleb did very well to receive one of these Honorable Mentions among so many other competitors who weren't even mentioned.  

Good job for his first competition at Youth Guild!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Caleb Plays a FULL 3-movement Piano Concerto with Live Orchestra!!!


A while ago Caleb began learning the 1st movement of Bach's Concerto in F Minor.  He was hoping to play it for a concerto concert in the fall, but then it never happened.  So, he began learning the 2nd movement.  Well, he might as well learn the 3rd movement as he had gotten so far, and so he did.  In a few short months Caleb had learned a complete concerto and he was invited to perform it in a Concerto Concert up at the University of Utah.

He was so excited!!  A year ago Caleb had played in his first concerto concert with live orchestra performing Mozart's Concerto in C Major the 3rd movement, which he did spectacular as a little 9 year old. If you have forgotten how awesome he did, here is the video:


That particular piano concerto was about 6 1/2 minutes long, but now he was going to play a full 3 movement concerto.  How exciting!  Caleb was so excited he made up fliers to pass out at school!


His elementary school was very nice.  They knew how important this concert was to Caleb and so they allowed him to practice on their pianos at school after lunch and during other free time at school.  

He got to rehearse with the orchestra just once before the big concert and only for about 15 minutes! 


He wasn't worried though. He had worked hard.

The night of the big concert had come, and Caleb was excited to perform!  Again he wore his tails!
He still doesn't quite reach the floor with his feet, so he brought his step stool to make sure he could be balanced for such a long performance.


For luck, his mom gave him a Superman pin to wear on his tux.  If you look closely you can see it.


The time came and he performed beautifully!  Even at the beginning there was a man in the back of the audience who dropped a heavy camera stand making a loud banging noise, but it did not distract Caleb.  He was focused!


Here is the video from his performance:


He did so well!  Even his teacher thought so.  She thought he looked pretty dapper in his dark glasses as well.


Congratulations Caleb!  Now he had 2 live performances with orchestra under his belt even as a young man only 10 years old.  



Caleb is Invited to Play in a Master Class!


Caleb was invited to play in a Master Class with the Utah Symphony Youth Guild.  This was really cool!

For those of you who don't know what a Master Class is, well it is a sort of teaching class by a "master" teacher in that area---in this case a master pianist.  Students are invited to perform a piece that they are working on and then the master artist gets to give comments and suggestions in front of a live audience or class.  

Usually master classes invite older students, but this time they allowed Caleb to perform.  They must have heard good things.  


One of the best parts was being able to play on a giant 9 foot long Fazioli piano.  It was beautiful.

Here is his performance:

Christmas Performances


Caleb's favorite time of year is Christmas, probably because that is when he performs the most.  
Caleb played in his winter recital, performed many times at Maceys often with his brother and sister, and then also at the ITC After Christmas concert in downtown Salt Lake City.

For his winter recital he played a new song he's been learning, Haydn's Sonata in D major.  It was a little tricky actually because it's the same Haydn Sonata that is mixed with a Christmas carol that he played for his Christmas Countdown, so often he would play it and start playing the Christmas part instead!  He really had to think, but here it is:


He had a great time at Maceys playing the piano.  They let him accept tips and it is how Caleb earns money every year to put into savings.


At the ITC Concert Caleb played a few numbers and then he played a song with all his siblings.


This was a really neat arrangement that everyone sort of worked on together.  They took a Christmas song that had some piano and guitar arrangement, but they worked with it to create a more unique guitar part for older brother, a violin part for sister, and even a hand bell for youngest sister.  

Here is their performance on stage:


It really was a wonderful Christmas season!  

Caleb Creates "Caleb's Musical Christmas Countdown"

Caleb has really got into this online uploading of his videos with his Sundays @ 6, that he decided to do another fun thing for Christmas.  He decided to create a 12 days of Musical Christmas Countdown where he would play a song every day starting on 12 days before Christmas.  

A different Christmas song arrangement every day?  Woh, this was going to take some planning.  The Christmas season is very very busy for Caleb already as he was already booked to play the grand piano at Maceys several days, and plus there were Christmas concerts and recitals....but Caleb was really excited, so we scheduled it all out and worked hard to make it happen.  

Caleb played many wonderful songs in his 12 day countdown, many of which he invited his brother and sisters to sing or play with him.  

Here they are days 1 to 12:

Day 1:
A really neat arrangement mix of Fur Elise with We 3 Kings:


Day 2:
He invited his sister to play her piece Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella:



Day 3:
Another great mix of Joy to the World played in the style of Haydn's Sonata in D;


Day 4:
He invited his sister to sing with him in Samuel Tells of Baby Jesus:


Day 5:
Another great classical carol mix of Silent Night and Claire de Lune:



Day 6:
Caleb lets his baby sister get in on the fun with Christmas Bells are Ringing:



Day 7:
Deck the Halls with his sister on violin and brother on guitar:


Day 8:
He accompanies his brother on guitar with O Holy Night:



Day 9:
Caleb really loves these classical carols by Carolyn M. Taylor.  Here's It Came Upon a Midnight Clear mixed with Chopin's Nocturne 9/2:


Day 10:
Caleb lets Jewelia play her piece Still Still Still on violin.  This was a tough one as she just learned shifting:



Day 11:
Caleb had to get in a jazzy piece somewhere.  Here is Santa Claus is Coming to Town:


And finally day 12!!!
He ends with everyone's favorite O Holy Night:


WOW!  Just uploading these songs makes me tired!  Really it was a big challenge, and you have to realize that Caleb often found a song to play the day of and didn't have much time if any to practice a song before it was uploaded.  So, maybe these songs weren't the most polished, but we hope you enjoyed them as we did.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Caleb Wins Again for Original Musical Composition!

For the last 3 years, Caleb has entered his school's competition for the arts in Musical Composition, and every year he has won!  
This year was no different.  Caleb created an original piano composition and he won!


The theme this year was "The Magic of a Moment", and so Caleb created a song that was a sort of majestic tune.  He imagined a hero and a villain fighting against one another but in the end the hero wins and rescues the princess.  He called it "A Magnificent Moment".

Here is a recording of his composition;


Then, to make things even more exciting, his entry went onto the Region level and it won there too!
Caleb got to go to a nice ceremony and receive a certificate and a medal!


Way to go Caleb!


Caleb Creates his very 1st Church Song Piano Arrangement


What!?
Is it true?
Caleb has been so inspired by all the different hymn arrangements that he has been playing for his "Sundays @ 6" that he decided to create his own hymn arrangement!

Caleb is kind of silly and often likes to take nice friendly songs and put them in a minor key to make them sound kind of "Halloweenish".  Well, that is slightly what he did here.  

He decided to arrange the hymn "Love at Home" by starting in a minor key and then transposing it into major.  He said it was to symbolize how the home can be an unhappy place but then can change for the better with love.  

Here is his 1st piano hymn arrangement, Love at Home:



Don't forget about Caleb's other blog for "Sundays @ 6" where he plays a different church song arrangement every week.  He plays so many beautiful hymn and other church song arrangements.  They are really beautiful!  

Caleb turns 10!


Can you believe it?!  
Is it possible that little Caleb has finally hit the double digits?

It is true, Caleb the Piano Player reached his 10th birthday!

He even got a great shirt as one of his gifts!


Happy Birthday Caleb!

Caleb Accompanies his Sister on Violin


Here's a picture from many years ago when Caleb and his little sister were pretty young.  
Who knew they would be working together later on in their musical endeavors.  

Although they don't always get along, Caleb tries his best to be nice and help his sister out when she needs an accompanist.  Here are a few videos of his sister's work on violin;

The Entertainer for violin?


Minuet in G;


Although his sister is still learning, Caleb tries his best to follow her so she can be right along side the music.

Caleb's End of Summer Piano Recital


So, we are a little behind catching up on blog posts here, but we will get there.  Caleb had an end of Summer piano recital in August where he played the new song he had finished learning called "Sparks".