Thursday, February 14, 2013

With a Little Help from my Friends

Sometimes Caleb likes to have a little help from his friends to play songs.  This meaning, sometimes he does songs with his brother and sisters.  His sister plays violin and likes to sing, and his older brother likes to sing and play guitar.  So, occasionally they get together and have some fun.  

Although it is hard to work together with your siblings, especially when one wants to play one speed and the other another, they usually work it out.  

Caleb and his brother and sister were asked to be part of a concert at the Downtown library.  He played a few pieces and then accompanied his sister on violin. 

Here's a short clip of part of their song;

Caleb played an awesome duet with his older brother on guitar as well.

We didn't get a very good video at the concert, but we recorded at home a little later. 
Here is their awesome rendition of the Beatles "Let it Be";

University Piano Competition Time Again

Every Summer, Caleb takes part in a piano competition at the University of Utah. It is a really fun competition where they have a solo performance competition the first day, and then the second day they have all sorts of skills tests you can compete in.  These are tests like sight reading, theory, keyboard skills, or quick study (where they give you a new piece of music that you have to learn and then perform the next day without any help).  

Caleb loves to compete in this every year.  This time he competed in the solo competition, theory test, sight reading, and quick study.  There is some pretty tough competition in the theory test area, and we have found that the sight reading and quick study tests are really easy, so it makes it tougher competition because most kids can do them without any problems.  So, a lot of the time it is a tough decision as to who wins what when all the students can do it close to the same level.  We just hope he gets lucky and picks up a few awards.  

For solo competition, Caleb has been working on a song by Moszkowski called Etincelles, or "Sparks".  Here is a video of him practicing at home for the competition;

Along with Sparks, Caleb played Bach's Fugue, that he played at his last recital.  

The morning before competition, Caleb realized that there were some repeats and phrases that he had never really repeated during lessons or practicing, but he knew the judges would take off points if he didn't do them.  We were a little worried that Caleb would forget during competition, but he didn't!  He went in there and did an awesome job.  

The next day he did his skills tests and did a great job too.  He was competing along with about 12 other students, but in the end he did pretty well.

Caleb won 3rd place in the solo competition, and then got an Honorable Mention in the Theory test and Quick Study.  That meant 3 new certificates to hang on the wall!  Caleb also won a little bit of money this year and a gift certificate to use at the music store.

A Little West Side Story

Somehow this post got lost in the mix, but we still wanted to share it even though it happened a while ago.  

Back in May, yep, that's last May 2012, Caleb was in another Monster Concert at the University.  A monster concert is where they put up to 14 different pianos on the big stage and they they have big groups of piano students all play on them at the same time, sometimes even 2 students per piano.  Each year they have a different theme.  

This year's theme was "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly".  The concert was going to be full of songs from superheros, villians, and then maybe some really ugly songs?  Not sure about that last part.  

Anyway, Caleb's group was going to be covering songs from West Side Story.

He dressed up for the part.  This is his "gang" look;

He was supposed to be in one of the gangs from the musical/movie called the "Jets".  He thought he was pretty cool, even so much that his scar from his arm surgery seemed to make a J and so he turned it into a sort of "Jets" tattoo.

It's kind of tough coordinating a whole bunch of pianos and even more students to play all at the same time different parts, but they worked it out.  Here is a little snipit of some of the music he played;

Caleb Creates "Sundays @ 6"

Caleb loves to play all kinds of songs, but he has a particular love for playing church songs.  Really, he loves to find fancy arrangements of church songs, so much that he came up with an idea.  

What if he played a different church song arrangement each week?  And what if he did it at the same time and same day each week and made it sort of a weekly webcast?  

Well, Caleb came up with his own series which he named "Sundays @ 6".
He decided that each week on Sundays at 6 o'clock, he would upload a new church song arrangement.  

It all started on July 22nd, where he played his first song, Faith;

The next week he continued with another song, I Stand All Amazed;

And the 3rd week he played I Believe in Christ;

Caleb was pretty excited about his new series, and he looked forward to many more weeks to come!