Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Favorite Song

It is true that Caleb always plays a different church song arrangement each week for Sundays @ 6, but that doesn't mean he can't play the same hymn but in a different arrangement.

One particular song that he really likes is the children's song "My Heavenly Father Loves Me".  
By the end of a year of Sundays @ 6, he will have played it in 3 different arrangements.  

Here he plays a pretty arrangement by Sharon Austad Bagley for week 19;

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hymn Arrangements by Marshall McDonald

Caleb began Sundays @ 6 in the Summer when he was 9 years old.  
By the time it was his birthday a few months later, much of his family had seen Sundays @ 6 and so for a present they got him some new piano books of hymn arrangements.  

One of the piano sheet music books he received was a book of hymn arrangements by composer Marshall McDonald.  Caleb liked his arrangements right away.  

He chose Marshall McDonald's music for weeks 13, 17, and 18.

Here he is playing Lead Kindly Light;

Here he is again for week 17 playing Be Still My Soul;

And here he plays If You Can Hie to Kolob for week 18;

These particular weeks were very busy and so Caleb barely had time to pick which song he wanted to play a few days before or even the night before in some cases.  I'm sure if given the chance they could have been a little smoother, but sometimes Sundays @ 6 songs are only rehearsed once or twice before uploading (and with rehearsed, I mean played through the first time ever).  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Caleb's First Original Hymn Arrangement!

Caleb has loved playing so many different hymn arrangements, and has enjoyed creating some violin arrangements for his sister to play with him, but he had never really made his own piano arrangement. 

Sure, he has dabbled a little bit with writing his own music.  He's composed little songs for school competitions and a song with violin and piano for a local music competition.  He's won different awards for his original compositions, so why not try making his own hymn arrangement?  

Caleb wanted to try, but he wanted it to be a little different.  He seemed to like playing songs in minor keys a lot to give them a sort of "haunting" personality, so he thought of how he could incorporate a minor key into a church hymn without it making it too weird.  

He came up with his own arrangement of the hymn Love at Home in which he would start out in a minor key to make it sound a little scary and forbidding.  He said it was how your home can be a scary place without peace and love or your knowledge of the gospel.  Then the song transitions into a major key where he says the family learned about the gospel and it the home was filled with love.  An interesting take on a familiar hymn, but we congratulate Caleb on his very first church song arrangement.  

Caleb played his arrangement for week 15 of Sundays @ 6.

A Song Dedicated to Caleb

Caleb first began playing church song arrangements when he discovered music written and arranged by composer Aaron Waite.  It was only fitting that Aaron Waite himself contacted us and asked if it was OK to dedicate one of his arrangements to Caleb.  Well, of course we said yes!

Here is the piece Aaron Waite arranged and added a special dedication note to the top.  

Caleb played the piece for week 14 of Sundays @ 6;

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Week with 2 Songs

Caleb performs a new church song arrangement every week for Sundays @ 6, but one week in particular, he decided to do 2.  He wanted to play We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet, but there were 2 different arrangements that he had found and wasn't sure which one he liked better.  So, instead of choosing one over the other or waiting to play them spaced apart, he decided to play both of them and let people vote for which one they liked best.  

First he played an arrangement by Spencer Magnum;

Then he played an arrangement by Aaron Waite;

So, which one do you like better?

Inviting Special Guest Musicians to Sundays @ 6

Over the years Caleb has loved accompanying other musicians and more recently he has enjoyed accompanying his sister Jewelia on her violin.  
So, what could be more fun than inviting her to perform with him on Sundays @ 6?

Caleb invited Jewelia to play with him in week 8 and 11.

Here they are playing Heavenly Father Loves Me;

There aren't always violin arrangements that Caleb can find for his sister, so he started arranging some violin music to go with piano arrangements that he likes.

Here he wrote the violin arrangement to go with Aaron Waite's arrangement of There is a Green Hill Far Away.  (Pardon the extra squeakiness of Jewelia's violin, she was waiting to get a better one.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hymn Arrangements by Chas Hathaway

As Caleb was searching online for other composers who arranged church hymns, he stumbled across another local composer, Chas Hathaway.  Again he had found an extremely talented musician who arranged beautiful hymn arrangements.  He immediately began purchasing and downloading some of Chas's songs.  Chas is a bit of a new-age pianist, and so his arrangements had a certain flair to them that Caleb loved.  The next few weeks of Sundays @ 6 were songs arranged by Chas.

Here are weeks 7, 9 and 10:

Week 7: Come Thou Fount:

Week 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic:

Week 10: We'll Bring the World His Truth:

Soon through Sundays @ 6, Chas Hathaway must have stumbled upon Caleb playing his songs and began commenting.  This made Caleb so happy.  He found a new friend in Chas.  

Hymn Arrangements by Aaron Waite

Caleb first began playing hymn arrangements when he stumbled across a website by Aaron Waite.  Aaron Waite is a local composer who has arranged many beautiful hymn arrangements and primary song arrangements.  Caleb loved his style and how he used more variety in the left hand for playing these hymns.  This is why for the first few weeks all of Caleb's Sundays @ 6 songs came from very talented composer Aaron Waite.  

Here are weeks 2-6:

Week 2: I Stand All Amazed:

Week 3: I Believe in Christ:

Week 4: Army of Helaman:

Week 5: I Often Go Walking:

Week 6: I Know That My Redeemer Lives:

Soon Caleb found an online friendship with Aaron Waite and they would send messages back and forth.  Caleb loves Aaron Waite arrangements!

The Beginning of Sundays @ 6

Here he was in the middle of Summer and Caleb wanted to create something big.  He had been playing the piano at different churches and for different care centers, nursing homes, and for friends' parties, church lessons, and talks, but he wanted a way to reach more people.  

Caleb already had a piano blog and he had even created a facebook fan page a few years ago so he could share his music with others, but he wanted something even more.  

He decided he could create a weekly series where he would upload a new song every week.  He loved playing so many church hymn arrangements and he wanted to play so many.  So, he thought up a way how to make it into a weekly webcast.  

At the University where he often took lessons, and I think downtown, he saw they had something called "Sundays @ 7" where they would offer free concerts on Sunday nights at 7 where people could come and enjoy music for free.  This gave him the idea for the name "Sundays @ 6".  

On July 22, 2012, Caleb created "Sundays @ 6" where he vowed to play a new church song arrangement each week.  

Here he is with his very first song called "Faith";

Caleb Learns He Can Create His Own Arrangements

Caleb loved playing all these church song arrangements, and he loved it when he got to play with his family or other musical friends.  It was great when he could find a song that had music written for both piano and another instrument, but sometimes there was only music for piano.  

He was asked by a friend if he could come play with his sister for a church lesson she was doing.  She wanted them to play I am A Child of God, but Caleb couldn't find an arrangement fancy enough.  So, he decided to just write his own arrangement for his sister to play on violin with a fancy piano arrangement he had already found.  He got on the computer and created the violin part to go with this song.

Here is Caleb playing I am A Child of God with the violin arrangement played by his sister as arranged by him!

A Few More Before the Beginning

Caleb knew he had been given a gift and wanted to use it to do good.  He offered to play in church as much as he could.  He helped accompany others, and he played in care centers and nursing homes as much as they allowed.  

His family was asked to speak in church and so along with speaking, he accompanied his brother who sang, played his own solo, and accompanied his sister on her violin.

First here is Caleb;


Then here he is with his sister;


Now he accompanies his older brother;

A Boy with a Tumor

Caleb was born with a sort of birthmark called a strawberry hemangioma.  While it was rather small when he was born, as he grew, this small benign tumor grew as well.  At 4 months old it began bleeding and ulcerating.  He had to go in for some injections and steroids to stop it.  Doctors said it would stop growing over time and eventually it would flatten down and be level with his arm, but it never did.  

By the time he was 9 years old, the doctors advised us to get it looked at by a plastic surgeon.  
We went in and Caleb was scheduled to have it removed a few days after Christmas in 2011.

The surgery was supposed to routine and only take a few hours, but many complications arose and it took over 5 1/2 hours before Caleb was in recovery.

Before the surgery we had worried about possible nerve damage that may have come from removing a mass in his arm, but the surgeons and doctors reassured us that everything would be fine.  

When we met with the doctor in recovery he told us that it had been a bit more complicated than he thought. He told us how they had to remove the tumor and a fatty mass inside his arm and that his blood vessels had been intertwined throughout this mass so they a lot more to deal with.  

Then he began to explain how he had tried his best to avoid any nerves but some had been "lit up on the screen"? or hit or bumped?  I believe we were in a daze by then and didn't understand all that he was saying, as the only part I remember distinctly was "He may have nerve damage and it could go all the way into his hand......"  and "but we won't know for sure until he has healed......".  

We were in shock and horrified that little Caleb the pianist might suffer nerve damage from this and immediately began praying for his arm and hand to be OK.  We knew that he had been given a gift from God to play the piano and could not accept that it would be taken away just like that.  

As time went by after the surgery, we waited and had hope that everything would be alright.  When Caleb went back to the doctor for his 1st followup appointment, we were very happy and relieved to find that the nerve damage was only localized to his lower arm mostly where the tumor had been removed.  Caleb had good feeling in his wrist and into his hands and fingers.  We knew he would be able to continue playing the piano.  

Caleb had to wait almost 2 months before he was allowed to play the piano again, but we remember distinctly the morning when he was given the go ahead.  It was early morning and Caleb had printed out a new hymn arrangement of If You Could Hie to Kolob.  It was the first time he was playing it through and he played it beautifully!  

Here is Caleb playing Aaron Waite's If You Could Hie to Kolob;

We knew Caleb's arm was spared so that he could keep his beautiful gift of music.  Caleb knew it too, and he promised from that day onward that he would use his gift for good and to bring other people joy.  

This began the vision of "Sundays @ 6".

Caleb Becomes an Accompanist

Still before Sundays @ 6 was even something imagined, Caleb soon learned he could be an accompanist.  He had played in church several times now, and he wanted to try something new.  Maybe he could play with another instrument.  

First he found a church song that had an arrangement.  He found "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" arranged by Aaron Waite for piano and flute.  Here he is playing the accompaniment part;

Soon it was ready for a flutist.  He had a friend named Dorothy who played the flute and asked if she would like to play a song in church.  She did and together they worked out a beautiful duet;

By Christmas time, Caleb found that he could accompany his little sister on violin, so they played some songs in church as well.  

Here they play Hark! The Harold Angels Sing:

And here is The First Noel:

Before Sundays @ 6

Before Sundays @ 6, Caleb loved to play the piano.  He began playing at the age of 4 years old.  He didn't have a piano teacher, but we had been given some old piano method books from the neighbor and so we gave them to Caleb.  Mom and Dad didn't play piano, but they knew the basics of the staff and showed him middle C, D, and E, and let him go from there.  

Caleb had already learned to read by the time he was 4, so he just began reading through the books and teaching himself how to play and read music.  Within 2 months time he had passed through level 4 of the piano books and was playing The Entertainer, March from the Nutcracker, and anything he could print out off the internet.  He astonished others when he could play advanced songs with such a small hand span.  

At 5 years old, he performed live in a store lobby during Christmas time, and was asked to play the "Overture" for his school's performance of the Nutcracker.

By age 6, we began searching for a piano teacher but were unable to find one who would take a student so young.  

By age 6 1/2, Caleb was honored to begin lessons with a concert pianist, Dr. of Music at the University.  He immediately began to grow and develop skill and technique that had been lacking from his own self-taught instruction.  

While he learned mostly classical piano through his study, Caleb loved to play all sorts of music at home.  Caleb found that he could always find a piano at church and there were so many hymns to choose from.  He didn't just like the traditional hymns, but he loved to find different arrangements or often liked playing them in his own way or in another key.  

By the time Caleb was 7 years old, he had began playing different church arrangements and at 8 years old was asked to play them for church.  Soon, word spread and he began playing across the valley and even traveled out of state to play as well.  There was just something extra inspiring about a small boy playing such beautiful church hymn arrangements.  Caleb learned he could touch the lives of many people and help them to feel God's love.  

One of his first hymn arrangements he played was by composer/arranger Aaron Waite.  Here he is playing "Praise to the Man"'

Here is a later recording the day he played it for the first time in church;