City Music Spotlight: Caleb Smith

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Grade: 11

Network site: The Cleveland Music Settlement

Hometown: Cleveland

Instrument: Trombone

Years playing: 6 years

First song learned: Hot Cross Buns

Favorite record: Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall- Herbie Hancock

What does Berklee City Music mean to you?

To me, Berklee City Music is something that allows people from all over the country to come together and collectively embrace music. I love that in City Music I am surrounded by people with the same interests as me. Usually, in school, whenever I bring up a topic about music, everyone is very inattentive, but in City Music I can actively talk and share my music with other people who actually care to listen. City Music is also a place where you can learn about many things, whether it’s music, culture, or even getting to know somebody, you can always learn something new with Berklee City Music.

What is it about music that makes you want to be a musician and pursue it as a career?

I believe that music is something that is representative of the human soul. By that, I mean that music is able to define a person better than any combination of words. For example, if I asked someone who they loved listening to and they said Stravinsky; it probably means that they are boisterous, unique, creative, outgoing, and revolutionary. For me, music is the easiest way I am able to express myself. Sure I can tell someone something using words, but I believe it’s more heartfelt and meaningful if it is presented through music.

Who’s had the greatest influence on your life and why?

This might sound cliché, but the person who has had the greatest influence on me is probably my mother. Any good mother should be an extremely strong, confident, determined, and compelling person. I believe that I gained these attributes from my mother because she had them and taught them to me. Since my mother is a preacher, I was raised in a somewhat religious and God fearing home. Through this, I was able to learn how to have faith. I believe that people who have faith tend to be more positive, therefore when a bad situation occurs they respond to it in a positive manner, making the situation less bad.

Outside of music what are your interests and hobbies?

Most of the time, my life is pretty much consumed by music and school work, but because I am part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, I am able to do many fun extra-curricular activities that aren’t necessarily music related. In the IB programme I am required to have at least 150 CAS (Creative, Action, Service) hours, although this can be difficult, I really enjoy doing this and trying to help out the community. Also, in the IB programme, I take the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, where we contemplate how we know what we know. Overall the IB programme is something that exposes me to many different things other than my main focus.

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