Caleb Chambers, Legacy Class of ’21, brought home the gold medal in the student division at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival. Caleb was one of only six international student semi-finalists to compete for the top prize. The Festival is considered the most prestigious low brass competition in the United States. He was not only the youngest competitor in the student division, but also the only one still attending high school. Caleb poured hundreds of precious hours into preparing for the competition, practicing the competition music daily for six months leading up to the three-day festival.
During the festival, Caleb participated in workshops, master classes, and concerts. In the semifinals, he played two pieces over two days before a blind panel of judges. Only three student competitors advanced to the finals where they played before an audience and a panel of judges. Caleb overcame several obstacles to bring home the gold medal. During his first piece in the first round, a valve stuck on his tuba, a nightmare for any musician. While he was admittedly shaken after that mishap, Caleb drew on the confidence and skills he has developed over the years with the help of his band directors and private lesson teachers and came out on top.
The road to participating in the festival was a long one, both literally and figuratively. Caleb was selected from anonymous recording submissions to a panel of adjudicators consisting of university professors and international performers. To get to the festival, he and his family made the 17-hour long trek to Twin Lake, Michigan, as “tubas don’t fly well.” In the end, his dedication to the craft and all the long hours were worthwhile. The Falcone festival honors the memory of Leonard Falcone, a musician whose prestigious solo and pedagogical career lasted for almost three-quarters of the last century.
Listen to a clip from Caleb's audition for the competition.
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