Finding my voice through performing arts at Peddie

I remember my first orchestra class. I was nervous and I didn’t know anybody. Later, some of these people would grow to be my closest friends.

First, I maneuvered around the different areas of performing arts. Auditioning in the first week allowed me to be a part of the Chamber Orchestra and the Peddie Singers, ensembles of Orchestra and Chorus. I also had the opportunity to participate in the Freshman Musical, one of my favorite memories from Peddie. Creating a show with a limited amount of hours was high-pressure, but exciting, and helped break the ice with many freshmen students. Finding myself most comfortable in Swig, I would spend most of my free time in the practice rooms. This is where I discovered my friendships, while jamming, listening to music, or hanging out.

As time passed, my confidence grew. I started taking advantage of other performing opportunities, such as Chapel. I have performed in the chapel all three years, each performance with a desire to improve my musicianship and create new performance ideas. In 2021, Peddie’s hybrid year, I recorded four versions of myself, making a "me" band while covering "You’ve Got A Friend" by James Taylor. 

Four versions of Caleb Solidum perform You've Got A Friend in Chapel

Four versions of Caleb perform James Taylor's "You've Got A Friend" in Chapel

In the Winter term, I would be involved in the Winter Musical. So far, I have played Richard Henry Lee from "1776", Coach Bolton from "High School Musical", and The Mysterious Man from "Into the Woods". 

Another significant memory is my second Freshman Musical. Coming back as a junior, I was appointed Assistant Music Director and the Conductor. During rehearsals, I would help block scenes and teach music to the students. I also worked with a small pit band, determining parts and establishing cues. During performance week, I stood right up front conducting and watching the show we worked on the whole term. This opened my eyes and ensured that I wanted a future career in music. 

Caleb conducting during the Freshman performance of "James and the Giant Peach"

Performing Arts established my voice at Peddie. It gave me my closest friends and confidence in myself. I also find myself performing anywhere, whether at our evening Ice House open mic nights or singing Christmas carols at the front of the Chapel. I hope anyone that reads this post finds their own voice at Peddie.