Campus Life

People of UCA: Caleb Patton

When asked what moment sparked his singing career, freshman Caleb Patton didn’t mention his time singing in church choirs or school musicals, but rather his grandmother’s funeral.
Although funerals are generally recognized as times of sorrow, remembrance and fellowship with family members and friends, Patton said that his grandmother’s funeral was more than a time to celebrate the lost life: it was a time to find himself.
During the eulogy, surrounded by people sharing his loss, Patton said he found a part of himself in the music and in its effect on those sharing the moment with him.
 Patton’s experience at his grandmother’s funeral inspired Patton to audition for American Idol, but he did not make it through to Hollywood. Five years later, Patton decided it was time to try again.
Earlier this month, Patton sent his online audition of the song “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson to American Idol producers before they arrived in Arkansas for open auditions.
 The next week, he received a phone call informing him that he had been admitted to the second round of auditions in Little Rock on Aug. 9.
There were two “phases” to the audition: room one and room two. Like so many filing in who auditioned online and the day before, Patton waited to sing, only to be sent home after the first round.
Although Patton did not make it through to the show, he said he still has every intention of continuing his music career.
Patton regularly performs at local coffee shops, bars and restaurants, including Kings Live Music and Blue Sail Coffee in Conway and Reno’s Argenta Cafe in Little Rock.
He won three solo-performer competitions at Kings in the last seven months and released his first full demo with four covers and two originals.
Although Patton focuses on cover songs, he also creates originals with the help of his friend, nonstudent Hunter Thompson.
 “I focus on covers because I love the energy that it gives to the crowd,” Patton said. “I don’t play for the money or fame, but because I love the way my music makes people feel, and I like to experience it with them.”
The next original that Patton plans to release – with no dates yet set– is titled “Get Tinder.” The track is a parody song inspired by the popular Tinder dating app for smartphones.
Information about Patton, a schedule of upcoming shows and links to his demo can be found at
photo from

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