The performance is a huge accomplishment for Kaylee, a student at the Killard House Special School in Donaghadee, Ireland, who was too shy to speak in class a year ago. The school’s music teacher, Llyod Scates, encouraged Kaylee, who has autism and ADHD, to sing to help build her confidence.
“She always loved singing, but it wasn’t until she started at Killard House School that she really came into her own,” says Tracy Rodgers, Kaylee’s mom. “He’s like her safety blanket – he’s amazing.”
Kaylee was due to sing at a carol service at First Presbyterian Church, Newtownards, but when she took ill and lost her voice, the video, which had been filmed a few weeks before at the school by Billy McAuley, was shown instead. After viewing the filmed performance, many in the congregation were in tears.
The uplifting video has been viewed more than 2.4 million times on Facebook since it was uploaded on Dec. 18 by Nichola Martin, whose son Blake is in the school choir. The video was shared nearly 1,000 times within the first 24 hours.
Even Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon was wowed by Kaylee’s remarkable talents, and retweeted a link to the video from the Huffington Post.
Since the video was posted on social media, the school has taken calls from people in Australia, America and Japan who have been touched by Kaylee’s angelic singing.
As one Facebook user posted: “As a fan of Leonard Cohen, I am going to say if he were alive, he would absolutely applaud this girl and her group for doing such a wonderful job of his music.”