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March 28

Kaylee Rodgers, Girl With Autism, Singing “Hallelujah”

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In 2016, a young girl, Kaylee Rodgers, a student at Killard House Special School in Northern Ireland, who suffers from autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), astonished the online world with a choir rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.

Kaylee attended Killard House, a co-educational Controlled School providing for children and young people with additional special educational needs, in order to help her address learning challenges. She has overcome some incredible delays to share that voice with the world and singing has helped her build up her confidence. Colin Millar, the school’s principal, told BBC News that Kaylee is often shy, except when she sings. She said singing is more than just a hobby for Kaylee, it is more of a confidence booster. Additionally, she says of Kaylee,

“All my kids have talents, as well as barriers, and this is hers. She’d be a very quiet little girl, but when she sings, she just opens up.”

Kaylee Rodgers, Girl With Autism, Singing "Hallelujah" 1

A Dashing Performance During a Night of Carols

Kaylee often sings at the local Christmas concert at First Presbyterian Church. During one concert, concert, Kaylee sang her version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, with nativity-themed lyrics. Her bright performance reportedly drove the audience to tears. A video shared on social media platforms which gained a lot of engagements. Her music teacher, Lloyd Scates, encouraged her to sing solos during school shows. She hopes to not only develop her singing talent but also her confidence. Kaylee’s mother claimed that her daughter would sing skillfully as long as Mr. Scates is involved. Her teacher, Lloyd, served as her safety-blanket. For a child who would not always talk or read out in class, to stand and perform in front of a crowd is marvelous. It requires a lot of effort on Kaylee’s part.

“Hallelujah”, written by Leonard Cohen over the course of years, was recorded by dozens of famous artists. Cohen’s lyrical poetry and his outlook that many different “Hallelujahs” exist is replicated in extensive covers with different intents or tones. Further, it allows the song to be melancholic, breakable, elevating or happy depending on the performer. But, Cohen passed away in November, just weeks before Kaylee Rogers’ rendition of his most famous song spread on the internet. We are certain that Cohen would have approved of this spectacular cover.

Performing a Christmas rendition of Cohen’s iconic song “Hallelujah,” Kaylee stunned the audience. She fostered that angelic voice and incredible story. Seems like destiny for Kaylee to sing the hymn.


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