Following Leonard Cohen’s death this year, we have heard many versions of his unforgettable song, ‘Hallelujah’. No matter which version we hear, the song translates well into so many different styles performed by a multitude of artists. It has that unidentifiable quality that no matter who is singing, or even if it just an instrumental version, ‘Hallelujah’ elicits an unmistakable emotional response. But, not versions are created equal. This version, sung by a group of children from the Killard House School in England, is truly spectacular.
From the first moment the little girl in this video opens her mouth to sing, her amazing, powerful voice fills the room and captivates the audience, both in the auditorium and anyone watching on the internet. She immediately captured my heart with her clarity and confidence and when the song was over, I realized that I had held my breath through nearly the entire rendition. This little girl has it all: a stunning, powerful voice, the confidence and stage presence of a seasoned professional, and that magical ‘it factor’ that I can’t quite put my finger on. She took and iconic song that has been beautifully performed so many times, and made it even more special.
In addition to being a wonderful singer, 10-year-old Kaylee Rogers also has ADHD and autism. She led a choir of other special needs children from her school, and as a group, they were absolutely amazing. As I watched their performance, I couldn’t help but become emotional. Each soulful note brought me closer to tears and by halfway through the song, those tears were pouring down my cheeks. The group as a whole, and especially Kaylee, did this iconic song extremely proud. I can’t help but think that Leonard Cohen is extremely impressed, as well.