Wigan singer enters autism talent showcase and performs moving tribute to grandad
A Wigan singer entered a talent showcase for people with autism and performed a “heartwarming” tribute in memory of his grandfather.
Connor Yates, 22, who lives in Wigan with his parents, was selected as one of 20 contestants for the final of charity Anna Kennedy Online’s Autism’s Got Talent.
He sang My Way by Frank Sinatra as a tribute to his grandfather, as it was his favourite song.
It was a special performance for Connor, who studies music performance at the Music Project at Pemberton College.
His mum Anne-Marie said: “Connor got to perform in the final. It’s all about the celebration of people with autism. It’s a big thing for anybody to get on a stage but they were all amazing.
"Connor absolutely loved it. He sang My Way by Frank Sinatra which my was my dad’s favourite song which he used to sing on the karaoke.
"Sadly, we lost him three years ago. Connor wanted to wear a white tuxedo just like my dad used to wear to perform.
"Music and performance has really brought Connor out of his shell and his confidence now has massively improved. It was a fantastic event.”
Connor said: “I wanted to be just like grandad. I was careful not to sing the wrong words and I was really proud of myself.”
The showcase for people with autism is organised by Anna Kennedy Online, a small charity of volunteers raising awareness of autism.
The charity’s founder Anna Kennedy said: “It was just amazing and Connor’s mum cried watching him perform. He was fantastic, he had the best time ever. It was just so heartwarming to watch Connor perform and he got a standing ovation as well.
"This is what happens with Autism’s Got Talent – it’s not really a competition, but more of a showcase and all of our performers apply to do it again the next year because they feel that they are part of a family, they’re not being judged and they feel relaxed. They enjoy themselves and it really boosts their confidence, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Auditions are now open for Anna Kennedy Online’s Autism’s Got Talent 2023.