17-year-old Thomas McAuley has captured national attention after his performance at Féile an Phobail’s Dance Night went viral.
The Antrim Road lad took to the stage on Monday night playing his keyboard to thousands of festival-goers. His performance of Robert Miles' 1996 hit ‘Children’ has gained popular momentum on social media with over 4,600 likes on Twitter.
Thomas' family say they are proud of his musical achievements.
‘‘Thomas plays by ear. He feels the music, he plays with his heart and soul. It’s everything to him," the family told the Andersonstown News.
‘‘Thomas is a big fan of Elton John, he’s an inspiration for him.’’
Thomas, who has autism, attended St Gerard’s School on the Black’s Road.
‘‘Thomas had really bad eyesight as a child and has autism and attended St Gerard’s school which focuses a lot more on the child itself rather than fitting the child into a curriculum.
Teenager Thomas McAuley plays Robert Miles Children on the keyboard to thousands of concert goers at Féile Dance Night. pic.twitter.com/IyzWJou5O9— Féile an Phobail (@FeileBelfast) August 8, 2022
‘‘St Gerard’s takes him to England twice a year to an orchestra, he was just back and went straight into playing at the Féile. He played five songs at the City Hall and now he’s played the Dance Night.’’
On his musical talent, his family said that his uncle had moved to New Zealand leaving behind a keyboard which Thomas taught himself to play.
Thomas’ talents not only lie with the piano but he also has decks and loves to DJ and play trance music. An example of his talents were seen at the end of the video where the remix part is actually a piece Thomas wrote himself.
‘‘That’s his own song that he made up in his bedroom.’’
Talk about talent— Dennis Dorrian (@Livewellcoach90) April 15, 2022
Autistic 17 year old Thomas Mcauley displaying his gift of music to the world .
Self taught and that’s his own song. Watch out for a star coming through
Please share #piano #talent #autism #specialgifts #selftaught #genius #music #grandpiano pic.twitter.com/OJTwsv88DR
Thomas now attends Springfield Tech studying Media Production. There can be no doubt that this past week has shown that the sky is the limit for this young man.
Thomas' music page can be found here.