In spite of the challenges she must face as an autistic child, Kaylee Jamieson, 12, hardly seems handicapped.
Kaylee has been singing since she was three years old, and just a few weeks ago she was asked to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at a motorcycle show in Shelton for a group of donors to Camp Happiness, where Kaylee attends summer camp. In addition, Kaylee sings The Star Spangled Banner every year at Camp Happiness’s end of the summer performance. (Watch the to see Kaylee sing The Star- Spangled Banner for Milford Patch.)
Kaylee’s talents are not only showcased at programs aimed at special needs children. In addition, she studies and performs with the United Girls Choir of the United Choir School, Connecticut’s leading provider of choral ensembles for girls. The United Girls Choir has chapters all over Connecticut, and is by audition only, for girls ages 6 to 17. This year, Kaylee was promoted to the Chamber Singer’s Ensemble, which is an incredible honor. Kaylee performs with the United Girls Choir in venues all over Connecticut, including a recent performance at Woolsey Hall, a 2,695-seat auditorium in New Haven, Connecticut.
“There’re a total of like 500 girls that sing in [the United Girls Choir],” boasted Kaylee’s mother, Debbie Jamieson.
Kaylee is such a good singer, she doesn’t only perform with other kids. She has also sung with a local (adult) Milford singing group, The Navels, and regularly sings on the boardwalk in West Haven on Wednesday nights throughout the summer.
Unfortunately, Kaylee doesn’t get to sing as much as she’d like at East Shore Middle School, where she is a student.
“East Shore Middle School didn’t have a talent show last year and that made me feel bad. And they didn’t have one the year before, and it kind of stunk,” Kaylee complained.
But there is a chorus at school, and that’s Kaylee’s favorite class.
“My favorite subject would be chorus, because I like singing, and I like my chorus teacher,” Kaylee said.
Besides being an accomplished singer, Kaylee has studied ballet for four years, and last December appeared in a version of the Nutcracker where dancers with special needs and their mentors – part of Debra Marchese’s Adaptive/Mentor program in Milford – performed with the New England Ballet Company. Kaylee played the lead, Clara. In spite of having only about a year’s worth of ballet lessons, and in addition being autistic, Kaylee held her own with members of the ballet company in a performance that was both striking and moving.
“It was really great. I’ve never been a lead part before, but this year I’m gonna be a lead part again – the Sugar Plum Fairy,” said Kaylee.
Definitely a Whiz Kid, but also a regular kid, Kaylee also plays Little League and basketball, idolizes Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, loves her friends, enjoys playing with her sisters and brothers, and is looking forward to going camping with her family.