Indiana Teen With Autism Has Priceless Reaction When He Gets To Be A Star Onstage
Tommy Sondgerath is a 16 year-old autistic student at Harrison High School in Indiana who loves singing in his school’s choir.
Earlier this month, Tommy was overjoyed when he had the opportunity to sing a duet with a fellow student named Kris Wilkerson at their choir’s spring concert. During the concert, Tommy and Kris stepped forward to sing the “A Million Dreams” from the movie The Greatest Showman, and they absolutely brought the house down!
Video showing Tommy beaming with pride as he got a standing ovation has quickly gone viral, touching the hearts of people all over the world. His father Will Sondgerath had only posted the video to Facebook so that their friends and family could see it, so he was stunned when it went viral.
“When I went back and watched the video after the performance, I knew our friends on Facebook would enjoy it,” Will said. “And when Autism Speaks contacted me to see if they could post it, I thought it could become popular as well. While we are not surprised by the reactions of our friends – and Tommy’s friends’ reactions – we are surprised by the wonderful comments and notes of support we have received from complete strangers all across the country.”
Will and Kate knew how much the duet meant to Tommy, so when it came time for him to perform it, they could not help but be a bit nervous.
“We did not know what to expect,” Will said. “We were both floored by his performance. We both had ‘happy tears,’ as Tommy calls them.”
Choir teacher Jaclyn Richardson explained that all students are welcome in her choir, and that this video has made her all the more happy that she gave Tommy the chance to perform.
“For me, this video and the comments have made me take a good, long look at my educational philosophy and rethink my personal values as an educator,” Jaclyn said. “The little decisions we make can be huge to students. I’m proud to be a small part of Tommy’s education.”
Check to Tommy’s performance and his reaction to the applause he gets in the video below.