Monday 25 June 2018

'My son will be a somebody' - mum's joy as Riverdance co-founder offers to sponsor talented Irish cellist after national radio appeal

Jayden Lamcellari started to play the cello when he was just three
Jayden Lamcellari started to play the cello when he was just three

Kathy Armstrong

The co-founder of Riverdance has vowed to help a talented Irish teen cellist to try to achieve his dream of performing in New York's iconic Carnegie Hall.

Jane Lamcellari, mother of musician Jayden (15), said that she feels like she is "living in a parallel universe" after John McColgan said that he is happy to foot the €4,000 travel bill for the teen to study at the London Royal Academy of Music.

Jane, who is from Blanchardstown in Dublin, first spoke on The Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio One on Thursday to highlight Jayden's talents - he started playing cello when he was just three years old and could read music before he could read words.

She explained that he has been offered scholarships to study in both the Royal College of Music in London and the Guild Hall in London but had chosen the Royal Academy after they offered to cover his fees.

As Jayden is a minor and must be accompanied, he flies every week with either Jane or her her husband Enrien - who is a part-time cellist with the RTE Concert Orchestra - every Saturday so her son can study and said they are struggling with the travel costs.

The Junior Cert students has also won a competition to play at Carnegie Hall but they cannot afford to travel to New York.

She said: "I searched everywhere for support and funding, every department, emails to local councilmen, arts offices, banks, the President’s office (Jayden plays with the national Youth Orchestra and the president is patron) for nothing.

"All funding is only available if you are over 18 years of age. Can you imagine being given the chance to play Carnegie Hall and not being able to play because your parents are nobodies and don't know the right people here in Ireland?

"We were so proud of him Ryan and naïvely I thought other people would be too."

She appealed for help, saying: "I am a nobody and nobody wants to help a nobody.

"My 15-year-old son will be a somebody that everyone will want to know and support one day, just not yet.

"He will be the pride of Ireland but Ireland will not help him."

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John McColgan

John McColgan, co-founder of Riverdance, heard Jane's impassioned plea and has vowed to help support her.

Speaking on The Ryan Tubridy Show this morning, he said: "We have contacts in New York with Carnegie Hall and I would be happy to sponsor the €4,000 per year that he needs, so we're happy to do that.

"I would love to see him play, I would love to see him on The Late Late Show.

"I have always loved and tried to support talent in many ways, from dancers to musicians to painters and whenever I can over the years I have supported individuals who have come my way.

"I love youth and I love talent."

He also praised Boots worker Jane and said he admires how she is willing to fight for her son.

John said: "You are a fierce mum and Jayden is lucky to have someone as eloquent, as passionate, as humorous and as dedicated to him as you are.

"I think he deserves that the support and you deserve this support."

Jane is understandably over the moon with his generous offer and said she is determined to help other young people to achieve their goals.

She said: "Thank you so much, I genuinely hope in the future that we will be able to help other children, other talented musicians who are out there to stop them from being forgotten about."

Ryan also invited Jayden to perform on the Late Late Show tonight.

Jane advised anyone else who is struggling to have their talents recognised not to give up.

"Some of the girls in work ask how I stay so positive all the time and I believe that we live in a sometimes pretty dark and cynical world but I think if we put our best foot forward as best as we can every day and think of the bigger picture.

"There are people out there who have far worse situations going on and if we can just try and be positive in any way we can every day.

"I certainly feel like I'm living in some parallel universe at the minute", she said.

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