Saturday 19 October 2019

Dad goes viral singing ‘beautiful’ Ave Maria for daughter at Disney World

The video of Justin Gigliello’s performance has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times across social media.

Justin Gigliello serenades his daughter and other guests at Disney World (Justin Gigliello/PA)
Justin Gigliello serenades his daughter and other guests at Disney World (Justin Gigliello/PA)

By Alastair Reid, Press Association

A volunteer firefighter has received worldwide praise after a video of him singing Ave Maria for his daughter at Disney World clocked up hundreds of thousands of views across social media.

Justin Gigliello, from North Stonington in Connecticut, USA, was on holiday with his family ahead of his daughter’s seventh birthday when she spotted a pianist at the Grand Floridian hotel and asked her father to sing.

“We started dancing to the music and then when a piece ended she went up to the pianist and said that I play and sing. The pianist asked what piece I like and she said Ave Maria,” Justin, 30, told the Press Association.

Dressed in shorts and an American football jersey, he delivered a rendition of the classical work which stopped other holidaymakers in their tracks as they gathered to watch in the opulent surroundings of the hotel.

Daughter Lyla can be seen grinning from ear to ear as applause rings around the lobby at the end of the performance.

“I was telling my daughter about how I used to go there as a kid and we would go to the lobby and listen to the pianist and the music play and she wanted to go,” he continued.

Justin said he studied vocal performance at Boston Conservatory after getting professional coaching from the age of  15.

He now lives with his family and runs an underwriting business from home, as well as teaching voice and piano alongside his volunteer work.

The video of his performance at Disney World has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times since he posted it to his different social media accounts on March 20.

One commenter said: “Beautiful! The vocalist and the pianist were wonderful! I loved seeing your daughter look adoringly at you – she was obviously very proud of you! So glad this was captured. Thank you for sharing!”

“Oh this got me all teary eyed! What a lovely voice… and how proud is your baby girl!?” wrote another

The reaction has been “beyond what I ever dreamed,” Justin said.

“I never thought something like this was possible. It has gotten so much attention. My daughter is completely ecstatic and we are enjoying every moment.

“I love the way things are right now. But if anything does happen from this I would love it and embrace every second of it!” he added.

Justin has a Bachelor’s degree in voice performance, according to his social media accounts, and is a private voice and piano teacher alongside his underwriting business and volunteering.

Ave Maria, Latin for Hail Mary, has become one of the most recognisable classical songs in the world since Schubert penned the work in 1825.

PA Media

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