NEWS

Dreams come true for Creeslough girl when she meets her musical hero

Kate McNiff meets the internationally recognised violinist and composer André Rieu

Michelle NicPhaidin

Reporter:

Michelle NicPhaidin

Email:

michelle.nicphaidin@donegaldemocrat.com

Dreams come true for wee  Creeslough girl when she meets her musical hero

Little Kate McNiff, 11, was given a rare audience with the internationally recognised violinist and composer, André Rieu, during her recent trip to Maastrict for one of his concerts.
Kate is an ardent fan of the Dutch composer and her father, James, decided to try and make his daughter's dream come true and arrange for her to meet her musical hero André.
Huge efforts were made to organise a meeting before the family left for Dublin to make the journey to the Netherlands. James wasn't sure if all of his effort would pay off as they left but he continued to be optimistic.
On the evening of the concert, the family met Pierre Rieu, Andrés son and manager, in the Theater aan het Vrijthof much to their delight.
“I hadn't spoken to him before but I had emailed him. He came over and introduced himself and told us he had heard about us. I wasn't sure if this was a good sign or if we were going to be kicked out for stalking,” he said.
The theatre is on the Vrijthof square where the concerts take place and is also the place where André and his Johan Strauss Orchestra get ready before the concert. The theatre was a hive of activity, with musicians tuning up instruments.
“Pierre said he couldn't guarantee us anything but added that if we were back at the theatre at 8.15 we may get the opportunity of meeting André. When we went back, Sjoerd van Dijck came over and introduced himself to us.
“Sjoerd works closely with André and I had been in contact with him for a few days before we flew out,” he said.
It was at this point that James decided to believe that all his hard work could reap dividend.
“At this stage I knew that this was going to end well. Sjoerd was telling me that the story on the Donegal Democrat website had got noticed by Andrés team and that there was someone from André Rieu TV looking for us,” he said.
Kate finally got to meet André that evening and she was delighted.
“He was an absolute gentleman and we really appreciated his making the time to meet us,” James said.
Kate and James had their photo taken with André and he also signed Kate's concert programme.
They were later interviewed by a team from André Rieu TV and told the story of how they met the Dutch composer and outlined all the effort that they had made, to make Katie's dream finally come true.
The concert marked Kate's first journey overseas and it was both magical and unforgettable.