Garner teacher reflects on 'Idol' hopeful

Posted February 2, 2011
Updated February 3, 2011

— The choir teacher of a Garner teen who wowed the judges on "American Idol" said her student is handling his new-found success well. 

Scotty McCreery, 16, of Garner, made his "American Idol" debut last week during the Milwaukee auditions. 

Garner Magnet High School choral director Meredith Clayton said Wednesday that McCreery is still very grounded – even the day after his audition aired. 

"The next day in class, I asked, 'Scotty, how do you feel today? Everybody saw you on national TV last night.' He just said, 'I just feel like Scotty,'" she said. 

While the teen belted out two country hits to earn his ticket to Hollywood, Clayton said he can also sing pop and other genres. 

"What a lot of people don't know is that he's also formally trained, and he can sing classical and choral music very, very well," she said. "He's a bass in our chorus, and he's one of our strongest singers." 

McCreery got an enthusiastic reaction from judge Steven Tyler during his first audition, and Clayton said she was also surprised when her student sang country music. 

"I was blown away. I had no idea he could do that because I was used to him singing choral music for me," she said. "I think his voice is very versatile, which will carry him far." 

Clayton said McCreery's humble nature should carry him far as well. 

"I don't think he takes his gift for granted," she said. 


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  • bradcooperisinnocent Feb 4, 2011

    What is wrong with me? All I'm stating is what his teacher said. He seems like a great kid and I hope he goes far! I'd much rather someone like him win than some phony. It's clear this kid's been brought up right and has his head on straight.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Feb 3, 2011

    Fantasia? Who's that. She's made more publicity over the movie about her life than her singing has brought her.

    This guy's a good singer - I just hope he doesn't stick with country in Hollywood or he won't be there long.

  • wildcat Feb 3, 2011

    I will check him out.

  • wildcat Feb 3, 2011

    As long as he is not whinning. Is he as great as Fantasia, then he might be on his way.

  • Smart Alex Feb 3, 2011

    didn't know about him until today...watched his audition from the link...bradcooper what is wrong with you??? He is great! His story is...he's only 16. Maybe I'll even watch AI this season.

  • RomneyRyan2012 Feb 3, 2011

    Good for you, am I. So what's your point?

  • john283594 Feb 3, 2011

    That interview was a little weird. He seems like a nice kid, but he has some type of facial deformity? IDK...maybe it was the camera angle.

  • RomneyRyan2012 Feb 3, 2011

    brad cooper, they didn't audition, he did, and he was chosen. No matter how good the others are, he was the one who tried. Maybe if the other 4 above him are better they should audition. Until they do, lay off!!

  • panterap89 Feb 3, 2011

    He has talent true , but from what i have seen on this show , you also need a sad story or you may not go far . it's sad but seems the more pathetic your life is the further you get on little talent. i like the show but , come on they should vote for Americas most talented not most pitiful.

  • bradcooperisinnocent Feb 3, 2011

    Don't get me wrong, I'm pulling for him. He's local, and appears to be a great kid. I just dont think he has talent to win. His teache said he's one of the better singers in his choir, so my point is there are others at least as good as him in his own choir so he may only be top 5 in the Garner HS choir.

    I am a very successful professional and know what I'm talking about. I am an award-winning singer myself. I hope he wins!