, Salem, MA

April 10, 2013

Our view: Beverly singer has inspired many

The Salem News

---- — It’s hard not to be affected by the remarkable success of Angela Miller on “American Idol.”

TV sets all over the North Shore will be tuned to Fox tonight to see the Beverly teenager’s performance, as she tries to become one of the top five finalists. We’re pretty sure that includes a lot of people who don’t usually watch the show, and even a few who usually avoid these kinds of reality TV contests.

Of course, it’s fun to see a local gal make good. But there’s more to it than that.

Miller truly is inspirational.

She is talented, of course, but then so is everyone else on the show. She has a strong but versatile voice, a great gift as a songwriter and an engaging personality that has drawn her millions of fans already.

What is so hard to fathom is that she is just 19. A year ago, Miller was performing — and not as the lead — in the Beverly High School musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” lucky to draw a few hundred parents and fellow students at each show. Today, she performs before an audience of 20 million viewers, and yet she appears confident, happy and professional, even on the rare occasions when she’s come under criticism.

People twice her age would have trouble adjusting to that kind of spotlight, but Miller, while clearly thrilled by it all, is always poised.

Part of this may be due to the fact that, young as she is, she’s had to work for her dream, and she’s met some obstacles along the way. Bill Hanney, owner of North Shore Music Theatre, made reference to that last week when he told the Beverly City Council that Miller had auditioned for a role in “Hello, Dolly!” last year — and wasn’t chosen. “That shows what we know,” he quipped.

She’s also had to overcome partial hearing loss, which might have been an insurmountable setback for a less determined singer/songwriter.

Whatever the reasons for her success — her talent, poise, determination, sincerity — she’s been a real treat for her North Shore fans to watch. And she has remained both gracious and grateful about the support she’s received here in her hometown.

So here’s wishing Miller continued success tonight.

(And don’t forget to vote.)