ANDOVER — Casey McQuillen’s “American Idol” hopes may have ended last night, but the 21-year-old singer-songwriter is saying this is only the start for her.
Last night, after she failed to make the cut of 30 “American Idols” hopefuls continuing on in the competition, McQuillen took to Facebook to thank her supporters.
“It’s been a crazy ride! I told the judges that #AmericanIdol was just a stop for me, not the whole journey, and they agreed.
“The judges were incredibly supportive and complimentary and I left Hollywood feeling better about my career than ever before.”
McQuillen made it to the Hollywood round of this season’s competition and was one of 75 out of the original 200 to survive the auditions who were still standing last week.
Undeterred, she hinted at upcoming shows, albums and videos, and added her fan base, which she refers to as MCQCREW, has grown through the “Idol” experience, for which she said is “so humbled and grateful.”
Local youths won’t have to wait long to see McQuillen again.
She will make Valentine’s Day tomorrow extra-special for Andover’s seventh- and eighth-graders as she headlines the Andover Youth Services’ dance.
McQuillen — who has participated in and been a big supporter of her town’s youth services program — is expected to play an acoustic set of a few songs at tomorrow night’s fundraiser at Old Town Hall on Main Street, AYS Director Bill Fahey announced yesterday.
“She has a big following among Andover, particularly students,” Fahey said. “They’re getting hyped up now. I think Old Town Hall will be high on energy Friday night.”
McQuillen is looking forward to performing before her hometown fans, too.
“I’m so excited for the show, it should be a great time,” she said in an email yesterday afternoon. “I hope a lot of kids come out; it’ll be fun!”
The dance goes from 7:30 to 10 p.m. and McQuillen is scheduled to take the stage about an hour into it. A DJ will supply the music for the remainder of the night.
The event will support Andover Youth Services’ ongoing fundraising efforts for the Cormier Family Youth Center, which will begin construction this spring.
It won’t be the first time McQuillen has performed for an AYS benefit.
Growing up in Andover, the rising musician was frequently involved in youth services programming. And the 2001 graduate of Phillips Academy who is now enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston returned last year to perform at the group’s annual telethon.
“Just the first time I met her, she was a bright light,” Fahey said. “We’re talking about a young person here who has all the gifts, but on top of that, is a really awesome human being.”
Fahey said as he was lining up musical acts for tomorrow night’s dance, McQuillen was reaching out to see if there were opportunities down the road to aid the organization.
“Casey and I started talking to each other and she said she’d love to come back and support any and all initiatives,” Fahey said.
It just so happened she was free on Valentine’s Day.
With about $750,00 still needing to be raised for the final phase of construction on the new youth center, organizers hope the Valentine’s Day Dance, which is specifically geared for Andover’s seventh- and eighth-graders, will bring in about $1,500 to $2,000. Tickets are $10.
The annual Youth Services Telethon, scheduled for March 20 and 21, is expected to chisel away a significant portion of those outstanding funds as well.