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'Idol' star returns to Amherst to perform at alma mater

AMHERST — Alex Preston Philbrick, a self-proclaimed band nerd from Mont Vernon, is turning heads on this season of “American Idol.”

On Tuesday, the season 13 Idol contestant was back home performing at Souhegan High School before flying back to Los Angeles Wednesday.



Philbrick, a 2011 Souhegan graduate, had some words of wisdom for the student body, who had the opportunity to hear him perform some original songs.

“If you have a dream, well, you only live once. I know that sounds cliche,” said Philbrick, 20. “Why wouldn’t you go after something you love?”

In high school, Philbrick was in the jazz band and pop band, and performed locally with the band Undertoe.

“We weren’t good,” said Philbrick, joking at his own youthfulness. Still, Philbrick says he wanted be a musician and he went for it, recently auditioning online with “American Idol.”

The songwriter and performer plays about a dozen instruments, but apparently feels most comfortable behind the guitar. Decked out in a black T-shirt, dark jeans and converse sneakers, Philbrick easily wowed the Souhegan audience.



“Really, though, I am not cool,” he said before allowing students to jump up on stage with him for a photo shoot.

Before Philbrick’s performance, the New Hampshire Union Leader had a few moments to catch up with the “American Idol” contestant. He said the experience has been amazing.

“You get to meet all of these people who are doing the same things as you and have the same dream as you,” he said.

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