American Idol: Scott MacIntyre, Other Phoenix Folks, Impressing

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So we'll have more American Idol in Phoenix coverage for you later, but I couldn't resist putting up a quick post on Scott MacIntyre, the visually impaired singer from Scottsdale who's about to win America's heart. MacIntyre is, indeed, gifted, and he and his family are one of the most charming interviews I've ever done. Yes, he's just as nice in person as he was on TV.

The East Valley Tribune, who I wrote the story for back in May, took it down as part of their recent redesign, but I managed to dig up the text, which I'm posting below.

Scott is quite a man, and I think he's going to go far on the show. His story was by far the highlight of the night. The low light? Watching Ryan pretend to like girls. Icky.

The Tribune also has video of Scott and his brother, sister and mother singing though, of course, it's been taken down. I'll see if I can't work some angles to get that online for you sometime soon.

Family harmony
Scottsdale clan tunes into singing
Carole MacIntyre is not your typical stage mom. Rather than prod her kids up on stage, she begrudgingly travels across the country as her three children -- Scott, 22, Todd, 19, and Katelyn, 16 -- perform as the MacIntyre Family Singers.

"I'm the one that's dragged along on the tour," MacIntyre says.

The Scottsdale woman also sings with the group, which will perform tonight at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., because it won the International Young Soloists Award from Very Special Arts, an organization that recognizes musicians with disabilities.

Scott and Katelyn were born visually impaired.

Scott, the brains behind the group, also has a solo career: He started playing piano at age 3.

The instrument suits his strengths, he says, since he has extreme tunnel vision that leaves him unable to refocus his eyes quickly.

An Arizona State University graduate, a Marshall scholar and a Fulbright scholar, he has recorded pop music on his own, but likes getting out with his family, which sings fourpart harmonies set to piano in the mode of Billy Joel or Josh Groban.

"It kind of started as (a side project), but we do more and more shows as a family," he says.

Brother Todd is just finishing ASU with a double major in economics and musical theater. For Todd -- who has performed in productions of "Grease," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" -- the family group is a chance to polish his chops and spend time with his loved ones. The harmonies he sings with his siblings and mother also help him broaden his range.

"The more versatile we can become as a group or individually, the better," he says. Katelyn, who attends Scottsdale Community College, plans to follow her oldest brother into the music business, though she's not exactly sure what her niche will be. The only member of the family not in the group is father Doug, who serves as roadie. "We say every year he auditions for the group, but he doesn't make the cut," Katelyn says. As for Carole, she just hopes one of her sons finds her replacement soon. "If Scott and Todd marry someone, they need to marry an alto," she says.

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