“He really has grown as a person:” Jay Copeland making Salisbury residents proud on American Idol

SALISBURY, Md.- American Idol Fans around the country know him as Jay Copeland, but for some local Salisbury residents they know him a little bit differently.

“I performed with Jay when he was Jeremiah,” Jessica Windsor, who performed with Jay, said.

But, whether you call him Jay or Jeremiah, people who worked with him throughout his high school and college years said he’s still the same bright guy he’s always been.

“What you see now is what I got to thankfully see when he was in high school,” Windsor said. “He really has grown as a person and as a performer, but he’s also grown in just being a beautiful person.”

Dr. John Wesley Wright who knew Jay since he was in middle school and even taught him as he was a student at Salisbury University said while everyone is watching the 23-year-old grow on stage he went through experiences with Jay people don’t even think about.

“People keep talking about these different things like his smile and all that and they don’t realize that we lived through the braces,” Dr. Wright said.

Meanwhile,Windsor who performed with the star in James M. Bennett High School’s annual Rock and Roll Revival, said while Jay is winning the hearts of America right now that’s not anything new.

“I remember every single time we would perform there was a roar applause and it was the same way not only back stage, but on stage as well,” Windsor said.

We’re told even back then he had a powerful voice that was leaving people with chills.

“He was shorter than me but he had this big voice and you literally would not think its coming from tiny 14-year-old boy,” Windsor said.

While it was easy for Jay to catch the audiences attention, Wright said that didn’t stop him from working hard to transform his voice in a way that would set him up for his future.

“I had to like whip that child into shape and get him to learn his songs so he could get a good grade,” Dr. Wright said. “Jay has put in the time, he’s cracked notes over and over to find the right way to do it, and you know we’ve been through that fire together.”

While Jay’s future was a mystery at the time, he said his journey to get to where he is today has been well worth it.

“It was one of the greatest decisions of my life not to leave my home town because you know I have so much more support there and a lot of the things work out for the better,” Copeland said.

But, his work on Idol isn’t finished yet. As he prepares for his next performance, Salisbury residents will be supporting him in every way they can.

“We are with you all the way, everyone vote, everyone watch, pray sing, be joyous, we love you Jay,” Dr. Wright said.

On Sunday, there will be an American Idol Watch Party at Brew River, in Salisbury, to support Jay. The fun begins at 7:30 p.m.

Categories: Local News, Maryland