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Carly Moffa comes home

‘American Idol’ contestant Carly Moffa puts on a hometown show

Anthony Mazziotti/The Sun: Carly Moffa and her mother, Betsy Moffa, unwind after her hometown concert at Williamstown Middle School on June 7

Though she is currently living in Nashville pursuing her dreams, Carly Moffa’s heart is in the Garden State.

The Monroe Township native was a contestant on season one of ABC’s “American Idol” where she gained a national following. At the end of the day, Moffa knows that home is where the heart is, and to show appreciation to her roots, she held a concert on June 7 at the Williamstown Middle School.

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“There’s an atmosphere that develops when you watch someone grow,” Moffa said. “The spaces where we feel understood is where our souls grow. Home is that place. Home is where people love you just because they love you come hell or high water.”

The show featured the Williamstown Middle School choir and art from students in and out of the district.

“Art is out of necessity, all art is good,” she said. “If you have something burning in your chest that you have to get out, it’s good. Every imperfection is perfection.”

Moffa went on to thank a lot of people for making the show a possibility. Everyone from Christy Focht of East Greenwich School District, to Dana Mericle, the principal of Williamstown Middle School, to Lauren Gerelli, the choir teacher at WMS, to the Monroe Township Board of Education, Moffa made sure to thank them for their cooperation in making the concert a reality.

The show wasn’t the only thing that brought Moffa back to New Jersey. Moffa had a hand in fellow Jerseyan Alicia Cook’s newest poetry collection. Cook’s second collection, “Hope My Voice Doesn’t Skip,” features Moffa in a unique blend of poetry and songwriting.

The collaboration with Cook was right up Moffa’s alley, considering books are her favorite thing in the universe.

If there’s anything that Moffa gained from her time on “American Idol,” it is to put herself first and make herself happy.

“From ‘American Idol’ I started to see myself from the inside out.” She said. “Someone else’s actions didn’t affect me anymore. We’re not in competition with each other [as artists]. I’m the best Carly, she’s the best Maddie, and he’s the best Eric. The best we can do is be ourselves.”

To back up that statement, Moffa told a story about when her guitar broke in half backstage during Hollywood week.

“It was my favorite guitar and it broke backstage right before I was going on stage,” she said.

She said it didn’t affect her performance as she was provided another guitar. She said there was a man backstage who taped the guitar together and now it is customized with the words gentle and kind, as a reminder to be gentle and kind to herself.

The thing that resonates most from Moffa is that family and home are paramount in her life. She is grateful for her family, including her mother Betsy, father Chris, and her sisters Christen and Ashley. She is also thankful for the little things in life, like enjoying good bread.

“I don’t eat bread in Nashville,” Moffa said. “You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. Nashville doesn’t compare to the bread you get in New Jersey.”

Anthony is a graduate of Rowan University and a proud freelance contributor for 08108 magazine. He has past bylines in The Sun Newspapers and the Burlington County Times.

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