Doug MacPhee Obituary, Death – We would like to express our sincere condolences to Mr. Doug MacPhee’s family and friends on the loss of such a beloved member of the Cape Breton community. Mr. MacPhee was a renowned pianist, historian, educator, and composer, and he was loved by everybody. Dougie, who was born and raised in New Waterford, lived an extraordinary life in which music played a significant role. He began his own musical career around the age of 12, having first and mainly been exposed to music in the household, as he was the son of the renowned pianist and accompanist Margaret MacPhee.
Self-taught just like his mother, they excelled in playing melodies along with the fiddler or in solo form, which resulted in hearing the tunes played on piano on its own. Their specialty was in accompanying the fiddler, and they were known for their ability to do so. After that, Doug would go on to release six solo records and accompany on more than 60 albums throughout the years, during which time he would play alongside some of the finest fiddlers from several generations. Because of his extensive understanding of music, he was able to launch groundbreaking archive projects at the Beaton Institute.
As a result, he was able to save a distinctive style of Canadian music that would have otherwise been lost to the annals of history. In addition to receiving an honorary degree from Cape Breton University, he was also inducted into the Order of Canada in 2008 for his contribution to the traditional culture of Cape Breton. This honor was bestowed upon him in recognition of his musical achievements as well as his work in the archives. Doug was known for his kind heart, generous nature, enjoyment of a good laugh, and encouraging words to his peers and younger performers. This was maybe his most well-known trait. Over the years, the College had the good fortune to benefit from his teaching, performances, and visits. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to all of his many friends and family members.