Doug MacPhee Death, Obituary – We would like to take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Doug MacPhee’s family and friends on the passing of a member of the Cape Breton community who was so much liked and respected. Everyone had a lot of respect and admiration for Mr. MacPhee, who was a renowned pianist, historian, educator, and composer. Dougie, who was born and reared in New Waterford, led a remarkable life in which music played an important part. Dougie passed away in New Waterford. He began his own musical career at the age of 12, having first and primarily been exposed to music in the family due to the fact that he was the son of the renowned pianist and accompanist Margaret MacPhee.
He began his own musical career by playing the piano and the violin. They were self-taught, much like his mother, and excelled in playing melodies together with the fiddler or in solo form. As a consequence, we were able to hear the tunes performed on the piano by itself. Their bread and butter consisted in providing accompaniment for the fiddler, and they were well-known for their skill in this area. Doug would eventually go on to make six solo recordings and accompany on more than 60 CDs during the course of his career, performing with some of the finest fiddlers from a range of decades.
Throughout his career, Doug would also go on to perform with some of the best guitarists. As a result of his profound familiarity with the field of music, he was in a position to initiate ground-breaking archival initiatives at the Beaton Institute. Because of this, he was successful in preserving a particular style of Canadian music that, in the absence of his efforts, would have been lost to the annals of history. In addition to being awarded an honorary degree from Cape Breton University, he was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008 for his significant contributions to the Cape Breton community’s long-standing cultural traditions.
It is in honor of his musical accomplishments as well as the work he has done in the archives that he has been given with this accolade.
Doug was recognized for his kind heart, kind personality, pleasure of a good laugh, and encouraging words to his coworkers and younger performers. His enjoyment of a good laugh was one of his defining characteristics. Perhaps the quality that was most well-known about him was this one. The College had the good fortune to profit from his lectures, performances, and visits over the course of many years. We would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to each and every one of his numerous friends and members of his extended family.