September Artist of the Month: Michael McPhie


Timi Fang

Featured above is Michael McPhie.

Jack Guo, Staff Writer

First chair French Horn player, senior Michael McPhie, of the UHS Wind Symphony was nominated for September’s Artist of the Month by band director Mr. Corey Heddon.

McPhie’s musical roots began when he was five years old when he learned how to play the piano. Although he started his music career on the piano, the idea of playing a brass instrument had always appealed to him.

“I thought the French horn had a really beautiful sound, but I was told that it would be easier to start by learning the trumpet,” McPhie said.

McPhie was first exposed to the trumpet in elementary school when choosing an instrument to play, continuing through middle school, but eventually transitioned to the French horn in high school. While he felt the transition to high school was a good time to pick up the horn, he still continued to play the trumpet in the UHS Jazz Band during his freshman year.

In his many years of playing music, McPhie’s most memorable experiences have come from performing. “Our band concert at the end of last year was particularly memorable,” McPhie said, as he described the huge inflatable sound shell that was set up on the UHS basketball court, as well as the microphones and amps. 

While McPhie is an integral part to many of University’s band programs, he has also taken his passion for music outside of the school, having been accepted into the IUSD Honors Orchestra as a French horn player. Additionally, he has participated in several piano competitions and was even invited to perform at Carnegie Hall this December. 

“For piano, one of my favorite aspects is competing,” McPhie said. Due to pandemic restrictions, piano competitions took place virtually, where he would have to record himself playing his pieces on his own piano. 

“I also enjoy the unique excitement of performing live, and I’m looking forward to some competitions being held in person once again,” McPhie said.

For McPhie, music is not only a proof of one’s own abilities, but also an opportunity to give back to his community. Not too long ago, McPhie, along with some members of the UHS wind symphony, visited an elderly veteran male and played a few patriotic pieces for him. 

“It’s nice to be able to use music to uplift others,” McPhie said.

After high school, McPhie would like to continue playing both piano and French horn, but he does not plan to major in music. 

“I would enjoy playing French horn in an ensemble and continuing piano studies on my own,” McPhie commented.