Miles Hearn and Bill Phillips, two former members of our orchestra, have sadly passed away this winter. The HPO expresses our sincere condolences to the family and friends of both musicians.

Miles Hearn performed with the HPO for many years until the 1990s, and many of our musicians today express a deep appreciation for their friendships with their beloved former colleague. Bill Phillips was with us in the 1970s and holds a special place in our history as a founding member of an ensemble with close ties to the HPO. 

Keep reading to learn more about the life and legacy of two incredible musicians, Miles Hearn and Bill Phillips.

Miles Hearn

Miles Hearn was a professional horn player for 30 years. He was a core musician and Principal Horn with the HPO for 20 years. Miles performed with many more orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Ballet Orchestra of Canada and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Another life-long passion of Miles’ was nature, and he worked as a nature guide for adults for the last 15 years. The Toronto District School Board recognized his efforts with the Learn4Life Jack Henshaw Award in November 2022. He even had his own website documenting his nature walks and sharing his knowledge.  

Miles Hearn, professional musician and nature guide.

Bill Phillips

Bill Phillips played the trumpet and was a founding member of The Canadian Brass. Soon after forming in 1970, the brass quintet joined the HPO as core musicians. Bill also played with, directed, and composed for the CBC Winnipeg Symphony, National Festival Orchestra-Stratford, the Orchestra de Chambre de Hull, Toronto Jewish Folk Choir, Ottawa Police Chorus, B.C. Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and more. In addition to the original Canadian Brass ensemble, Bill was a founding member of the Toronto Classical Brass, founder/director of the University of Toronto Hart House Orchestra, and founder/director of the Toronto New Chamber Orchestra of Canada of which he was most proud.

Musician Bill Phillips holding a trumpet.