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Former Vernon Viper a finalist in top country music competition

Zach McPhee is one of eight semi-finalists for the SiriuxXM Top of the Country Competition
Zach McPhee is one of eight semi-finalists for the SiriusXM Top of the Country competition. (Contributed)

A former Vernon Viper hockey player is now a semi-finalist of a national country music competition.

Zach McPhee, who traded his skates for a guitar and microphone, is a finalist at the SiriusXM Top of the Country competition, which is in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA).

There are eight musicians selected, who will head to Toronto or Vancouver to perform a studio session audition. They will record a professionally-made song, then it is up to fans to vote for three finalists.

The other seven are: Robert Adam, Alexa Goldie, Parker Graye, Tony Stevens, Mariya Stokes, Trudy and Jade Turner.

According to a release, “exciting industry mentorship opportunities, a song writing trip to Nashville and performances at major events are on the line.”

The winner will receive $25,000, with runners up nabbing $10,000 each while all will perform at the CCMA’s Country Music Week in Edmonton,

McPhee released his debut single, Bring On, last year and has since put out a seven song album, Feels Country to Me. He has close to 13,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and has totalled six million streams across all platforms.

In an interview with The Morning Star last year, McPhee described his musical style as folk and county.

“I always appreciated the storytelling aspect of what country music brings,” he said. “I really enjoy the grassroots country folk style and I always loved creating music and I just want to keep doing that as I hope that other people can relate to it too.”

The almost 31-year-old grew up in Vernon and played for the Vipers in the 2010-11 season. His hockey career took him to Everett, Kootenay (WHL) and the University of Regina for five seasons.

To vote for McPhee, visit

READ MORE: McPhee boosts Vernon content

READ MORE: Former Vernon Viper Zach McPhee ready to Bring On the music

Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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