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Rising Star

“Cover of ‘Real Friends’ out now!” reads Ethan McWilliams’ Instagram Page.

McWilliams, freshman, is a pianist and cellist taking a part in South’s Symphonic Orchestra as a freshman while still maintaining his grades in advanced classes. McWilliams started a YouTube channel with over 300 views a couple months ago showcasing his accomplished abilities.

McWilliams started playing piano at age 7 and cello around the age of 12. For many years, he has been taking lessons at Meyer Music to improve his playing. He learned most of his abilities through his individualized lessons rather than with the rest of the orchestra.

“I started playing the piano because my sister played violin and I wanted to play an instrument too. I also wanted to be in orchestra starting in middle school, so I started playing the Cello,” he said.

McWilliams said he enjoys playing because it is a way to “relax and escape.” He enjoys arranging songs on the radio in his own style.

“It doesn’t take too long to arrange it. I just listen to a song and figure out the parts,” he said.

He has songs ranging from Multiplied by Needtobreathe and The Last Jedi from Star Wars.

McWilliams’ friends are very supportive of his musical capabilities. Allyson Scribner, freshman, says that whether he is on piano or cello, listening to him play is a pleasure.

“Ethan’s musical capabilities are off the charts!” said Scribner. “His work ethic is incredibly impressive and I feel will take him far.”

McWilliams is a part of South’s Bass Clef choir and hopes to not only advance in his instrumental capabilities but also in his singing.

Makenna Ornes, freshman said, “I can see that Ethan is not only an amazing cello player, but also a great singer.”

Next year he has the opportunity to be a part of South’s A Capella choir.

With performing musically in many fashions, McWilliams says that the camera is easier because you’re not really in front of people.

“In front of people it is a bit uncomfortable but overtime I’ve gotten better at it,” he said.

According to, 74 percent of people suffer with speech anxiety, making McWilliams one of the 24 percent rising above.

McWilliams is currently managing classes with his music. He balances his school work by focusing on classes more and using whatever time he has left for music.

“Like, Share, and Subscribe for more videos like this!” reads the description of McWilliam’s videos. He is hoping to continue improving his musical abilities, expressing a little part of himself to the world.