Horizon’s band director snags music award - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Horizon’s band director snags music award

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Posted: Monday, February 10, 2014 6:48 am

Brian Murphy, director of bands at Horizon Community Learning Center (HCLC), received high honors at this year’s Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA) banquet, receiving the 2014 O.M. Hartsell’s “Excellence in Teaching Music Award.”

It was an honoring experience for Murphy to be recognized for his work in music, especially considering the nomination process was through voting by his peers.

By being recognized by his peers for the work he has done over his 28-year career in music made the experience that much more special for Murphy.

“It’s some person that looks at what I do and decided it was worthy of recognition. That means a lot when it’s your colleagues that are in the trenches out there doing what you do,” he said.

Murphy has shown a passion when it comes to the field of music, dating back to when he attended elementary school in Florida.

“I always knew that I liked music, and when I was younger I would sing in choirs. When I was in elementary school they offered band for the first time ever, and it just felt right,” he said.

While being involved with a music program in Florida, Murphy said the program was very substantial and he was able to find his identity in music. He and his family later moved to the Phoenix area, where he attended Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, and decided to pursue a career in teaching music.

“I knew I wanted to be a music teacher when I was a freshman in high school because I remember the school offered piano class and I knew to be a music teacher I had to learn how to play the piano,” he said.

Murphy began teaching at Horizon 14 years ago, and was the few people who built the band program from the ground-floor.

His goal as a teacher is to make sure that each student who walks through his door is given the chance to have a musical experience that will become part of their lives forever.

“There was no program what so ever. We had a couple boxes of wire-flooding music stands and that was it,” Murphy said.

Although Murphy’s title at Horizon is director of bands, he does much more at the school in terms of music, teaching guitar and AP Music Theory.

“Music speaks to me in a way that most other things don’t. It makes sense to me, and I enjoy the depth and meaning of music. Combining that with an opportunity to use that as a vehicle to affect people’s lives to work with students and watch them grow to help them figure out who they are... it’s a really neat combination,” Murphy said. “Watching it happen at various levels with different people is very enjoyable.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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