Name: Joseph Murphy
Occupation: Music Director
What brought you to San Carlos? I'm a Millbrae native and after four years of school and five years of teaching in the Pasadena area I wanted to return to teach music on the Peninsula. When this job opened, I called almost every day until they gave me an interview. I flew up and fell in love with the school and community and the rest is history.
What is your best San Carlos memory? My best memory would have to be my first CMEA Band Festival where I was completely freaked out. It was the first festival I had taken my bands to and I was so nervous about being judged. I wasn't sure if I'd kept up with the tradition of excellence set forth by Sara Lomax before me. Her six years of Unanimous Superior plaques on the band room walls haunted me all year. I just wanted to keep up. And sure enough, we earned two Unanimous Superior ratings that day. I was so excited for the kids and for myself. What a fun day. Since then, the Tierra Linda Bands have earned nine of ten Unanimous Superior ratings.
How did you get started teaching band? I was a Tuba Performance Major at Cal State Northridge. I was recruited to do a tuba ensemble at La Canada High School in the Pasadena area. My group had a lot of fun and told their teacher how much they enjoyed my instruction. So she asked if I'd like to work there part time as an Assistant Band Director. I took the job and I was there for five years. I also taught at Agoura Hills High School and played Tuba professionally all over Southern California.
What do you enjoy about music? I am fortunate that music is such a wonderful hobby of mine and I get paid to do it everyday. I get to create, inspire, conduct and direct children who want to learn what I have to teach. I love playing in orchestras and bands. Music is my life and I'm so happy to come to work everyday.
What do you find to be the most rewarding-- listening to, teaching or performing music? I'd have to say that performing is the most rewarding for me. Playing with amazing players and having a wonderful concert is such a special thing for me. However, I have students in Germany, LA and around the Bay Area and to see them succeed and excel in music is HUGELY rewarding as well. I think teaching is more rewarding in the long term and performing is more rewarding immediately. Tough question.
If you were a musical instrument, what would you be? If I could be any instrument, I'd be the voice. I just want to sing like Pavoratti. You can get SO much expression out of your voice. If I can't choose voice, I'll go with the Piano.