LINCOLN (SNR) - A newly endowed scholarship will honor the memory of the first band instructor at Pius X High School in Lincoln.
Each year the Phil Murphy Memorial Scholarship will provide tuition assistance to a senior band student with demonstrated financial need. The $10,000 gift to establish the scholarship was made by Murphy’s wife and family, including their children Janet Koerner, Paul Murphy and Jane Manzitto. Murphy had 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Murphy was cared for at St. James Orphanage in Omaha until he was adopted at the age of 6. His adoptive parents instilled in him a love for music, and Murphy marched in the United States Marine Corp Band, as well as the University of Nebraska Band. He began his teaching career in Wymore and York, and was excited to accept the challenge of Father Gene Kalin to start up an instrumental music program at Pius X High School.
In 1960 Pius X was the new Catholic high school in Lincoln and Vince Aldrich was the only other lay teacher. Murphy also gave private lessons and instructed group ensembles in the seven area Catholic grade schools at the time, until 1964 when assistant Mike Veak taught in the parish schools.
Murphy’s family said music was his ministry, and he devoted himself to his Catholic faith and to help grow Pius X High School.
“Dad would say, being in a Catholic school, that God was in everything we did,” his daughter Jane said. “As a family, we are excited to be a part of this growing, thriving and loving school. And we are especially proud of the instrumental music program that has continued to grow and develop from its inception under Dad’s direction.”
With its largest enrollment ever at 1,280 students, Pius X has served the Lincoln community for 60 years. More information is available at www.piusx.net, Facebook.com/RestoreAllThings and @PiusXLincoln.