John Dunphy started his musical education on piano before picking up trombone at La Salle College High School. Later, he pursued Music Education at West Chester University, studying vocal music, brass, percussion, composition and more. He has taught music at every level from elementary school to college and has a long résumé as a liturgical musician.
At a youthful 81 years old, Dunphy still plays tuba every Sunday with a neighborhood quintet, the Wyncote Brass. He believes that music education is about more than just notes. It’s about learning to love what you do and caring for the people with whom you do it.
When Dunphy was hired as Villanova’s band director in 1979, there were three music organizations on campus: the Villanova Singers, the Villanova Women’s Glee Club (now the Voices), and a combination pep-scramble-concert band that played mainly at basketball and football games. “I reported to the director of Student Activities, who was in charge of everything from the hiking club to the cigar-smoking club,” recalls Dunphy, with his characteristic wry wit. “There wasn’t a specific focus on music, but the kids wanted the outlet. So year by year, I’d say, ‘What don’t we have?’ We started inventing groups as we went, growing where the need was.”