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Dr. Sheryl's Story

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Sheryl Murphy-Manley, born in Kansas in 1962 to mother Sandra and father Zatis Murphy, passed away peacefully on the morning of Thursday, October 5th, 2017. She was a Ph.D., Professor of Musicology and Coordinator of the Musicology Area in the SHSU School of Music. Her family reminds us that her courageous and very inspiring battle against cancer was marked by dedication, determination and the commitment to live every day to the fullest. She will be greatly missed by her family as well as by many colleagues, friends, and students.
Dr. Murphy-Manley joined the music faculty at Sam Houston State University in 2001 after having taught in the undergraduate music department of the University of Texas at Austin for four years as an Assistant Instructor and in the Continuing Education Program as a Lecturer for ten years. She held two music degrees from Sam Houston State University: Bachelor of Music Education (1985) and Master of Music in Conducting (1987), studying with Dr. Bev Henson. Her musicology major professor at SHSU was Dr. Harry Mallard. Sheryl was an accomplished flutist, having studied with Jan Cole, Patty Mills, and Beth Blackstone Wiehe. She studied voice with Professor Al Autry. She completed the Ph.D. in Musicology (1996) at the University of Texas at Austin, which included studies with professors Dr. John Grubbs and Dr. Hanns-Berthold Dietz.
Her love of music began with playing the flute in band in the sixth grade and continued throughout her high school years. She enjoyed singing and was a member of school and church choirs, also singing with small groups and playing the flute for various occasions. She graduated from Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas in 1980. After completing her degrees at SHSU, she taught music in two elementary schools in the Klein Independent School District and continued teaching private flute lessons for several years prior to beginning her doctoral studies.
Dr. Murphy-Manley was a contributor to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (ed. Stanley Sadie, W. W. Norton, 2001) and her research in 18th-century music through her dissertation, The Sacred Music of Gian Francesco de Majo (1732-1770)" has offered music historians editions of mid-18th-century Italian music that had previously been available only in manuscript. She has presented papers at regional, national, and international society meetings on various topics including 18th-century Italian sacred music, the 19th-century musical borrowing of Joachim Raff, diegetic and non-diegetic sound in game music, extended instrumental techniques in 20th-century American music, and pedagogy.
She served two terms as secretary-treasurer for the American Musicological Society-Southwest Chapter (Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma), and served as President of the Chapter in 2015-16. She recently served as the managing editor of the American Musicological Society Southwest Chapter Conference Proceedings, and as an associate editor of Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines.
In 2012, she produced Newton D. Strandberg: Essays and Sketches (Parma Recordings, Rayello Records), an extended-content CD-ROM which includes performances by the London Symphony, the New York Chamber Symphony, and the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra. This is a tribute to Dr. Newton Strandberg, longtime SHSU Professor of Music Theory and Composition. More recently, she began the creation of a thematic catalog for the works of Newton Strandberg. Also, the third edition of her book, "A Concise and Friendly Guide to Music History", was released in 2015 by Cengage Publishing. Among other involvements in her life, Dr. Murphy-Manley loved to write poetry and was a prolific painter for most of her adult life. Her work is on display at her personal website: https://murphymanley.github.io/
Above all, her greatest love was her 17 year old son, Carter, followed by the love for her students and the teaching profession to which she dedicated her life. She is survived by that special son Carter Manley, her parents Sandra and John Stites, her brother Robert Murphy, her sister Charlene Murphy Huskey, and Charlene's children Elizabeth Macy, Stephanie Dick, and Joshua Huskey, as well as a great-niece and great-nephew. Additional surviving family includes her uncle Stan and Patty Stieben and their daughter Sarah, several other cousins, and step-family members Jeff and Sally Stites, Steve and Mitzi Stites, and Kim and Matt Bloom. She was preceded in death by her father Zatis Murphy and her aunt Janea Gordon.
Donations may be made payable to a savings account in the name of Carter A. Manley c/o Eric Garcia (on memo line of check please write SAVINGS ACCOUNT) at BBVA Compass Bank, 1410 Brazos Drive, Huntsville, Texas 77320.
Memorial condolences may be made to the family at www.shmfh.com.
Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home Huntsville, 936-291-7300
Published on October 10, 2017
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