"Like you're slipping on a banana peel."
Unorthodox, perhaps, but "everybody got it," tenor Scott Russon said. "It was a real hairpin dynamic, and then a sforzando . It was really quite amazing."
Another time, Murphy asked for a sound like flicking a wet towel and added, "I want to feel a welt."
A sound like a welt? From the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?
"He's an incredible educator," said alto Cherilyn Worthen, a former Brigham Young University classmate of Murphy's who now works with him to train the newest choir volunteers. She directs the Thursday-night school for incoming singers, while he is conductor of the preparatory Temple Square Chorale. "When he's in rehearsal, whether with professionals or total amateurs, he comes up with a clear description of the sound he wants."