Philip comes from Stoke-on-Trent, when he was at junior school he had a few lessons on the violin, but deep down he knew it was not the instrument for him. One day when a local senior school band visited his school he decided that he wanted to be part of that band.
When he went to see about joining he was told that there was a waiting list and that he would have to audition to even get on that list. Eventually he got his chance and in Philips words "I was given something called a Baritone. Unfortunately three days later I had to go into hospital, when I returned to school someone else had got the baritone and the only instrument left was the Eb Bass. Undeterred I took it home - much to the disappointment of my parents and neighbours"
While Philip was taking his ‘A' levels he had a chance meeting with Nev Roberts, bass trombone with the Halle Orchestra, who suggested that Philip should go up to Manchester to meet his mate Stuart Roebuck. Stuart was the tuba player with the Halle and tutor at the Royal Manchester College of Music. Philip auditioned for the college, passed and moved to Manchester.
At the same time , a brass teacher in Stoke knew Tommy White, bandmaster of the CWS (Manchester) Band and wrote to him suggesting that they might want to listen to Philip, who says "Next thing I have a phone call from Derek Garside ( celebrated cornetist and Principal at Manchester CWS) asking me along for an audition. We duly met and I endured probably the most uncomfortable two hours of my life as Derek put me through my rather limited paces At the end he said that I was not good enough, but as I had been accepted at Music College they obviously thought that they could teach me something, so the band would take a chance and might get a year out of me. That was 1972 and I stayed until 1985"
Philip has been at Black Dyke Band for some twentynine years, he has also appeared with many orchestras including the Halle, BBC Northern, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Welsh National Opera and others.
Upon leaving college Philip took up the teaching profession, progressing over the years to Director of Music at the William Hulme Grammar School in Manchester. It is fair to say that music is Philip's life. He has a huge commitment to the musical education of young people, both in his local community and as a tutor with the National Youth Brass Band.