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Window on My World

NAME

Philip Cobb

CORPS

Hendon

FAMILY BACKGROUND

Parents Stephen and Elaine and brother Matthew

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN DID YOU START TO PLAY AND WHO TAUGHT YOU?

One Christmas when I was three and a half my grandfather [Roland] gave me a battered Bandmaster cornet; this meant that I could copy my dad and brother playing the cornet. When I was seven, lessons began officially; my dad taught me cornet and Marjorie Ringham taught me piano.

WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?

I have been first trumpet in the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) for almost five years.

HOW DID YOU GET THERE?

At 18 I studied for a degree in music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. During those four years I played in various orchestras in London and around the UK. Halfway through my fourth year I worked with the London Symphony Orchestra and on my final day at college my role as principal trumpet was signed, sealed and delivered!

WHAT MUSIC PARTICULARLY INSPIRES YOU?

I like all sorts of music – jazz, big band, classical.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE COMPOSERS?

As a trumpet player, I like the composers that keep me busy such as Mahler and Shostakovich. As far as the Army’s concerned there’s Kenneth Downie, Wilfred Heaton and Paul Sharman. I used to billet with Paul when I was in the ISB; he’s a good friend who writes for me.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT A SPECIAL HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER AS A MUSICIAN?

There are a couple of highlights that particularly stand out. One has to be the Youth Makes Music Gospel Arts concert at the Royal Albert Hall when I played solos alongside the staff band. The other highlight was the 2012 Olympics. The LSO had contributed background music and I had the opportunity to play at the opening and closing of the Paralympics – it felt just like another gig at the time, but now I realise it was something that will never happen like that again.

 

WHAT INTERESTS DO YOU HAVE?

I’m an Arsenal [Arsenal Football Club, Halloway, London] fan, I play golf and I try to keep fit by running.

WHO HAS HAD A SIGNIFICANT INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE?

My dad – not just musically – but as a man. Others include Paul Beniston and Wynton Marsalis. Paul or ‘Benny’ is first trumpet in the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has a Salvation Army background. He helped me understand the profession but above all we just had a great teacher/pupil relationship. With Wynton Marsalis – well he was someone I idolised as a kid and to meet the man, who was so warm towards me, was fantastic. It was great to meet a hero who’s such a gentleman as well!

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF SALVATION ARMY MUSIC?

Having been at TYB [Territorial Youth Band] and TYC [Territorial Youth Chorus] in February, I felt extremely excited by the people and their talent. I was part of the staff team, but I started out as one of the students and haven’t missed a year yet. If you haven’t been there, you need to get down to the festival to experience it. I hope this traditional side of Army music will stay.

IS THERE A SONG THAT HAS HELPED YOU?

‘Don’t Doubt Him Now’ – it’s strange, I don’t really know all the words, but the music speaks to me.

WHAT’S YOUR HOPE FOR THE FUTURE?

I’m happy to keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve got the job I enjoy and more of the same would be great. I also want to continue my Salvation Army music ministry.

 

Originally published April 19, 2014. Reproduced with the kind permission of Salvationist magazine.

B/M Ronald Waiksnoris interviewed Philip when he visited the United States in 2008 and that video interview can still be viewed here.





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