“An Evening With Phil Cobb”

Grace, the Co-op Band’s reporter sends this report on our evening with Principal Trumpet of the LSO, Phil Cobb. (Grace is Studying A Levels and is looking forward to starting next term at the Royal Northern College of Music).

On Monday 22nd June, the East of England Co-op Band organised another Zoom discussion, this time with trumpeter Phil Cobb. Phil grew up through the Salvation Army and proceeded to study at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has held the position of Principal Trumpet with the London Symphony Orchestra for over a decade, although he will now move on to the BBC Symphony Orchestra when lockdown has ended.

Phil fondly mentioned his upbringing during the discussion, saying that his father Stephen Cobb was a major influence during his life. He recounted that his father would often tell him to “play the copy” – suggesting to just focus on the music and to not get distracted with audience reactions during a performance.

As well as being a renowned orchestral musician, Phil also talked about his experience of being a studio musician, playing on soundtracks for films such as Harry Potter and more recently, Aeronauts. Phil said that when booking a film session, his life can be “up in the air” and he often doesn’t know the film or score the musicians are playing for!

Much to the band’s surprise Phil explained that he does not spend days working on his technique, instead he just spends under an hour focusing on the “sweet spots!”. He was a firm believer in “finding a system that works for you”.

Phil was very passionate when talking about some of his idols, mentioning Tim Morrison and Wynton Marsalis as his two favourites. He also recounted meeting Maurice Murphy (his predecessor in the LSO), who is most famous for recording the Star Wars soundtracks.

Overall, the discussion with Phil Cobb was very interesting, and the band really got an insight into his routine, influences and upbringing with the Salvation Army Brass Bands.


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