Phil is from the North East of England and studied Music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating in 1995 with composition as his main focus. He started playing the tuba when he was eleven years old, quite by accident. Already a keyboard player, Phil then requested to learn the trumpet at school. His music teacher immediately dismissed the idea on the sole basis that his school orchestra already had far too many trumpets and he really needed a tuba player! The tuba stuck and become Phil’s main study. This led him initially down the brass band route, and he enjoyed many years performing with several renowned bands in the north east of England, performing on a regular basis and competing at national level.
His career took a surprising turn, working in the hospitality and catering industry at management level before moving to music retail and teaching privately. He then realised that teaching was his passion and so completed his PGCE from York St John University in 2001. His teaching career began as Head of Music in a secondary school in the North East of England, before spending twelve years as Director of Music for a high performing non-selective independent school, also in the North East.
Phil came to Shanghai last year with his wife Katherine, who already teaches at BISS, and their son William. He is excited at the prospect of working with such a dynamic department and is lucky to have spent much of the last year working as a supply teacher, getting to know both staff and students. Phil firmly believes that Music should be fun and that students develop their musicality much more successfully when they are collaborating with each other, sharing ideas, making mistakes, making too much noise, enjoying themselves!
Phil is a keen composer/arranger, frustrated golfer (and Middlesbrough FC supporter) and lego builder.