Philippa Hobbs was born and raised in Sheffield. Her first venture into music was to learn the recorder at the age of 5 progressing to the flute by the time she was 9. During her time at All Saints Catholic High School Philippa passed an audition to play for the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, touring Spain and Croatia. Philippa also played for the All Saints School Wind Band and performed at the Royal Festival Hall in 1999 as part of the Music for Youth Finals.
Philippa is also a keen vocalist and was a winner at the David Clover Singing Competition held in Sheffield in 2000.
After school Philippa worked in retail and had her son in 2006. In 2007 Philippa went to the University of Huddersfield to study music, specialising in flute performance. After a gap year in 2009 to have her daughter she returned to achieve a 2:1 and win the best woodwind prize of her year. After University Philippa taught the flute at Mount St Mary’s School in Sheffield and then worked as a teaching assistant in Wakefield specialising in music. She maintained her love for music by joining Dinningtion Colliery Band on the euphonium as her family were all brass band enthusiasts. She was lucky enough to play at the Rugby World Cup Final in Twickenham in 2010 as part of a BBC2 documentary called ‘A Band for Britain’. Philippa still plays the Euphonium for Foss Dyke Brass Band in Lincoln.
Philippa was inspired to join RAF Music Services by her brother who played the tuba in the Band of the RAF College and she joined the band in June 2014 as a flautist. During her brief time at RAF Northolt she won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Bronze Medal for her performance and attitude whilst in training.
She has toured with the band in Australia, New Zealand, Cyprus as well as taking part in the 2015 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and is the featured vocalist with the jazz ensemble and RAF Swing Wing. In 2017 she was the soloist for the finale of the Belfast International Tattoo, where she performed for three nights in front of 8000 people and was featured on BBC2.
Philippa is looking forward to celebrating the RAF Centenary through numerous high-profile engagements in 2018. Being the RAF100 Hero today was a complete surprise:
“I feel extremely honoured to be today’s RAF100 Hero. I’ve loved every day of my career so far and am really looking forward to marching with over 1000 heroes in the RAF100 parade in London on the 10th July.”
SAC Philippa Hobbs