Philipp Sparke studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music where he wrote several works for the College Wind Orchestra. It was while he was at the college that his interest in band music arose. He formed a band of fellow students and wrote several works for it. In 1975 Sparke was awarded first prize in a competition organized by the Schools Band Association for the overture "The Prizewinners". At about the same time he wrote "Concert Prelude", his first work to be published. Growing interest in his music led to several commissions, including one for the test piece for the Centennial Brass Band Championship in New Zealand, "The Land of the Long White Cloud". Further commissions followed from bands, the BBC and various band associations, including "Music for a Festival", written for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. He has won awards in the European Broadcasting Union New Music for Bands Competition three times, including first prize in the Freestyle Section in 1986 with "Orient Express". He was asked to write the championship finals test piece for the prestigious "Nationals" in 1987, as well as a piece for the 1988 World Championship held in Brisbane as part of the Australian Bicentennial Festival of Bands. Sparke was appointed composer-in-residence at Salford College of Technology for 1990-92. His conducting and adjudicating activities have taken him to many countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. He conducts the Hillingdon Brass Band.