Phill was born in Adelaide and began to play the cornet at the age of seven under the tutelage of his late father Des O’Neill. Since then he has won many awards both as a soloist and ensemble player across many genres and arenas. In 2009 he was the Principal Cornet with Gunnedah Shire Band A Grade when they won the National Australian Brass Band Championships. For three consecutive years in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Phill also won the NSW Open Cornet Solo competition as an individual soloist. Phill was also invited to compete in the prestigious Ern Keller International Soloist of the Year Awards in both 2010 and 2011.
Over Phill’s career there have been many highlights. Some of these include performing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her most recent visit to Australia, trekking the Kokoda Track to perform “The Last Post” at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Isurava in 2012 (the centenary of that battle), touring Australia as a featured soloist with Guy Sebastian and also many solo performances at numerous NRL and AFL matches. As a member of the Australian Defence Forces Phill has been deployed to Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea in his professional capacity as both a trumpet soloist and a recording engineer. Phill is the current trumpet soloist with the Royal Australian Navy Band, Sydney.
Phill regularly performs with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and “The Operatic Trumpet” is his debut solo album.