PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — He is known as the young man who sang for Pope Francis. Philadelphia’s own Bobby Hill is now experiencing another life-changing moment.
For Bobby, it was an impromptu performance that lead to a significant moment in his life. On Sept. 26, 2015, Bobby, who was just 14 years old at the time, was with the Keystone State Boy Choir, set to perform backup during the pope’s historic visit to Philadelphia, when there was a brief lull in the program.
“They went to my choir director,” Bobby said, “and said, ‘We need something for 60 seconds,’ and he said, ‘I can have him sing something,’ and they were like, ‘Who is he?'”
Bobby stepped into his moment and the world would never forget his awe-inspiring voice.
“I just decided when I was done like I’m never gonna get this close to the pope again so I’m just gonna go up and shake his hand,” he said.
Since that day, a whirlwind of opportunities have opened up for the now 18-year-old singer.
“I was getting calls from all over the world,” the young man said. “The Czech Symphony Orchestra in Prague.”
The former soprano’s voice has changed and evolved over the years.
“Now, I’m a tenor,” Hill said.
He’s heading off to Yale University this weekend, planning to major in global affairs and minor in music.
“I’m not quite sure of what I wanna do in the future yet, but I know that music is probably gonna be a part of it,” Bobby said. “It’s something that gonna be with me for the rest of my life.”
It’s a life filled with opportunities since that one destiny-filled day on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
“Every day I’m just in awe of how one moment can change somebody’s life,” Bobby said
Bobby just retired from the Keystone State Boy Choir after 11 years. He’s also the spokesperson for End Artlessness, a group that helps to bring art and music programs into Philadelphia and Camden public schools, that wouldn’t otherwise have them.