Owen bestrode the banding world for over 50 years. He was brought up in an orphange before being apprenticed to a cavalry bandmaster where he learnt his trade. His amazing talents led him to become the greatest figure in the movement, first as a player influenced by John Gladney (he played as principal cornet in the Meltham and Meltham hat trick band) and then as a professional conductor.
He made his debut as a conductor at the contest in 1870, but it wasn’t until 1879 that he first came in the prizes, with the Boarshurst Band. After that he plied his trade far and wide – winning the contest on seven occasions, first with Black Dyke in 1880 and again in 1881, and then making it a hat trick with Clayton le Moor the following year. With Besses o’ th’ Barn he won again in 1892 and 1894, before he took the title with Mossley in 1897 and finally with Kingston Mills in 1901.
In 1885 in a field of 31 conducted 8 different bands, and took 6 in 1889, coming unplaced with them all! He continued to conduct multiple bands at the contest right up to his last appearance in 1919 when he led his most famous band, Besses for the last time.
View Alexander Owen's record on Brass Band Results