Band Member Phineas Bower
Position Solo Euphonium
Instrument Euphonium

Another musical family was the Bower family. Their most notable performer was Phineas Bower was born in Queensbury (the home of the Black Dyke Band) and was the most famous player of his time. He was the solo euphonium at Black Dyke Mills Band from the age of 20 in 1867 – a position he held until 1894.

His father, Mr. Isaac Bower, was a violin maker and played the ’Cello. Phineas took up the violin at the age of 12 and was 22 before he took a brass instrument, first a tenor horn, then the euphonium, and also the trombone. lt is reported that it was owing to his prowess on both the euphonium and trombone that the rule was formed to prohibit brass band contestants from competing on more than one instrument, since he had won so many prizes on both instruments. He became conductor of the Black Dyke Mills Band in 1874 and resigned in 1895 when he took charge of the Junior Band until 1907. He had a son, Fred, who played the trombone with the Black Dyke Band for many years. Fred’s daughter, Miss G. Bower, still lives in the village. A story is told about Phineas that when he was learning the violin he was told by his mother, tired of his scraping, to “put it away until you can play”. Mr. Fred Bower was the last Queensbury member of this family to follow the pursuit of music. He played the trombone with the Black Dyke Band for 40 years.

Such was his talent that at the 1873 Belle Vue Contest that he won both the solo prizes for euphonium and trombone – a result that led to the rule change to stop players performing on more than one instrument at a time on the contesting stage.

In 1895 he started the Black Dyke Junior Band after becoming in 1875 the bandmaster at Dyke itself. The first true superstar player of the banding world.

Sunday, January 20, 1867 to Monday, February 1, 1892

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