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Owen has just embarked on the next chapter of his musical journey after securing a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music…It’s a dream come true.

Sending off his application for a composition undergraduate degree was a long-shot in his opinion. 

“I felt it was worth a try and I had nothing to lose. When I was invited for an interview I thought about it more seriously and realised I would really like to get in as the opportunities at the Academy are so diverse. I was very happy and surprised when I got the place.”

Owen’s first introduction to the fiddle was at a local Morris dance festival when he wast four. It left an impression on him. So much so that his parents bought him a fiddle for Christmas. 

Now the proud owner of a fiddle, Owen started taking violin lessons with Rod Taylor at the Yorkshire College of Music and Drama (now Music House). Owen recalls the long, dark corridor to Rod’s teaching room and how it felt like a different world, separate from the rest of his life. Owen really enjoyed playing, while his inspirational mentor accompanied him on the piano. A relaxed learning experience where lessons were a combination of hard work to focus on technique, classical music and progression but with a lot of laughter combined.

Aged nine, Owen joined Leeds Folk Fiddle Group (which still meets weekly at Music House and welcomes newcomers). In Owen’s own worlds, “It was an eye opening experience as I’d never played fiddle music in a group before. That night I said to my dad that playing folk music in a group like that was what I enjoyed more than anything.”

In his teens Owen stated taking music theory and composition lessons with Tim Knight. Reluctant at first, he soon realised the importance and the valuable foundations these lessons would provide.

“Tim introduced me to loads of great music and made me really think about writing music for the first time in my life. I still regularly remember a lot of advice he gave me in our composition lessons.”

Owen followed the ABRSM route with guidance and support from Rod which he believes was a great way to structure the learning and try out different styles. Exams were a bit daunting but were met with a small reward.

“I was always very nervous. It wasn’t all bad though; my dad would take me for a nice lunch afterwards.”

Many musicians have inspired Owen including folklorist and composer Derek Piotr from Connecticut who combines field recordings with his own compositions in a really exciting way.

“Piotr has done lots of work recording folk singers from Yorkshire,” which adds even more admiration for this young man who is already an inspiration himself.

In  2018 Owen was lucky enough to perform for Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting –  a taste of playing to a live audience.

Today, Owen mainly plays traditional music from England and Ireland and he’s recently recorded an album of folk inspired compositions with guitarist Louis Campbell. It will be released later this year. What an achievement!

Rod, Tim and trustees of Music House wish Owen the very best with his Bachelor’’s degree. Four years of higher education at the Royal Academy of Music is now a reality.

A final few words from Owen… “Thanks so much to everyone at Music House and for the support they’ve given me over the past 15 years.

The saying, ‘If you dream it, you can believe it,’ springs to mind.