Rowland, Alexander Campbell



English doublebass player, violinist, and composer; born in Trinidad, West Indies; son of a bandmaster, who soon after the child's birth removed to London, and from whom he received his first music lessons, learning the violin and side-drum. At the age of seven he became a member of the orchestra of the Queen's Theatre, and from 1842 to 1846 of Jullien's Orchestra. He also learned to play the organ, piano, viola, cornet and trombone, and to score for a military band. In 1846 he studied the doublebass under Casolani, and the next year played that instrument in the orchestra of the Royal Italian Opera, and in the Philharmonic and Sacred Harmonic Societies; and in 1850 became doublebass player and piano accompanist at the National concerts. In 1851 he entered the orchestra of Her Majesty's Theatre as doublebass player, but gave up this post in 1854 because of the nervous strain occasioned by the steady practice of this instrument, and settled in Southampton as a teacher of piano, violin, singing, and harmony, retaining, however, until 1866, his position with the Philharmonic Society, and in 1861 playing at one of their concerts a concerto for violin on the doublebass. He became highly esteemed as the most prominent teacher of music in Southampton. He composed an overture, waltzes, etc., for orchestra; setting of the 70th Psalm for solo, chorus and orchestra; songs; fantasias for doublebass and piano; and wrote a Tutor for the Doublebass.