Colin Porter: Organist at Mossley Hill Parish Church

Colin Porter: Organist at Mossley Hill Parish Church

colin-porter-july-2010-mossley-hill-parish-church
July 2010 Mossley Hill Parish Church. Colin Porter 25 years as Organist of Mossley Hill. Left to Right: Rev. A. Kennedy – Team Vicar. John Mills – Church Warden. D. Brookes – Church Warden R C Archbishop of Liverpool Most Rev.Patrick Kelly Organist Mr.Colin Porter Rev.G. Butland Team Rector

 

Colin Porter started his musical life in school where he learned to play the violin along with becoming a chorister at St.James’, West Derby, Liverpool. Here he gained a love of church and organ music. He started the piano at 12 and the organ at 13, getting his first church post at 13 ½ years of age at St. Mark’s, Northwood, Kirkby and a few months later, was also appointed Deputy Organist at St. James. In 1974 he was awarded an LEA scholarship to study organ with the now late James Pinder FRCO.

In 1977 Colin Porter left St. Mark’s to become organist at St.Annes Parish Church, Stanley, Liverpool where he trained the choir of men and boys and oversaw the cleaning and overhaul of the 3 manual R&D organ. He remained Deputy Organist at St.James and combined the choirs for festival services including Choral Evensong at Liverpool Cathedral.

In 1985 Colin Porter relinquished his posts at St.Annes and St.James, to become Organist of Mossley Hill Parish Church, Liverpool, where, for just on 31 years he has presided at the large and famous ‘Father’ Willis organ of 1874.   {The first organ in the country Fernando Germani ever played. It was also probably the first organ in Liverpool to be blown by electricity in 1908}.

In the autumn of 2004 a team ministry was set up with Mossley Hill Church and two other local churches. In October 2004, Colin Porter became also Hon. Organist at St. Barnabas, Penny Lane {of Beatles fame} where he trains the choir and is responsible for another Willis organ; the large 2 manual 42 stop 1914 Willis II organ. Several times a year he combines both his choirs for choral services and to great acclaim.

In 2002, Colin Porter became Director of the Liverpool Festival Choir which has helped raise over £40,000 since then for various charities. In most school holidays he is to be found in one of our cathedral organ lofts playing for the services when accompanying a friend’s choir..

Colin Porter a regular recitalist at Lancaster Town Hall and a member of the organ’s restoration committee {AHORP}. In January 2016, Colin Porter became Vice-Chairman of the committee. In 2007 he was awarded a Fellowship of the North & Midlands School of Music, a diploma he passed with distinction in organ performance.

In 2014 he was asked to become Chairman of the Management of the NMSM.

Colin Porter has been elected President of the Liverpool Organists’ Association several times and was the youngest person ever to be elected on his first presidency.

In June of this year he was admitted to the Guild of Musicians & Singers with a Fellowship.

Having recently taken early retirement from primary school teaching and having several diplomas in music & organ playing, he has now, with the help of Sid Reeves, Master Organ Builder, rebuilt the organ from Northwood, Kirkby at his home {as one does!!} having saved the organ from possible destruction as the church, which closed at Easter  2016 and soon to be demolished.

Thankfully, the beautifully voiced organ being the only organ by Miller of Cambridge in Liverpool is now saved.