Alister Proctor

Baritone Alister Proctor was born near Holmer, Herefordshire, UK on 10 May 1870 and studied at Elmfield College in Yorkshire.  His parents lived in Douglas on the Isle of Man, and initially he worked there as a shoemaker. During the 1890s he began to perform in concerts on the Isle of Man.

In 1899 he became a lay clerk at Chester Cathedral, and in 1906 he was appointed solo baritone at Hereford Cathedral, but he returned regularly to the Isle of Man to give concerts and became known as The Manx Baritone.

Settling in Hereford, he formed a singing group called The Blackbirds. He and his wife had ten children, seven of which survived, many of whom carried on his musical tradition, and in the following generation, Lynn Norris, younger daughter of Proctor's youngest son Kenneth, is a composer and music teacher. Alister's second youngest son Ewan met and fell in love with his future wife Molly at the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester, and Lynn wrote The Ballad of Molly and Ewan (2017) about this.

On the day he died, 11 October 1942, Alister Proctor sang for service at Hereford Cathedral, walked home, sat down and died peacefully, aged seventy-two.