Colin's musical life began as a bassoonist, the instrument he went on to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. As a postgraduate student at the Trinity College of Music in London Colin decided his future lay in theworld of the Big Bands, switching to saxophone when Bobby Lamb introduced him to the college Jazz Orchestra.
1987 saw Colin become a member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra U.K., and in 1995 he began performing cabaret with The Mellotones vocal quartet.
Lead alto saxophonist with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, where he acts as assistant musical director, Colin also appears with Echoes of Ellington and Back to Basie.
Increasingly in demand for his writing, Colin contributes arrangements to the library of the S.L.O., The John Wilson Orchestra, the B.B.C. Big Band and Concert Orchestra, Superbrass and his own Big Band 'Skin Deep'. He has performed with Shirley Bassey, Jessye Norman, Billy May, Sasha Distel, Tony Bennett and Kevin Spacey with whom he arranged and played for the film “Beyond The Sea”.
He has also recorded and performed his original arrangements with the big band he co-leads with drummer Matt Skelton,The Skelton/Skinner All Stars at venues such as Ronnie Scottʼs and The Forge in London. “Lifedream”, his short opera score, was selected as a finalist in the 2012 English National Opera competition and “FunKey Rhymes, a collection of nursery rhymes arranged in many different styles, including two original songs, has been released commercially in tandem with an iphone app of the same name.
Last year saw the premier of his new educational work ‘Game Overʼ in collaboration with The London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican in London and a commission from The B.B.C. Singers to write for their Battle of the Somme commemorations.