Faith in music makes Kevin a hit

Kevin Cameron Fort William who's organ recitals have gone global. Photograph by Anthony MacMillan.

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A church organist from Fort William is becoming a social media sensation with his online recitals gathering more than 50,000 views.

Kevin Cameron began live streaming ‘Kevin’s Hour of Music’ on the Friends of St Mary’s Facebook page during lockdown when the church was forced to close its doors to the public.

The Sunday night events have now gained a worldwide audience and the 24-year-old, who filmed his performances himself using a mobile phone, has been blown away by the response.

‘I started doing them last June as a way of entertaining our parishioners and it just grew and grew,’ he told us.

‘Along with everyone else over the last year, the church has had to adapt and find new ways to reach people, so when St Mary’s began doing online services I just wanted to add something.

‘I noticed that my recitals were being shared a lot and as well as listening to the music people were also interacting on the chat facility. Expats were meeting up again having not spoken for years and an online community began to form.

‘For me it was really nice to see and I have really enjoyed watching it evolve.’

Kevin’s musical journey began at the age of eight when he joined the local Youth Gaelic Choir, Còisir Og Lochabair, under the guidance of Chrissie MacEachean. The talented singer was a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland too. He learned to play the fiddle with Angus Grant and by the age of 12 he had added some classical tunes to his repertoire after learning to play the piano. Following in his granny Janet’s footsteps, Kevin began to play the organ at St Mary’s, where mum Fiona is also a member of the choir, when he was 15.

With his passion for Scottish and Irish traditional music Kevin, before lockdown, played regularly at the Alexandra, Milton and Ben Nevis Hotels in Fort William.

Kevin’s online recitals follow an eclectic mix, with hymns, folk and some country and western all featuring.

‘I really miss playing music live as do all performers at the moment,’ added Kevin, who also works at the Ben Nevis Distillary.

‘Music is just a hobby for me as I have a day job, but I really feel for all the musicians out there who have struggled financially because of the lockdown. Hopefully we can have live music again soon.

‘In the meantime I will continue to post online. I haven’t done any for a while but will get started again soon. I really enjoy the laugh and the craic, and it’s just a great way for folk to interact while they are still having to stay at home.’

Keep an eye out for Kevin, along with Father David Connor’s services, on the Friends of St Mary’s Facebook page.