As a child, he sang while listening to the radio or his mom’s Elvis records, and, at 12, his mother let him try out for Commercial Kids and Company in St. Petersburg. He sang “Doe A Deer” from Sound of Music. They let him sing it seven or eight times and even provided additional voice lessons. Keir Walton never got nervous, even in later performances at Disney World, and vocal lessons continued to adulthood.
Today, UCC’s Sunday morning audience enjoys the mature musical range of Keir’s powerfully projecting tenor voice as a member of the Unity band. In 2000, Keir’s aunt Sherry Dawkins introduced him to UCC. After hearing Leddy speak, he never went to another church, and, listening to the choir and Bill Barrett playing keyboard, he knew he wanted to sing here. After the service, in a successful solo audition, he sang “Stand By Me.” Some years later, he and his family brought his daughter Kassidy to Unity when she was less than a year old.
Born in Long Island, Keir came to Florida at age 9. After graduation from Lakeside Christian School in Clearwater, he joined the Navy, serving from 1989-1994. He worked on weapons systems in Virginia, having trained at Great Lakes Naval Station. In civilian life, he has worked in sales for more than 20 years and is always looking for a better opportunity. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Discussing primary influences in his musical life, Keir said that when he was really young, he thought of music as just a banging noise. That changed when he was about 7 or 8 and his older brother Todd made him memorize the names of the Beatles. As a teenager, he got into heavy metal. The biggest influence in developing his voice was the informal training he received in the low end of the falsetto range by none other than Rob Halford, lead vocalist for Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide-ranging voice.
Keir has also appeared in community theater, playing Jud Fry, the sympathetic “villain” in Oklahoma and Daddy Warbucks in Annie, two favorite roles. In his favorite show, the musical comedy I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, he played multiple roles. Keir’s favorite genre: blues and any song with a gospel flavor. Favorite songs, “to name only two:” “Sweet and Simple” by Journey and “The Sentinel” by Judas Priest.
But, above and beyond all other favorites, number 1 in Keir’s life is Kassidy, gifted and empathetic 10-year-old. Kassidy and God. “If you’ve been blessed in your life,” Keir says, “it’s important to thank those who helped to make that happen.” And, it is a blessing, he says “that I’m allowed to sing here.” It is always evident that the appreciation and gratitude of his listeners is matched by Keir’s own joy in sharing his remarkable talent.