Baruch student gets noticed for his musical tributes to frontline workers

Special+to+The+Ticker

Special to The Ticker

Crystal Chunnu

In honor of the essential workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, Cameron Hart, a Baruch College senior, uploads his very own live piano performances on social media every night.

To remain connected during social distancing protocols, the management and musical enterprise student decided to utilize his background in audio engineering and piano playing to create mini concerts via his Instagram Live account, @pianoman.cam, and his Facebook Live and YouTube page starting on his 20th day of social distancing.

“I decided to turn my speakers out the window and play a mini concert for my neighbors in the courtyard behind my apartment. I was greeted with cheers and encores – how cool it was to be able to connect with the people I literally live on top of, in a time that feels so isolated and lonely,” Hart wrote on his GoFundMe page.

Originally, his performances were limited to his balcony with an audience that consisted of about 60 of his neighbors, according to the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences’ Instagram post, @baruchweissman.

“I figured a lot of other people are stuck at home and maybe they would want us a source of some sort of distraction from like all the craziness that’s happening in the world,” Hart told Patch. “It’s like bringing the whole — this whole courtyard on every side of like, I don’t know, 20 buildings — it’s like bringing them all together.”

Hart, just like the millions of Americans who are struggling to find jobs, was unable to find employment as a part-time musician due to the pandemic. So, he decided to set up a GoFundMe page, where people who enjoy his performances can donate any dollar amount to him.

“I was thinking about how, you know, bills aren’t stopping and renting in New York City is tough to begin with, especially when you’re like part-time working like three, four nights a week, and then going to school full time,” he told Patch.

The fundraiser has raised $6,025 from 68 donors to date and will go toward Hart’s income.

His performances consist of song requests that have ranged from Crocodile Rock by Elton John to the Last Kiss by Pearl Jam. Each of his Instagram performance posts is captioned “THANK YOU TO ALL THE ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON THE FRONTLINE!” with some of his videos receiving as much as 500+ views.

According to Patch, Hart is considering adding other music elements and musicians to his performances, given that his performances have received positive responses thus far.

“I am deeply grateful to Cameron for his goodwill and musical contribution during this COVID- 19 pandemic. Cameron represents the very best of the Baruch entrepreneurial spirit. I commend him for his endeavors on the behalf of all of us,” Chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and professor of music Ann Swartz told the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.