It’s the kind of high-caliber performance you might usually see at the Seattle Symphony or on an even bigger stage. Yet the show put on Wednesday night took place inside a retirement home.
Randolph Hokanson is a world renowned pianist. He also happens to be a resident at a retirement community in Seattle.
“He’s very gifted. He studied with many famous people especially in the 1930s,” said Duane Funderburk, who studied under Hokanson himself. “I keep studying with him as much as I can.”
Funderburk was just one of many people who packed into a concert hall Wednesday afternoon to hear Hokanson perform.
“There was a full house. It was amazing,” said Hokanson. “I didn’t know I had that many friends.”
With each stroke of the keys, Hokanson has the unique ability to make his friends and fellow residents feel young again. Many in the crowd tapped their feet and bobbed their heads to the music.
Watch the video above to see this 100-year-old in his piano-playing groove.
“It’s sensational,” said Stuart Baker. “It makes me cry. It just makes the tears flow.”
No tears from Hokanson, though, who says he’s thrilled to still be playing the piano after marking a big milestone Monday.
“Yep! Yep! I was a hundred on Monday,” he said. “My birthday was on the 22nd.”
After 100 years spent making music and living life, we had to ask Hokanson about his secret to longevity. He says the piano definitely has something to do with it.
“You just keep doing what you love to do. That’s all. It’s very simple,” he said. “Anybody who has a great passion and can’t live without it, I think that helps you live. I think it keeps you well and happy and busy. It certainly has kept me busy.”
In addition to his career as a pianist, Hokanson also spent 35 years teaching music at the University of Washington. In more recent years, he divides his time between playing music and composing music and says he doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.
“It’s really an inspiration to all of us who know him,” said Funderbunk.