Unlocking the keys: Phoenix woman continues passion for piano at 90
PHOENIX — One Phoenix woman’s love for the piano has carried her through the years, and she continues to practice and play to this day.
Pat Uline, 90, started playing the piano at the age of eight while growing up in Cleveland. She played with the Cleveland orchestra at the age of 12.
As she got older, Uline had the chance to perform piano recitals throughout the world, in places like Taiwan, India, Paris, France and Cairo, Egypt. It was something she enjoyed, but Uline eventually got to a point where she needed to support her four boys.
“When I was 50 years old, I decided to leave my husband, and I had four children to educate — they were teenagers (and) getting up near college — and I didn’t have any money at all,” Uline said.
So she went to work as a stockbroker for 22 years. During that time, she took up ballroom dancing, going on to win the U.S. Ballroom Pro-Am Championship in the over-40 category at the age of 65.
But when she retired from stockbroking at age 72, she started to play the piano once more. Uline said she was surprised how quickly she picked up the piano after not playing consistently for over two decades.
“I thought it would be really difficult, in fact I thought it was almost impossible,” she said. “But it really wasn’t. It took about a week.”
Ever since then, Uline has played selections ranging from Fredric Chopin to Howard Ferguson to George Gershwin. She has performed multiple piano recitals for her fellow residents at Sagewood, a senior living community in North Phoenix.
She also purchased and donated a Schimmel grand piano, which will be housed in the community’s new auditorium when construction is completed.
Uline, who has traveled to 140 countries in her lifetime, is now happily married and enjoying life at Sagewood — and her time back at the piano.
“I’ve had a really wonderful, wonderful life,” she said.