13-year-old violinist surprises 102-year-old friend with birthday serenade

TUCKAHOE, Westchester County (WABC) -- Centenarian Arthur Howard's smile was bigger than his age when an aspiring 13-year-old musician surprised him with a birthday serenade for his 102nd birthday at his Westchester County retirement home.

A violin trio, led by eighth-grader Yuri Lee, played "Happy Birthday" and "When You Wish Upon a Star" as Howard sang along.

Yuri first met Howard when she gave a violin and piano performance to a crowd of seniors at The Fountains at RiverVue in Tuckahoe.

Howard sat front-row and encouraged her throughout the performance. She's played at several other shows since, and Howard has watched every single one.

"Arthur spoke to me at my first concert and has been an encouraging audience since then," said Lee, who wants to become Broadway pit orchestra player. "Playing for him on his birthday is a great way to show my appreciation."

Howard was once a performer himself. He worked full time as a high school biology teacher, but his passion was performing magic, and his skills earned him an award with The Society of American Magicians.

His secret to a long life? Green tea, daily exercise and happiness.

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