21-year-old piano player wows shoppers at Oxmoor Center's Von Maur

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The piano and Von Maur at Oxmoor Center go hand in hand. What customers don't usually hear during their shopping experience is the story of one of its piano players.

Visit the department store and the chords carry wherever you are. "We have customers who come to listen to certain piano players. So, it's something that a lot of customers really look forward to," says Diane Jackson, manager at Von Maur.

One of the players stands out. "It's just a God-given talent that he has and he puts it to good use," Jackson said.

"My son's name is Brendan," says Tammy Hudson. "He is 21 years old. He's been playing since he was two."

Hudson won't forget when she found out about her son's abilities. "It was a little credit card sized keyboard looking toy that we picked up for him and he would hold it against his chest and we noticed he was playing songs from his toys," Hudson said.

He's never had training, playing what he hears. "To him it's like breathing. I don't know that he could imagine not playing the piano," Hudson said.

He began volunteering at Von Maur a year-and-a-half ago. "And now he's on our payroll," Jackson said.

It was a big step. "Of all the things that you lose with a child that has disabilities that has no sight, there are some things that you gain that other parents will never experience and I think that's kind of one of those moments," Hudson said.

Wood is completely blind and can't fluently speak. "It's almost like he talks to you through his music," Jackson said.

He even plays at times through brief seizures as part of his medical condition, known as Septo-optic dysplasia. 

"He is a sweet soul. He is just a loving, happy person. So that's sort of what comes out when he plays his music and when he does communicate with people," Hudson said.

Wood has memorized around 100 songs, his own language he knows by heart. "I think he understands that it's that thing that he can do that other people can't do," says Ron Hudson, Wood's father.

It's a rare gift that his parents say he didn't get from them. "To see how he's touched so many lives. There's so many people that come up and say something about it to me when I'm sitting here watching him or when he plays anywhere. So, it's a proud mom moment," Tammy Hudson said.

He's playing out those moments through his music, uniting their family and Von Maur customers every week.

Wood plays at Von Maur every Monday from noon to 2 p.m. and Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m.

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