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Dane Thompsen’s voice rang out from the lawn at Brookdale Senior Living as residents listened and cheered for the local musician from their windows on Wednesday afternoon.

Brookdale has been on lockdown since mid-March because of COVID-19. Its residents haven’t been able to have visitors since St. Patrick’s Day.

Thompsen, a musician who works at the Rialto and the Haufbrau, started doing house call concerts for friends after the governor’s shelter in place order. He played one for his friend Scott Merenz, who also happens to be the sales manager at Brookdale Springmeadows.

Merenz asked Thompsen to come play for the residents, and the rest was history.

“They’re great people. I’m having a great time playing for them,” Thompsen said during a short break Wednesday. He played a mix of original songs and covers, including a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” for a resident of the same name.

Emma Kirkwood, Brookdale’s activity director, said it’s been tough having to have the center on lockdown. Residents have been video calling family and friends who would normally be able to come in and see them in person, but haven’t been able to be out and about as much as before.

Kirkwood said the residents really enjoyed hearing Thompsen’s music, especially on such a beautiful day. Some even got out of bed to watch and listen.

“This is great, and we had all the doors and the windows open,” she said, so residents could also enjoy some of the fresh air and sunshine.

Thompson, 27, got started playing music in middle school band, where he picked up the saxophone. Inspired by songwriters like Gregory Allan Isakov and the great John Prine, who died this week of COVID-19, Thompsen switched over to guitar.

He’s a regular at the Haufbrau’s open mic nights, and, now, a regular in lawns and driveways.

“I thought, the weather’s getting good, so I might as well start going out and start playing for people,” he said. “Whenever people call, I’m there.”

He went from window to window Wednesday afternoon, asking residents how they were feeling and if he could play some songs for them. At the end of every song, he thanked his audience and told them to stay safe.

“All my songs are relatively sad, so I’m just trying to make them sound happier than normal,” Thompsen said with a laugh. “It’s fun.”

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at or at (406) 582-2651.