Whispering Pines Chamber Ensemble (松濤室內樂團)

An Ensemble of professional and amateur musicians pursue excellence in Chamber Music

Esther Chen Memorial Articles

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Please visit http://minchao999.blogspot.com/2015/07/esther_2.html for the entire memorial service photos, videos and articles.



She is our treasure (伊是咱的寶貝)

Three days after returning from Taiwan, I received an e-mail from I-Ling that Esther was in ICU. Esther went through surgeries after surgeries in the first few days. We took turns to visit her and prayed with her family members. In another few weeks, doctors and family members faced the cruel reality that Esther’s illness is terminal. She was moved from the hospital back to her home and peacefully left this world.

We all were in shock, and refused to believe that Esther left us. Her voice, her smile, and her music playing, keep surfaced in our memories. Though in deep grief, we practiced and presented the music in her memorial service.

Esther, a talented musician, a fine teacher, a devoted Christian, and a trusted friend, remained in our memories.

She is a generous person.

In our weekly Chamber Music practices in her home, she always prepares delicious meals/snacks for us. She shared her resources without reservations. One night, she called me and asked me to bring my old German violin the next morning to meet Johnny at her home and had my violin repaired by Johnny. In another night, she called me and my wife to join her and her son, Samuel to visit Robert Cauer, a violin shop in Los Angeles the next day. They helped me to purchase a beautiful Germany-made antique violin; a dream came true for me after many-many years. She later gave me an envelope with the violin shop’s referral fee and persuaded me to keep it. She gave us concert tickets, music scores, etc. without expecting returns of favors. She is such a generous person even my neighbor, one of my wife’s good friends, remembered the hospitality she received when she and her friends visited Esther’s home. And that was my neighbor’s first encounter with Esther.

She is a devoted Christian and a talented musician.

Esther served in Churches’ worships either as a pianist, an organist, a string (violin/viola) player or a singer. She also played hand-bell. Esther is a humble and talented musician. She is a nature leader and willing to serve. Ms. Li-Ying Shang, conductor of Los Angeles Formosan Master Chorale gave Esther a nick name – – “才女”, which means “extremely talented lady”. Esther helped Master Chorale to recruit professional musicians for the orchestra in large concerts because she has many professional musician friends. She helped choirs to recruit musicians for string trio, quartet, and ensemble in small concerts because she has many skillful students. She helped Master Chorale to secure the rent of Concordia University Center for a couple of large concerts. Esther also is a member of Concordia Master Chorale. She was loved and respected by many conductors and composers, e.g., Mr. Oki Yang  (楊子清), Ms. Li-Ying Shang (商麗鶯) and Mr. Tyzen Hsiao (蕭泰然).

She is a fine music teacher.  

Esther obtained a Master Degree in Music from the University of California, Irvine. She taught private lessons of violin, viola and piano in Irvine until she died this year. Many of her students including her son, Samuel, went on to musical colleges and became professional musicians. For many years, Esther and Peter organized Annual Recital of Remembrance and Thanksgiving Concerts for the students. The concerts provided the students a platform to learn from each other. It also served as social gatherings for the parents and teachers.

She is passionate in serving the communities

Esther loves her community and her original home country. Many Taiwanese organizations invited our Chamber Ensemble to join their concerts through Esther. We performed at TECRO Orange County Office for couple years including one in 2014 to celebrate the Taiwanese American Heritage Week and the other one in 2015. Other organizations such as OCTA and NATPA had invited us through Esther, too. These activities were recorded in this web site.

She is our treasure (伊是咱的寶貝)

Professor Jen-Yang Chen (陳振陽教授, 台大交響樂團元老), a friend of us since our college years, sent us a song “She is our treasure (伊是咱的寶貝)” from Taiwan as a memory of Esther. This song best represent Esther, our precious jewel. We have a sense of loss and deep grief but want to keep her in our memory.

我的影片 — 慧娟的回憶

September 17, 2015 Added:

Professor Dr. 陳振揚 prepared a video with photos in memory of Esther, 陳慧娟老師。

Written by: Dr. Wen-Ching Hsieh
Violinist, NTU Alumni Chamber Ensemble

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The Esther I know

I first met Esther and Dr. Ming Wu in National Taiwan University (NTU) Symphony Orchestra in 1972. We had great joy touring Taiwan and gave concerts in all major cities in 1973 summer. It was a large symphony orchestra which had more than 100 members therefore I did not get to know them well. After the tour, I left NTU symphony orchestra and played for the Taipei Municipal Symphony Orchestra for three years. We also toured many cities in Taiwan and gave concerts. I got paid to perform but these tours were not so much fun compare to the tour of NTU Symphony Orchestra.

When Esther and her family went back to Taiwan after completing her Master Degree in Music, she met my brother, Dr. Henry Y. Chang. They taught in missionary colleges at Taipei together. Esther asked Henry to help find one of her friends, an Italian violinist in Irvine. Henry asked me to search this violinist for her. I was unable to find him. That is my second encounter with Esther.

In 1991, the choir director of Evangelical Formosa Church of Irvine (EFCI) invited me to accompany the choir with Dr. Ming Wu. Afterward, Dr. Wu, Dr. John Hung and I started the NTU alumni chamber music group in EFCI. Dr. Yih Shin Wu, his wife, Li-An as well as Esther came to support us. Later, Dr. Wen-Chin Hsieh, Dr. Albert Yu, Dr. Ming Hsu, and many others joined and we have much fun playing music together. We enjoyed serving people in communities and churches with our music. We performed for all kinds of occasions, e.g., in nursing homes, churches , Irvine City hall, Taipei Economic and Culture Center in Orange County  and scholarship award ceremonies  in various hotels .

By the Grace of GOD and the leaderships of Dr. Hsieh and Esther, this group grew bigger and bigger. In order to include musicians who are not NTU alumni, the name of our group was changed to “Whispering Pines”.

After Dr. Henry Y. Chang rested in the Lord Jesus Christ, Esther helped take care of Henry’s piano and violin students. My sister-in-law, Shu-May also took violin lessons from her. Esther, her sons and her students had the first memorial concert for Dr. Henry Y. Chang in Taipei. The same year, Esther and her sons came to Irvine. They helped our Annual October Recital in Irvine to honor the parents of Dr. John Hung, my parents, the father of Dr. Hsieh as well and Dr. Henry Y. Chang who provided opportunities for us to learn music. They supported the Annual Recitals until 2008 when Dr. Ming Wu rested in the Lord Jesus Christ. I was too sad to continue this annual event, plus my wife was very concerned about my inherited high blood pressure problem.

As my children grew up, my wife wanted me to stop teaching music so that when my children practiced music would not run into my students. Esther helped and took over all my students including one who had severe emotional problem that my son wanted me to keep. Because Esther inherited my mom’s kind heart and followed her nurse class motto – “not to be served, but to serve”非以役人,乃役於人”.

Esther and her son, Samuel as well as my eldest brother’s four children took violin lessons from Professor Bedelian of UC Irvine. Esther’s husband, Dr. Ming Chao helped my daughter and son learned their high school calculus courses. Because of Dr. Chao’s effort, my children were able to pass with good grades. When my niece Deborah was studying in Princeton University, she over estimated herself and took math class one year more advanced than she should take and ran into difficulty. Deborah asked me for help on one of the math problem. The problem was solved within one day by Dr. Chao, Isaac (Dr. Chao and Esther’s son) and Dr. John Hung when I forwarded the problem to them.

In addition to the good characteristics of Esther mentioned in Dr. Hsieh’s article, I would bring out two more. First, Esther’s sons, Isaac and Samuel were always supportive and happily performed in all her concerts. I never see any one can ask their children to perform in their concerts when their children grew up and became excellent musicians. When I have to ask for the favor of my children to help, they agreed most of time, but not really enjoy performing with me since I played too loud, off tune too frequently, and didn’t keep tempo as it should be. Second, Esther was never bothered by people’s bad behaviors, e.g., musicians tend to be jealous to people who are more talented than they are, and say things that were inappropriate. Esther ignored those critiques and kept us united together. Never did I hear Esther said any negative words about persons around her. Esther was really blessed with this beautiful personality. She really followed Jesus Christ and practiced His teachings in the “Beatitudes” – Be a peace maker so she is called “the child of GOD”.

We missed her and we know that when Jesus Christ comes again, we will have much more fun playing music together.

Written by: Dr. Yu-An (Peter) Chang
The youngest member of NTU Alumni Chamber Ensemble

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慧娟 親愛的知音 親愛的好友

慧娟 親愛的知音 親愛的好友
我確信妳聽到了我的呼喚妳走得 匆匆 我不捨 心痛
妳走得 安祥 我欣慰 感恩
最近聖樂團缺楽手 缺伴奏 缺各聲部 助唱者 我習慣的第一個想向妳求救

五 六年前 妳在家門口等我們一起到愛恩台福練唱 第一次見面 我們素昧平生 卻一見鍾 “心”

慧娟 妳可記得
2010年 “爾灣聖樂團” 彌賽亞演唱會
為了場地 因時間緊迫 能找的場地都沒空檔 我們憂心忡忡
十一月底 有一早上 妳開車載著我 妳憑印象 在Irvine 延著好幾條街 好幾段路 尋找妳記憶中的教堂
一間 一間的問

繞了十幾家 沒得滿意的結果 過了中午 我說算了 妳卻說我們再回 Concordia University 音樂系看看
雖然之前妳已問過 也知答案是否定 但妳仍抱著希望 存著信心

抵大學”行政大樓” 看到 平常很難找的 Mr. Ross Kroenert, Director of University services, 竟然坐在他的辦公椅上
妳喜出望外 大步急速走向他 說明來意 請他再check CU Center 十二月是否還有空檔
Ross 先生 好親切 認真地查 微笑地對我們 說 “十二月十九日  禮拜天 原預訂的 活動 取消了…你們是上帝祝福的團體….”
我們體驗了上帝的慈愛恩典 經歷上帝奇蹟的偉大與奧祕 好興奮 好感動

接著妳帶我到音楽系 順利找到Mr. Samuel Nordrum, Music program 負責人 順利簽約
Mr. Nordrum 親切熱心 給我們最大的方便與恊助
他是妳私交的好友 他也成為聖楽團多年來的支持者

妳感受到我的壓力與挫折感 就在演唱會前 寄給我 妳的感性 鼓勵 貼心的詩句(在此與深愛妳的至友分享)


商氏風格 盡性盡意
麗質天成 女中豪傑
鶯韻繚繞 上達天庭
指盡心意 詮釋聖韻
揮灑熱情 管弦齊鳴
頌彌賽亞 拯救弘恩
榮神益人 口唱心和

2010 年我們安然克䏜所有的艱辛, 挫折 完成一個震撼動人的”彌賽亞”神劇演唱會

隔年”福爾摩莎聖樂團” 成立 妳是第一位捐款給我們的捐助者

2012 年妳全力支持聖楽團海頓”創造”神劇演唱會
妳幫我們找到優秀 敬業 琴藝精湛的 Susana Chu  妳也陪我們到教會獻詩當我們的管風琴手
介紹 Concordia 大學音樂系教授 Richard Chasin 給我認識 請他擔任我們演唱會樂團 Contractor 張羅管弦樂團的楽手
也請你百忙中的小兒子Samuel 來擔任小提琴手

聖樂團一路走來 妳不離不棄的関愛支持 再忙也會捎來鼓勵関懷的話語 每次信函中都提到我們是難能可貴的知音

今年2015 二月初 妳熱情祝賀聖楽團莫札特演唱成功 㡬個月來 我身體狀況不佳 妳也忙著
五月十三日連續幾天妳傳來東海大學 “路義思合唱班”的録影帶 我好驚喜 妳好像感應到 我身心俱疲的狀況 於五月十六日傳給我二則充滿鼓勵 関愛的上帝話語(也與大家分享)

photo 1photo 2

妳走後 朋友才告訴我 五月十六日是妳背痛厳重 發病的日子 想起妳自己疼痛纏身 而我卻沐浴於妳體貼的溫情中 更加心疼

說不完的感動 數不完的感謝
上帝捨不得妳只盡心照顧體貼別人 卻疏忽忘了照顧自己 只好把妳抱回祂的懷中 讓祂好好疼惜妳

知音難找 知心難覓
好友要珍惜  友誼更須呵護

也眷顧我們 祝福我們吧


Written by: 商麗鶯

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我們認識慧娟大概也有十年,第一次是她來幫忙敎我們教會的手鐘, 一恍就過了幾年。之後,慧娟和渝安開始經常來幫忙我們,從來沒有拒絕我們,更帶你們 NTU Chamber 的音樂事奉在 TTPC 幫忙,當然也有宜玲、佳音的參與。二年多來 Tustin 教會得到上帝的恩待,漸漸能站起來了;我們現在已經正名為 TTPC (Tustin Taiwanese Presbyterian Church) 。感謝上帝賜給我們,你們這一羣愛主的音樂家,是你們先愛我們這些老弱兄姊的小教會,不嫌棄我們人少仍然為我們演奏最好的音樂,我們非常感謝。請不要再提我們有做什麼事,那是我們應當也是樂意做的,就怕沒有盡力、不够好。

我想念慧娟甜甜的笑容,什麼時候看到她都是那麼的 sweet ,常常散發出基督徒的香味。非常忙碌的生活中,她看到你時一定甜甜的微笑打招呼,我們應該學習如何微笑、隨時隨地像她一様。慧娟多次邀請明雄加入NTU Chamber 並且一直鼓勵他不要放棄小提琴;他說太老了跟不上、又不是台大。慧娟講不動他,就來叫我幫她勸明雄加入;我們相信沒有慧娟的鼓勵,明雄不再認真的練習小提琴啦!慧娟、謝謝妳!

Written by: 銘節
Member, TTPC

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今年四月十二日慧娟最後一次來Tustin 教會 (TTPC) 司琴,在殿樂時,她以鋼琴演奏,彈了再彈,高峯不斷出現,大家頻息靜靜的欣賞。我當時沈浸在優美的琴聲中,只覺得音樂非常美妙,不禁眼眶都充滿了涙水,心想我們何等幸福,能有這樣的琴手來彈奏,可惜沒有錄音。 彈完後,大家不約而同的掌聲不斷。事後她説當時她也流淚感動了自己。她真的發揮 神給她的音樂恩賜,榮耀了上帝。


上帝啊!她年紀軽軽的,為何就帶走了她呢? 但我深信 神的意念高過我們的意念,衪一定有祂美好的旨意。 她的離開,使我更懷念她,也同時提醒自己要學習她那和藹可親的笑容及溫和的待人接物之道。


Written by: 明雄, Dr. Ming Hsu
Violinist, NTU Alumni Chamber Ensemble

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親愛的慧娟,I miss you!

因為音樂認識妳,謝謝妳帶我彈 organ, 敲手鐘,邀我參加 NTUA chamber ensemble, 妳讓我的音樂人生多姿多采。謝謝妳陪我渡過所有的得意與失意,歡笑和淚水。為什麼妳要離我而去?我思念我們的對話,我們的音樂,我們的默契…… 謝謝妳總是安慰我,讓我時時開懷大笑

I miss you,


Written by: I-Ling Tasi
Music Director, NTU Alumni Chamber Ensemble

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Written by: Yang 楊子清 Oki
Conductor: Elite Chorus (以立合唱團)

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My second cousin Esther

I met my second cousin Esther when she brought Isaac and Samuel back to the states to study here. From the beginning I knew how kind and generous she was apart from the incredibly wide set of musical skills. Her faith in the Lord was an inspiration to me and everyone around her and God’s blessings to her were shown brightly through her music and generosity. Her sudden leave of this world may be a shock to us, but we can only anticipate to meet her in God’s kingdom one day, where we will once again make music for the Lord in praise.

Written by: Gloria Liu Traulle

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每次 Concordia Master Chorale 練唱完,您都陪我從練唱教室走到停車場,鼓勵我、支持我照顧公婆的辛勞。5/3 下午陳明義老師的吾風合聲彩排時,您還專程來聆聽,並告訴我您感冒,接下去的演唱會您沒辦法参加。我請您趕快回家休息,沒想到這成為我們最後的談話。

5/5 我回台,18號回美,沒想到還在時差恢復中,竟聽到您進了急診。ㄧ切發生太快,我實在難以相信您以後不會再和我去 Concordia Master Chorale 唱歌。因為我小兒子的腳踝在 Boston 要開刀, 很遺憾我無法在您的 Memorial Concert 獻唱。


Written by: 吳惠珠
Concordia Master Chorale

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You Raise Me Up

Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. And now these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.

The Apostle Paul writes these words found in the New Testament, and these words from the Scriptures are the best way for me to describe my dear friend, Esther, and my friendship with her. Although brief, this friendship was full, rich, and increased quickly over a short period of time. God’s timing and purpose is impeccable, perfect, right and good. I met Esther when she was a substitute organist for me, as I was a soloist at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Costa Mesa. During time working together, our musical rapport became so evident that we complimented each other so well every Sunday that we rendered worship to the Lord. One Sunday, I recall, I was so discouraged and defeated that I didn’t think I could go on and sing the solo for that Sunday. Esther graciously spoke words of love to me- spoke to my spirit and said:” Lets do this for the Lord, God!” And these words gave me the strength and power to go on.

The last Sunday she and I worked together, I sang this song, “You Raise Me Up.” It went so well, so inspiring that Esther then invited me to her home to sing it for her friends and students. She then recorded me singing the song on her i-Pad and sent it to her friends and family. This song is very fitting for this occasion, not just because this was the last song we worked together; but more importantly, this is exactly what she did. Esther saw my musical talents and abilities and “Raised Me Up” to help me see and realize more clearly my gift. Later on, Esther became my piano teacher, and to my surprise gave me lessons for FREE- she would not except my money for lessons. In exchange for piano lessons, she said, that one day I could give her voice lessons. I will always look to Esther as an angel, for she blessed my life so richly! God placed her in my life for a reason, a certain time, and season to give me Faith, Hope, and Love. And for this, I am grateful to God for sending me a friend named Esther!

Written by: Duane Williams

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南加州台大校友合唱團,2011 年成立時,第一次的練唱就是在慧娟家。練習了數次,慧娟就請大家在她的音樂會表演,那是合唱團第一次上台,在 Concordia University,當時我們唱了”聽泉”和 “Sunrise, Sunset”, 慧娟用管風琴替大家伴奏. 當年合唱團第一次公演,慧娟特地請了北加州的學弟,一起用小提琴助陣,又親自接了蕭泰然大師來給大家鼓勵,她一直用心地呵護這個剛成立的校友團。只要我們要求,她就排除萬難,調開教學的時間來伴奏。年度公演,她會帶著校友管弦樂團來相助。

慧娟很忙,自己要練各種琴,要教學生,要幫助許多的社團,每日時間都排得滿滿的。她經常連吃飯的時間都沒有,可是她滿懷熱情,常會忙裏抽閒,有很多”即興”的 idea。我們有幸與慧娟住得近,共享了有趣的時光。 有一次是台大練唱之後,”順路”去 Santa Ana 的 thrift store,我們真的東摸西摸,看了好一陣子。有一次是去修皮鞋,慧娟有很多漂亮的鞋,可是她對一雙德國式的舊鞋情有獨鍾,修的錢比買雙新鞋子還貴,修完了再去逛雜貨店。好幾次,慧娟中午剛好有一個空檔,我們就趕著去新開的店吃飯,餐後又趕著去海邊,或去 Irvine Open Space 看草原。經常,我比她還急,催她早點回家休息。

慧娟的家在山坡上,窗外的美景和室內的音樂,是她的最愛,她常說,這都是神的恩典。慧娟好客,多少朋友都享受過她家的美食和美景,看到冬天遠處山上的積雪,國慶日不斷的煙火,和山下 Strawberry Farm 黃金色的南瓜。我喜歡她的後院,矮牆外有一棵 pineapple guava. 她本來以為是野樹,不去理它。有一年,我們去撿了地上的果子吃,從此,她多了一個寶貝。每年春天,盼望它開花,秋天等它結果。她後院有些植物,枝枒縱橫,我提議用把大剪修一下,慧娟不搭腔,後來我發現一草一木,在慧娟眼中都是寶貝,不忍心剪的。
慧娟愛詩畫,起初她收集了許多鮮花,天使,和樂器的照片在 iPad 中。後來 iPad 放不了,她乾脆換了一個新的大容量 iPad. 從此她總是舉著 iPad, 錄下了很多,生活上美麗的光景,現在成了最珍貴的留念。


Written by: Yu-Hwa Yu 蕭渝華
President, NTU Alumni Choir, Southern California

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慧娟,慧娟 ——-,妳為什麼沒有回應了!是事實嗎?或是作夢?

2015 年 1 月 10 日我從台南到台北妳家,我倆逛遠企百貨,中國音樂書房吃鱔魚麵,到大陸書店,我們選了「魏樂富 & 葉綠娜雙鋼琴曲集」加上之前我們選的 Beethoven Op.58 Concerto No. IV , Chopin Op.11 Concerto In E minor 及數首 Piano Duet, 慧娟,難道我倆沒有機會享受合奏的樂趣了嗎?

1990 年 5月李秀麗學姊帶妳到 Irvine YAMAHA Music Center 聆聽我女兒鋼琴獨奏會,妳熱情溫馨的笑容,讓我不久就到 U.C.I. 宿舍拜訪妳。25 年來我倆同行於音樂路,我倆從台北坐計程車到三峽拜訪手鐘鄭麗純老師,接著就到 Concordia U.選修 手鐘課,參加 Summer Ring 集訓。我倆常常在 Concordia U. 享受彈奏 Piano & Organ Duet 的樂趣,終生難忘。

慧娟,妳是一群愛樂者的好伴侶,我們不能沒有妳,當我尋找幫手時,妳永遠是我的代替,再忙再累也不會推辭,5 月 16 日 2015 年傳統週妳還忍著痛代替我伴奏,慧娟,真是於心不忍,謝謝妳,好想念妳喔!

Written by: 王淑女 8/8/15

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那 年慧娟剛來美國,我去她的學生宿舍為中文學校小朋友合唱伴奏找她,她開門一臉燦爛的笑容。我說明來找她的原因,她一口答應。在以後的幾十年慧娟也是這樣只 要是關於音樂的工作,她絶對義不容辭大力幫忙。她對音樂的追求到了痴狂。她其實對美的追求都是這種態度。比如有一段時間她喜歡綠色。所有的東西都是綠色。 連原子筆寫出來的字也是綠色.

和她相處過的人都很快 就成為她的知心朋友,因為她是那様慷慨又有情,待人真䛋。慧娟走的突然,沒有人相信,連她自己都沒想到,她會一下子就離開這世界。如今她已在那更好的地方。 我們想念她,我們回憶與她在一起的㸃㸃滴滴,充滿不捨。她説過她的音樂是要安慰人的心,一㸃也不錯。聽她弾琴是令人著迷的,她說話風趣,無論音樂欣賞還是 説故事,她都能講的有趣又精彩,而且同樣的題目她每次講都不一様。當她剛學會YouTube 我一定會收到她的影片,她是永遠的好朋友!

Written by: 賴玲芝

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To my beloved friend

To my beloved friend, Esther. I will never forget the image of you riding your bike to class at UCI while pregnant with Isaac – you did crazy stuff like that! You were fearless and a little reckless which is why you accomplished so much. You thrived on challenges. Everything you did, you did without reservation. Whatever you put your heart to it, you achieved it. Not only were you passionate about music, about learning, about teaching, you were passionate about all your friends.

You treated us without reservation. You always knew where to find a nice place to eat and you knew which little boutique to search for unique treasures and where to go for a beautiful view. You found beauty in all sorts of things whether it was a little teapot, an antique bookcase, a laced vest, a pumpkin field. You taught me to appreciate beauty in simple things. There was never a dull moment with you. During those years at UCI, many of us were the recipient of your kindness and generosity. We would just hang out at your place and you would cook up something delicious. Even a simple sandwich or a bowl of instant noodle was so delicious at your home because you would put a special spin to your creations.

You gave and you gave generously. You opened your home to us, you gave freely of your time, your love, your support and encouragements. I am grateful to you for all these great memories and I will miss you but I am comforted to know that you are resting in the Lord. Until we meet again.

Written by: Susanna

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「冀望」這首曲子的一部分是「古諾Ave Maria」的旋律,結合如「觸技曲(Toccata)」的演奏形式。藉此曲獻給如同「冀望」的內容~集純潔善良和鬼才天賦於一身的慧娟。她的身影和處事智慧永遠長存我心!

Written by: 黃令先 Lynn Huang

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Messages from Chen Family

Dear Esther and Family:

We lost a dear good old friend. It certainly is a big loss for us. Yet we hope your voice and image will remain in our thoughts, individually and collectively.

Maybe God has other plan and took you away from us so unexpectedly. You left us with so many good memories. We will miss your sweet beautiful smile and your kindness as well as your friendship forever.

The Chen Family, Liwei, Suzie, Raymond, Allen & Victor

                                                                  Orange, California

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Dear Esther,

Thank you for all of your love and care. Through your family, friends, students, community, and music, you touched the lives of so many people. We will all miss you.

Raymond E. Chen,

                                                                  San Jose, California

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Dear Esther:

May you rest in joy and peace. You will always be remembered and missed by all of us.

When a life is full, there is no regrets. May beautiful music travels with you to where you go.

Suzie Chen,

                                                                  Orange, California 

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Dear 慧娟:

妳遽去的消息,我始終很難也不願相信那是真的,但是無情的歲月讓我不得不接受“人生無常” 這一事實。「斯人也,而有斯疾也!」痛惜之極,連孔夫子也只能徒呼負負。

45年前妳參加台大合唱團時(1970)認識妳迄今,妳我團友情誼彌深。往事歷歷,妳當年的笑容,還有妳一貫溫文淑雅的風度和樂與人同的好脾氣,一直有深刻的印象。活動中心202室練唱、公演、南下、比賽、音樂營、迎新、音欣、旋律、心聲 …. 那串日子,我們永遠懷念。之後妳到加州 UCI 深造(20多年前)以及12年前妳再一次回到南加州,我們又重逢,一見如故。尤其近五年來,妳除了努力認真教學及在多所教會司琴之外,又帶學生做社區服務,還幫數個音樂團體伴奏(包括南加州台大校友合唱團)。其間,妳策畫了兩場在 Concordia University 的音樂會,也協助橙音兒童合唱團充實師資,惠我良多。我們家三個小孩也常受到妳的關心與愛護。我們哀傷妳的驟逝,妳的身影和笑容將永遠鮮活在我們老友的記憶裡。





Written by: Liwei Chen, Orange, California


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生為長女的大姊,我深深覺得她在神丶在人眼中都蒙恩,不止繼承了雙親的許多優點和智慧,也傳承了他們最珍貴的信仰資產;從她的初丶高中的日記的字裡行間中,就可窺見她與上帝的關係是多麼地自然,不時地像密友般地向上帝傾訴心中的感受。有如詩人大衞所說「⋯我在母親的懷裡,你就使我有倚靠的心。我自出母胎,就被交托給你;我一出母腹你就是我的 神。」(詩篇二十二:9、10)




聖經中以賽亞書五十五章第9 節:「天怎樣高過地,我的道路也怎樣高過你們的道路;我的意念也怎樣高過你們的意念。」當大姊離開醫院後,回到了她所愛,有美麗景色的房間?,平安地等候主自己或祂的使者接她回天家的那些日子中,在她身邊陪伴的我們這些親密的家人,心中的掙扎與不捨真難以言喻,但如聖經中主所應許的「我的恩典夠你用的,因為我的大能在軟弱中得以完全。」(哥林多後書十二:9 )因此我在一封家書中有感而發地說:「親愛的爸爸和二姊,平安!我知道最近的日子因為我們對慧娟的愛丶所以無論日夜都想著她丶掛心她丶腦中充滿她的如粉紅蝴蝶般的身影。她的滿滿的熱情丶毫無保留丶全然付出的愛似乎仍然緊緊的擁抱著我們、是那麼真實。我們家擁有她是何等有福,而她活出的愛卻豐沛到能擄掠丶感動每一個她曾接觸過的人心,我肯定地說,那是因為她真實活岀主的愛,她屬主丶主也屬她⋯⋯。週四從醫院回家以後,她仍舒服地睡覺,叫她時,她只是張一會兒眼又睡了,直到週日清晨,慧娟突然講起話,雖然發音不易被聽懂,但是已令我們驚喜不已,難道這是主在這復活清晨所顕的神蹟?我懇求聖靈譲我明白她的一個個片段的詞句想表達的心意,在感恩欣喜的涙眼中,終於知道她給爸爸您的話是「交在主耶穌手中⋯放心⋯放100個心⋯」丶「⋯主耶穌緊握⋯(我的)雙手渡生命河⋯」,隨後問我的肩膀好點沒?甚至說「分別為聖丶神必醫治」「神親自照顧我」「有主就有平安丶確幸⋯」「我彈琴時心中想的是主耶穌」⋯⋯是否每一句都深深安慰我們的心?何等神的測不透的恩典!她経歷了兩個大手術後,現在卻能安穩休息,經我詢問才知她完全不知道她生病且回答我她很舒服丶不餓丶不渴甚至不痛⋯,何等平安充滿她丶睡眠也像嬰兒在母親懷?一樣。我禱告求神賜下聖靈,譲我們的對神的「信靠順服」的信心得以完全,就像姐姐所說「放心」在「主耶穌裡」。

「除袮以外,在天上,我還有誰呢?除祢以外,在地上,我也沒有所愛慕的。我的肉體和我的心腸衰殘,但神是我的力量又是我的福份直到永遠。」(詩篇七十三:25) (6/10/2015發的Email)

我真誠感謝大姊的許多摯友,在她在人世間最後的日子裡所給予我們家人的鼓勵,而且您們每一句的代禱都加添我們無比的力量;更有些堅心倚靠主的基督徒朋友,迫切為我大姊禱告,求上帝施神蹟讓她全然被醫治⋯⋯是的!神是可以讓瞎子看見,瘸子行走⋯⋯死人復活的神;無論是昨日丶今日或是未來,祂不會停止行神蹟。而透過我的信心眼睛中,我看見了神的奇妙作為已經成就在大姊身上:病榻上的平安丶一句句出自居住於她的心靈深處之聖靈的安慰丶鼓勵話語⋯⋯,到最後,看似昏迷中的她,似乎感受得到我這么妹的痛苦與軟弱,因此大姊在人世間所給她所知丶所疼丶所惜的Kitty的最後的詞語是「信心」與「盼望」。喔! 我親愛的姊姊,妳對從身邊最親密的家人到近處和遠處的每一個朋友或是學生,妳的確以妳的真誠情感和全然無私的愛,詮譯也見証了聖經?的「愛的真締」:「愛是恆久忍耐又有恩慈⋯⋯⋯凡事相信,凡事盼望,凡事忍耐。愛是永不止息⋯⋯」。

大姊一直心繋和牽掛她所深愛的在台灣已經高齡87的父母親。尤其是父親,從他所寫的「懷思愛女一慧娟」這篇文章中,我見到的是一位偉大的父親丶信心的巨人,像聖經中所言:「因我所遭遇的是出於你,我就默然?語」(詩篇三十九:9 )「⋯⋯賞賜的是耶和華,收取的也是耶和華。耶和華的名是應當稱頌的。」(約伯記1:21) 父親在文中也說「⋯⋯深信慧娟此刻已經在天家與他所疼愛的弟弟和 祖父母相聚;我們也盼望將來在天家的重逢的時刻⋯⋯」。身為女兒的我,以能有這樣的敬畏順服神丶堅強而且充滿愛丶感恩與信心盼望的父親為榮!

大姊的許多知音和誠摯好友們將要齊聚一堂,用音樂紀念懷思個人所思念的慧娟;她在病榻上曾說「我彈奏音樂時,心中想的是主耶穌」這是何等美的生命宣告啊!歷世歷代來,有大作曲家像Bach 和Handel ⋯等,為偉大的救贖主創作出永垂不朽的曠世音樂鉅作;同樣身為神兒女的大姊也用心靈丶生命和雙手甚至雙腳齊聲同奏出榮耀的頌主詩歌。過去她仍然在世上時,用各樣樂器甚至她的歌聲,所彈奏歌頌的慈愛主及詩歌中一切美善應許,如今她在榮美的天家已親眼看見丶親身經歷而且已經與深愛她的主耶穌面對面,這必然是充滿歡欣丶感動和榮耀的時刻!同屬神兒女的我們,也盼望將來於天家一同與我的大姊和眾聖徒以及天使們,在優美的天堂音樂環繞中共嚐與我們榮耀的主永遠同在的永恆喜樂!


P·S· 謹以此文,藉著我對大姊一慧娟的懷念之時,更要向慧娟所深愛的我們的父母親獻上無比的感恩與尊榮。

Written by: 陳贊嫈 8/18 寫于德州








慧娟敬上 4/13/2015

Esther's Letter

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慧娟是我大妹妹的大學好朋友, 她們不是在台大認識的, 是在頌音合唱團相識的。我從妹妹那裡認識慧娟的。沁澐大概記得這是那一年回台, 在慧娟老師家的家庭音樂會, 我和弟弟去欣賞後的珍貴照片。photo 1 photo 2

幾年前在 Irvine 見到慧娟, 很高興,聊了很多, 又在她家午餐。今年6月8日我在巴黎見到沁澐, 她看起來非常年輕, 已經是一位傑出的音樂家, 6月7日才從德國演出回到巴黎, 見面的隔天又去瑞士了。之前已經知道慧娟生病, 也只能代禱!! 希望有奇蹟!!  今天慧娟的Memorial 在LA舉行, 我不認識她的家人, 只能在家放 Faure 的Requiem 紀念她。祝賀每一位 平安健康。

Written by: 敏芳

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根據聖經, 陳老師確信主耶穌再來,萬物更新之時,她將要復活。這是她的信仰, 也是她演奏“聖城“(the Holy City) 時所流露的盼望。我相信屆時將有新天新地交響樂團及合唱團,獻上摩西及羔羊之歌 (啓示錄十五2-4) 來敬拜三一真神。

那日多才多藝,精通多種樂器的陳老師將演奏何種樂器呢? 這對我所認識的陳老師不會是一個問題!  她還是會作僕人,服事每一個音樂人,作許多幕後的工作,促成完美的演出。


Written by:  賴耿中牧師

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太突然了,就這樣倒下,再也聽不見妳溫柔婉約的聲音,再也看不見妳甜美的笑容,妳的琴聲也成了絕響,我們不是才一起表演,我們不是才一起促膝聊天,我們不是才一起去Organ 的 Festival嗎?


在美國的日子,因為有妳,我不再孤單,忙碌的妳,只要有一點點的空閒時間,妳就會想到我,帶我去各處走走,吃好吃的食物,聽好聽的音樂會,腦中浮現了太多的回憶,Disneyland 、San Diego、Riverside ⋯數不清我們一起去的地方,沒事時我也可以在妳家待上一整天,妳教琴時我就看看書、看看電視,但是妳一下課又可以閒話家常,甚至展現妳的好手藝,馬上變出幾道菜,多才多藝的妳,沒有什麼可以難倒妳。


Written by: 李美文 08/09/2015

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是行雲 是流水


Written by: Gloria Chou

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經由頼耿中牧師的介紹,孩子們跟陳老師學琴有八、九年了。我自己也跟陳老師學琴,只是太忙了 許多時候心有餘而力不足,但是陳老師一直鼓勵我。她說:「…不要氣餒,不要放棄,等哪一天孩子們都長大了,你就有自己的時間了。那時候已經有了基礎,要繼續學琴就容易多了。」有時候覺得自己彈得很亂,她卻鼓勵地說:「有進步喔!」她用不同的方式來表達如何呈現一首歌。她說:「音樂是有生命的,需要一直向前滾動,要有抑揚頓挫,啟承轉合。」或者:「一首歌呈現在你眼前的是一束紮在一起,而不是散了一地的花。」她新奇的解釋方式,讓我印象深刻。


上課的時間我們不僅學鋼琴,也分享生命中的點點滴滴。她談台灣的家人、大學生活、我們共同認識的朋友、移民來美國初期的辛苦,以及所負責和參與的多種音樂事工。也聊到她的先生和三個孩子們的成就;生活是甜,她的臉上充滿幸福滿足的光輝,是苦,她的言語中卻也帶著平和與寧靜。三個孩子是她的驕傲與喜悅。她分享大女兒的生活和所出版的書,大兒子在Cal Tech和Facebook的特殊優秀表現,小兒子的工作和在音樂上的不凡造詣。真的是優秀的父母親造就了三個不同凡響的孩子。



帖撒羅尼迦前書4:13-18講到在主裡去世的人只是睡著了,因為耶穌再來的時候他們必定復活。這是上帝給相信耶穌的人的應許和盼望。等候那一天當 神的號角聲響起的時候,我們必定再見面!

Written by: Ruth 陳慧容

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她在Turtle Rock的房子有很美的景色,她說那是上帝賜給她的,她要開放她家,讓所有的朋友也可以和她一樣享受美麗的景色。我們一起在Concordia University修管風琴的課,練完琴後,她常邀我到她家。平常她也常常邀請我到她家,享受她的料理。她會做菜,又快又好吃。我很喜歡到她家 ,讓我有一種說不出來的溫暖的感覺。我很忙,慧娟的家是我唯一常去的地方。



Written by: 慧娟的朋友 劉肅欣

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認識慧娟大約在二十五年前當他在UCI唸音樂碩士的時候,介紹人是我的姪女,人住加拿大,與慧娟是台大同寢室的好朋友,要我特地由Mission viejo 開車到Irvin去拜訪她,那時Samuel還沒有誕生,她很忙學校功課及照顧小孩但學習使她很高興。她記憶力很好聽她說話很風趣,健談;常常2-3個小時就這樣過去,好幾次就順便在她家吃飯。畢業演奏會及生下Samuel 生下後就回臺灣去了,回去之前她告訴我她喜歡這兒,等孩子大了她要再回美國。

果然10多年後她實現了美國夢,帶著10幾歲大的Samul 及Issac.開始第二階段更精彩豐富的人生。

她是個很生動的人:熱心、善良、厚道、健談、幽默、透明、主動,欣賞大自然。她人際關係與親情關係都很緊密。她也是位peace maker. 喜歡拿自己以及身邊的人開玩笑。唱一首歌彈一首曲很容易觸景生情眼淚簌々的流下邊說也邊笑自己年輕與現在的對比,去年在愛恩敎會長青大學敎第一期的「老歌賞析」贏得每位學員的讚賞熱愛。記得她講的小插曲:祖父虔誠保守只准唱聖詩,有次祖父問她學什麼,她説我學非聖詩的東西,祖父回答那是有罪的,從此當別人問起她做什麼事情,回答總是「我在做有罪的事」。

她.對生命的熱愛:對有求於她的事她從不拒絕,又因她的優秀才華多材多藝努力求上進,服務的管道真是多樣化,也因此她的生活是很忙,然而她始終還繼續參與查經班多年而且每次都是百分之百的全力付出做到盡善盡美有次去Apt.找她還看她認真的練習小喇叭,對學生、家長、朋友、同行都非常敬重與鼓勵,對父母家人更照顧有加。去年我乘她的空檔拿兩首歌請她伴奏,她告訴我,I Pad是她最好的朋友,人靜夜深可聽可看可通訊!you Tube 是最好學習方法,當場她Demo一首Brahms的鋼琴曲,自己特地上樓換一件漂亮的衣服,全首自彈自錄一次,然後又全首看video一次,常常我因她


Written by: 秀麗

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連續兩個周末去聽音樂會,上週的表演地點是爾灣市最大的露天音樂廳, 貝多芬的帝王鋼琴協奏曲, 伴隨月光蟲鳴, 浪漫的氛圍下很容易想到您。

您走之前曾跟我們說, 要趕緊辦音樂會, 當時您的情況已經很不好, 時而清醒, 多半昏迷, 講話也不清晰, 溝通很勉強, 但聽我提到音樂會, 便張大眼睛, 燃燒的熱情讓人震撼, 難以忘懷, 謝謝您展現熱情, 綻放生命力, 那是每個人都必須學習的課題。

您現在是不是正籌備著天堂的音樂會? 以您對音樂的熱愛, 一定是吧。

我們因為音樂會結緣, 去年六月感於上半年的種種災難, 馬航失蹤、韓國船難、地震、水火, 大小災難頻仍, 我跟朋友們想舉辦一場”慈愛音樂會” (Metta Concert), 來撫傷慰慟。毫無經驗的我, 除了滿腔熱情跟不切實際的想法, 沒有什麼可以憑靠。原本說要合作的青少年交響樂團, 臨時變卦, 我們進退兩難, 是辦呢? 還是取消? 媽媽建議我跟您連絡, 我有點猶豫, 畢竟從未跟您打過照面, 您是大姊的好朋友, 也教妹妹鋼琴一陣子, 在她們的口中, 陳老師是個有趣的人物, 更像個傳奇。

她們說, 您怎樣為了門前一棵樹, 就將公寓租下來, 連裡面都不看; 您會彈管風琴、鋼琴、拉小提琴、中提琴、大提琴、還會吹喇叭、打音樂鐘, 參加管弦樂團, 合唱團及投入各類音樂活動, 如癡如狂, 說音樂是您的生命, 絲毫不誇張。

您住的 Turtlerock房子, 鳥瞰整片山坡, 坐在窗前彈琴, 十分寫意。您家裡布置雅緻, 一屋子的花, 及美美的東西。好客的您, 必然常常招待朋友來家裡, 彈琴唱歌, 品茶聊天, 愜意又充實吧。

Metta Concert音樂會後, 一直想要當面跟您道謝, 當初如果沒有您的力挺, 我們可能早就打退堂鼓了。您提了幾次要請大姊、妹妹跟我一起吃飯, 或喝下午茶, 我可以想像, 我們一起吃著佳餚, 談著音樂會中不為人知的趣聞軼事, 幾個女人嘰嘰喳喳, 大概連麥克風都要用搶的吧。可惜因著種種雜事, 一直沒能聚會, 我心想, 大家住這麼近, 一定有機會的。没想到前些日子, 竟然傳來您病重的消息, 趕去看您, 就是見您的最後一面了。

回想起來, 見到您的第一面, 也是在音樂會上。那一年聖誕節前, 我跟妹妹到 Concodia University的音樂廳去看音樂鐘(music bell)表演, 聖誕音樂用音樂鐘打出來感覺很特別, 多了童話的清新與節慶的氣氛。記得妳們的節目是合唱, 妹妹指著台上前排, 一位頭髮捲捲的東方女子, 跟我說那是「陳老師」, 常聽大姊跟妹妹提起您, 我很好奇, 往台上看去, 遠遠的, 看不清楚, 但感覺得到, 您整個人沐浴在音樂中的喜悅。

那份對音樂的投入與喜悅, 不認識您的人同樣感受得到。替我們剪輯 Metta Concert, 編輯視頻的朋友, 在將近兩小時的錄影中, 特別注意到您演奏時那些生動而美麗的表情, 他覺得很可惜, 音樂會當天沒能到場, 才失去近距離捕捉那些表情的機會, 您的喜悅有著巨大的滲透力, 您知道嗎?

那天臨走前, 您女兒讓我從一些小小紀念品中挑選一樣, 她說您平日喜歡買一些美美的, 可愛的小東西送人。看著這些亮晶晶的小飾品, 耳環等, 想到您平日的慷慨大方、樂於助人, 這些東西很有您的風格呢, 看了一下, 選了一支小小的、金屬做的音樂符書夾, 用音樂來紀念您, 很恰當。

前幾天跟朋友聊到您,她說最後一次見到您, 是跟太平洋愛樂交響樂團一起表演, 整個人神采奕奕、光鮮亮麗, 我想那是您在天堂音樂會上最貼切的姿態及寫照。陳老師, 您跟天父同在, 一定是祂最鍾愛、也最會演奏音符的天使, 祝您喜樂安好!

照亮 上

p.s. Metta Concert 陳老師表演的部分

Written by: 照亮 7-30-15

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  1. Amy Chen

    永遠的熱情 永遠的笑容 永遠的朋友
    永遠的懷念 永遠的天使 永遠的慧娟

  2. Bill Cho

    This memorial website of Esther Chen had deeply touched my heart: that were full of Loving, Caring and Thanksgiving spirit. We will cherish our sweet memory of her victorious and graceful life forever; Bill Cho (toh.fuliong), Irvine, CA 2015.07.21-2015

  3. 盈希



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