MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR ANN WANG - ASSISTED LIVING IN HOUSTON RESIDENT by Lois McCall, resident
One of Treemont’s residents with an unusual background is Ann (Lie Hwei) Wang (rhymes with long.) Born in central Taiwan to an agricultural consultant father and a pianist mother, Hwei grew up with two sisters and one brother.
Very early in life she showed a prodi-gious gift for music, and received piano lessons first from her mother and later from other piano teachers. At age 14, after completing Taiwan’s mandatory education, she was admitted to the prestigious and highly competitive National Taiwan Academy of Arts.
While still in school, she met a slightly older student, Eric Wang. He and his parents attended the same Presbyterian church as the Wangs, and when his parents emigrated to the United States in the mid-1970s he stayed in his native country long enough to complete his Bachelor’s degree. By the time he came to Houston in 1979 Anne came along as his fiancée. They were married here and joined his parents in the process of attaining citizenship and assimilation..
While Eric was working on his Master’s degree in Information Technology Ann taught piano at home, mainly to Taiwanese in their neighborhood. Three years later, after passing the TOEFL test with flying colors, she had adopted the American name of Ann and was admitted to the University of Houston in 1982. That same year she gave birth to their first daughter, Cadenza.
With credits from her work at the National Academy, she was able to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Music: Piano Performance in three years. That same year, 1985, their second child, Dolce, was born, and Ann continued her studies toward a Master’s degree and gave birth to sons Placido and Brillante in 1989 and 1990.
By that time her class work for her advanced degree was completed, as well as her family. Even while raising four children she was able to use her talent professionally as accompanist for singers and in some duo-piano work with her professor, Dr. Robert Brownlee.
In 2009 tragedy struck hard with the death of Eric Wang at age 55. Brillante was still in high school, Placido and Dolce were in college, and Cadenza was working in San Francisco. After his death Ann went through a long and serious illness which left her unable to live alone, so in 2014 she sold the house which had been home to the family all those years and moved to Treemont, where her needs could be met with a minimum of effort on her part.
Only Placido remains in Houston, while his brother ”Brio,” with a BBA from USC, works in Dallas. Cadenza, as yet her only married child, lives and works in San Francisco, and Dolce, with a Mechanical Engineering degree from USC, works in the Los Angeles area with the Walt Disney Imagineers.
In early August Ann delighted a large number of assisted living in Houston residents with a classical concert in the Treemont auditorium. Over one hundred music lovers turned out for such crowd-pleasers as Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” Chopin’s “Nocturne in E-flat Major,” and Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” Her fans are already asking when she will be playing publicly again. As this blog goes to press efforts are being made to arrange a special program perhaps around Christmas featuring Ann at the piano and her daughter Dolce at the cello. Stay tuned for time and date of moer activities for seniors in Houston.
Thanks, Ann, for bringing glorious classical music back to Treemont.
To learn more about other assisted living activities in Houston and other Treemont Happenings, Check out this recently published assisted living Activities Calendar for August 2015.If you are looking for a retirement community in Houston, keep in mind the importance of choosing one that encourages a vibrant, active social calendar. Read more about how residents form lasting friendships in senior living Houston communities.