Celebrating the life of Lance Amann

Photo courtesy of Lani Amann

Lance Amann, who died in a motorcycle accident in May, was memorialized by loved ones on Aug. 19. in CSUN’s Little Theatre.

Friends, family, students and professors gathered in the theatre to commemorate Amann’s 20 years of talent and generosity. As a theatre major, Amann performed at the theatre and was expected to graduate a semester early.

“He loved this school, and he loved all of you,” said Randy Amann, Lance’s father.

The memorial service featured songs performed by those closest to him. An original violin composition by his niece, a piano piece performed by Diane Ketchie, a video tribute made by his father Randy Amann, and emotional speeches from his parents, girlfriend and professors.

“Truth be told, I sang at the celebration of his life to make him proud, because that is, always has been, and always will be one of the most important things to me,” said Tiffany Strong, Amann’s girlfriend.

“His voice would bring me to tears every time. I always keep him in mind when I’m performing,” said Destiny Vickers, Amann’s friend, after performing at the ceremony.

Amann was CSUN Theatre Guild President for the 2015-2016 school year and performed in the CSUN productions of “Urinetown”, “The Drowsy Chaperone”, and “Assassins”, just to name a few. By the age of 20 he had performed in 50 different plays.

“When you heard him sing, it was just this tsunami of gorgeous sound and unconditional love washing over you, and you were changed by that,” said Diane Ketchie, Amann’s vocal coach and professor. “To teach a very gifted student that’s such an extraordinary human being at the same time, it couldn’t get any better than that.”

Theatre professor Matthew Jackson, who taught Amann last semester, said Amann was one of those students a professor is delighted to teach.

Memorial attendees were offered bags of flower seeds to be planted in his memory and bracelets with the words “#LiveLikeLance” and “look twice save a life”. A bulletin board has been made available in Nordhoff Hall for people to write how they will continue his legacy and live like Lance.

“He had a lot of compassion, he cared about people in general” said Lani Amann, Lance’s mother. “To live like Lance, reach out a hand and help somebody. If you see somebody sitting by themselves, having a bad day, or struggling, sit down and talk to them. Introduce yourselves to strangers. Be kind to everyone you meet.”

Strong said living like lance is about creating one’s own art, no matter what that art may be

“Lance was the biggest advocate of creating art, and believed so strongly in the concept of letting go of the stress of trying to make your life be exactly what you want, and letting true happiness come through the love of art and the love of those close to you,” Strong said.

Lani Amann plans to start a scholarship foundation in her son’s honor for students who dream of making theatre a career.

“It was his focus, so I want it to be the foundation’s focus,” Lani Amann said. “All I have left is to preserve his legacy.”