Lucy Amneus Sang in Scripps’ Choir for Years. Now Her Family is Giving Back

Jessica Reichman with her mother, Lucy Amneus, a former member of the Claremont Concert Choir at Scripps

By Emily Glory Peters

Music took center stage in the life of longtime Claremont resident Lucy Amneus. Although never a Scripps student, Lucy was one of the few local community members who sang alongside them for nearly two decades as a member of the Claremont Concert Choir. It was an experience she loved, and one her family chose to honor with a gift to Scripps when Lucy passed last February at the age of 89.

“My mom was a lifelong learner— she audited many classes in music appreciation and the humanities at The Claremont Colleges—and all forms of music enriched her,” explains Lucy’s daughter, Jessica Reichman. “Our support of the Joint Music Program at Scripps is a tribute to Lucy and her love of music, as we thought it was one of the best ways to honor her memory since music played such a central role in her life.”

Founded in 1966, the Joint Music Program is a unique endeavor shared by Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Harvey Mudd Colleges that offers music study and performance opportunities to music majors and interested students. The program sponsors three ensembles, including the Claremont Concert Choir, where Lucy lent her gifts as a soprano. She thoroughly enjoyed performing with students, Reichman remembers, and admired Scripps Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choirs Charles Kamm. That feeling was mutual.

Composed of 60–70 students and community members and led by Professor Charles Kamm, the Claremont Concert Choir has been in existence since the 1960s.

“When I arrived at Scripps and the Joint Music Program in 2005, there were a number of non-student community members who sang with the choir. Lucy was always keen to explore new pieces with us,” shares Kamm, noting Lucy’s loyal attendance of Scripps student recitals and Friday Noon concerts. “She was so friendly, too, and encouraging of the student members, allowing herself to be surrounded by their voices and enthusiastically joining in concord with them.”

Joint Music Program events are free and open to the public—and even though they’re currently offered virtually, their existence is no less vital for fellow music lovers. The generous gifts from Reichman and others who gave in Lucy’s honor will continue to make these experiences possible for Scripps students and the broader LA community, both in and beyond the current COVID-19 environment.

“Singing is done with the head, heart, and body. We need that kind of integrated activity encompassing the whole person in our lives—especially now in the pandemic, when we are yearning for more social contact,” says Kamm.

In honoring her mother through her support, Reichman shares this belief, knowing the same spark that music brought to her mother’s life should be accessible to others.

“My mom was a gifted teacher and giving friend and neighbor. She loved life and offered her time and resources generously to many,” she says. “We hope our gift will continue her spirit of giving and love of learning to participants in the Joint Music Program at Scripps.”

The Joint Music Program touches the lives of hundreds of students and audience members each year. To make a gift, please click here and select “Other” to note your gift to the program.