Born: September 17, 1980 - Anderson, Indiana, USA
Died: April 20, 2006 - Bloomington, Indiana, USA (private airplane crash)
The American tenor, Zachary Joseph Daniel Novak, was born to Daniel and Misty Novak in Anderson and attended Highland High School graduating in 1999. He went on to Anderson University and received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 2004, graduating Summa Cum Laude with honors in music. He received Anderson University music department Voice Performance Award and won the Senior Men category and State National Association of Teachers of Singing Awards. He was due to graduate in early May 2005 with a master of music degree in Choral Conducting with a minor in voice from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Zachary Novak had a passion for music that warmed the souls of all who heard him sing or perform. He shared that passion with everyone, and we were all blessed to receive his gift. He began his passion at the age of three when he asked for a piano and started playing at the age of five with Mona Jackson as his instructor. In high school he joined the Highland Singers under the direction of Deborah Andis and performed for three years. His outgoing personality was enriched at Highland that set the stage for his performance career. From Highland he attended Anderson University where he could be seen performing at Byrum Hall in musicals. He was also a member of the Anderson University Chorale and traveled to Europe twice to perform with the group. He studied under Dr. Richard Sowers who was his mentor. Fritz Robertson also fostered Zachary’s vocal talents.
During his years at Indiana University Zachary Novak studied under the direction of Dr. William Jon Gray, professor of chorale conducting and was instrumental in Zach’s participation in the Lafayette & Carmel Bach Festival Chorale. The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University continued to foster and enrich his gift of music. Numerous teachers, professors, and ministers had a positive influence on Zach throughout his life.
Zachary Novak was a member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Anderson, Indiana, where he worked as a pianist, organist and choral conductor for several years. He also served as a pianist and choral conductor at Bethel United Methodist Church in Anderson, Indiana. While at Indiana University, he worked as pianist, Wesley Choir and Children's Choir Direct for the First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana. He touched so many with his musical talents.
Zachary Novak received numerous awards during his life including the American Legion Award twice, the Arion Music Award, Best Male Vocalist 1999 and Who’s Who Among American High School & College Students. Scholarships include: The Theodore Presser Music Award, The Lilly Foundation, Anderson University Academic Honors, AU Music Award, AU Trustee Award, Tri Kappa Award, Student Exploratory Teaching, AFT Teacher’s Award, and the Herman and Anne Leaf Award.
Among other venues, Zachary Novak performed with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Bach Chorale, and the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel California. Zach was a member of Phi Kappa Lambda, & National Honors Society.
On April 20, 2006 Zachary Novak died in a plane crash with 4 other fellow musicians who where on their way back from a rehearsal in Lafayette, Indiana. Georgina Joshi piloted the single engine Cessna 206 plane owned by her family, which crashed due to extremely foggy weather conditions approximately a half mile from the Monroe County Airport in Bloomington, Indiana at 11:45pm, on Thursday, April 20, 2006. All five of the crash victims of April 20 were well known as rising stars in their fields. Their death rattled the music world on an international level. Besides his parents Dan and Misty, Zack was also survived by siblings Joel and Brytni Novak, and girlfriend Jillian Shaw. Several scholarships have been organized in memory of Zachary Novak, including those at Anderson University, First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, and the Anderson Community School System.