Five Indiana University Music Students Die in Plane Crash

Classic Arts News   Five Indiana University Music Students Die in Plane Crash
A small plane carrying five graduate students from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music crashed while returning to the campus early on the morning of April 21, the university announced.

Georgina Joshi, a 24-year-old soprano; Zachary Novak, a 25-year-old choral conductor; Garth Eppley, a 25-year-old tenor; Chris Carducci, a 28-year-old baritone; and Robert Samels, a 24-year-old choral conductor, were killed.

The students were returning to Bloomington from a community concert rehearsal in West Lafayette, Indiana.

"This is a devastating loss that is deeply felt on the Bloomington campus," said university president Adam W. Herbert in a statement. "The entire Indiana University family is saddened by this tragedy. Our loss is all the more tragic because each of these students had a rare talent. We lament the fact that lives of such great promise have been cut short by this terrible tragedy. "

Samels was pursuing a doctorate, having received his master's degree in voice in 2004. The other students were working toward master's degrees.

All five students were active performers on and off the IU campus. Carducci was recently heard at Carnegie Hall as part of Marilyn Horne's recital series "The Song Continues." Samels sang the role of Dr. Gibbs in the world premiere of Ned Rorem's Our Town at IU in February.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the students took off from West Layayette's Perdue University Airport in a six-seat, single-engine Cessna plane at about 10:30 p.m. on April 20. Joshi was at the controls. At 11:40 p.m., as the plane approached Monroe County Airport, air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot. At around midnight, witnesses reported hearing the sound of a small plane in distress. Four hours later, the wreckage of the plane was found about 500 yards from the airport.

A series of concerts at IU have been dedicated to the memory of the students lost in the crash.

Recommended Reading: