Students mourned Indiana University campus grieves for victims of plane crash

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Some 700 people joined in a memorial service for five Indiana University music school graduate students killed when their small plane crashed, and many others sought to participate in a memorial concert.

The service was held at First United Methodist Church, where crash victim Zachary Novak was worship coordinator and directed the Wesley choir and children’s choirs.

“He was full of vigor, energy and wit, and he could sing like a bird,” associate pastor Jimmy Moore said before the Friday evening service.

The church also planned a service in memory of the students for Sunday morning, and a Beethoven concert was being dedicated to them at the university.

The students were in a single-engine Cessna that crashed late Thursday in dense fog near the Monroe County Airport as they were returning to Bloomington after a rehearsal for a concert in West Lafayette, about 90 miles to the north.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board had no immediate answers to why the plane crashed. The small plane had no cockpit voice recorder and the pilot, student Georgina Joshi, made no distress call, they said.

A preliminary report could be available within a week, but the final report could take a year or more, said Ed Malinowski, an air safety investigator for the NTSB.

Joshi, 24, of South Bend, studied at the Royal College of Music in London and sang in Wales. Investigators said they did not know how much flying experience Joshi had.

The other students on the plane were identified as Novak, 25, of Anderson; Robert Clayton Samels, 24, of Medina, Ohio; Garth Eppley, 25, of Wabash, Ind.; and Chris Bates Carducci, 28, of Monroe, Mich.

Rainelle Carducci, speaking by telephone from her home in Monroe, Mich., said music had been an important part of her son’s life since he was young.

“He was a great lover of music, especially Mozart operas,” she said. “When he was in first grade, our church formed a choir just so he could sing solos.”

Joshi and Eppley had planned to join about 300 other chorus members and a large orchestra in performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Sunday at the university’s Musical Arts Center. Instead, the performance will be dedicated to all five.

Sunday’s concert may feature more than 300 singers because many other students have asked to be a part of the tribute performance, said Gwyn Richards, dean of the university’s Jacobs School of Music.

“It’s a way to give memory to our students,” Richards said.

Autopsies were completed Saturday but officials were still awaiting the results of toxicology tests. All five died instantly of blunt force trauma, said Nicole Meyer of the Monroe County coroner’s office.

The music school, with about 1,600 students, is one of the nation’s largest with programs in opera, jazz, orchestral music and early music.

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