CD honors legacy of alum; supports aspiring musicians

Wed, 2007-01-03 13:53 -- univcomm
January 3, 2007

It’s not just a CD. It’s is a light in the darkness. A way for family and friends to hear his voice. An opportunity for aspiring musicians in Anderson to pursue music. On April 20, Zachary Joseph Daniel Novak, 25, Anderson, was one of five Indiana University School of Music students killed in a plane crash just outside of Bloomington, and to honor his legacy, his family and friends have produced “Reflections of Zachary Novak.” [Editor's note: Along with Novak, Garth A. Eppley, 25, a 2003 AU graduate from Wabash was among those lost in the crash. An endowed scholarship in Garth's name has also been established at Anderson University].

“(Zachary’s passing) was absolutely the worst thing ever,” said Misty Novak, Zachary’s mother, “We wanted to make something good out of this tragedy. We’re blessed to have him on music.”

With 22 songs boasting Zachary’s beautiful voice, the CD not only celebrates the accomplishments of this young musician but carries a noble charge (listen to selected samples from this special CD honoring Zach Novak).

“He has two scholarships in his name in town,” said Novak.

Zachary was born and raised in Anderson. He graduated from Highland High School in 1999 and from Anderson University with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2003. One scholarship is available to music students at Anderson University and the other for students of both Anderson high schools wanting to pursue music after they graduate.

“Reflections of Zachary Novak” is $20 and 100 percent of the proceeds goes to support the scholarships.

The idea to produce the CD began with two of Zachary’s choir members at Bethel United Methodist Church in Anderson.

“He was the choir director at our church for seven years,” said Melvin, 75. “We thought the world of him as a choir director. He was just something so special in our lives. After his death, my wife, Phyllis, came up with the idea to have a CD.”

Phyllis, 74, said they presented the idea to the church soon after Zachary’s passing and everyone thought it would be a great idea.

“People at church started gathering his music he sang at weddings and funerals, and we started gathering his music as well,” said Phyllis. “There are 22 songs on the CD.”

Of the 22 selections, according to Novak, 12 of them are from a gift Zachary gave to her last year for her 50th birthday.

“Last year he made me a CD,” she said. “We used all of those (songs). It’s hard to listen to sometimes but this whole thing has been really good. I’ve heard music I hadn’t heard him sing before.”

The songs include Zachary singing selections from musical productions such as “South Pacific” and “My Fair Lady,” songs with family members and one from a performance with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra.

“Zachary had a true love of the Lord and a true love of music and this really shows his talent,” said Novak. “We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible with this CD. It’s our family’s hope that we find good in all of this. We want to put his love out there and help others.”

‘Reflections of Zachary Novak’ The CD is available for $20 at the following stores: • Moneyhun’s Fine Gifts & Furnishings • Notre Dame Book Shelf • Gaither Family Resources

--LYNELLE A. MILLER is a reporter with The Anderson Herald-Bulletin. Story reprinted with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.