Grad Sings, Dances, Opens Academy

Rileigh McCoy

Features Editor

Andy Planck is a graduate from Northrop High School who has gone on to graduate from Ball State in 2005. Planck is a true picture of success, as he was involved in many things during his time at Northrop and after.


During his time at Northrop, Planck was a four year singer/dancer in Charisma, a part of Northrop’s marching band for four years, and involved in all four musicals during his time.

William Heins was the choir director, Del Proctor was the drama director, and Barry Ashton was the band director when Planck attended Northrop. Planck refers to those three men as the Holy Trinity of Teachers.

“I would not be where I am  without Del Proctor, Barry Ashton, and William Heins. Those three men shaped me into who I am today.”

When asked which year was his favorite while at Northrop, Planck said senior year would have to be it.

“I have a lot of fond memories of my time at Northrop. I was very involved.”

Recently, Planck opened Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy in downtown Fort Wayne. Triple Threat is the only comprehensive performing arts training academy in Northern Indiana. Students at Triple Threat can study anything they want to as long as it is performing related. Singing, acting, dancing, piano lessons, and guitar lessons all in one convenient place.

“We are all on the same path at Triple Threat whereas you taking piano lessons from one teacher and voice lessons from another teacher elsewhere and your choir teacher at school is telling you one thing, you might be getting mixed messages from five or six different teachers where here we are all on the same page.”

Triple Threat’s open house was packed wall to wall during the grand opening. Over 200 people were in attendance.

“The support has been so great, so that just tells me that people are ready to support something like this. Something new, something fresh, something with polish, something professional,” Planck said. 

Planck has high hopes that Triple Threat will be Fort Wayne’s major source for performing arts education. He is engaging artists from New York and Chicago to put Fort Wayne on a national scale.

“Our goal is to be that source for these students that are at the pre-professional level that are saying ‘I think I’m pretty good at this. I think I’d like to do this as a career.’ So here we are to help. Here we are to prepare them for that dream.” he said. 

Andy Planck is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, an accreditation program. You submit paperwork on proof of how many students you have and how long you have been teaching along with your resume to gain that accreditation. A panel of experts reviews you to give you that accreditation. Andy gained that accreditation last year after teaching for 10 years. In fact, Andy has previously taught at Bishop Luers from 2009-2012.

“I love teaching so I think very fondly of my time at Luers,” he said.

Andy is also a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, a professional stage actors union that is tricky to be a part of. You either enter into apprenticeship programs and work 50 weeks in an equity candidacy program or you just book an equity contract. Andy joined that way by booking an equity national tour. 

Andy has been a part of two national tours. His first tour was Man of La Mancha. The tour was his first big job right out of college and his very first audition on his first day in New York. The other national tour Andy was a part of was The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

“It’s because of my time at Northrop and the teachers that I had and everything that was afforded to me in that program at Northrop that lead me to this point,” he said. 


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