Music 10


Michael A. Sumen

December 14, 1958 ~ December 15, 2018 (age 60)


Michael A. Sumen, of Plainfield, passed away December 15, 2018, just hours after his 60th birthday.   Mike, as he was known by family and friends, was born December 14, 1958 in New York City, New York, to Lois I. Nusbaum.  Mike and his mother moved to Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky where they lived until Mike was in the 4th grade when they moved to Plainfield, Indiana.  It was in the 4th grade where Mike and Beth first met.  Mike attended Plainfield High School where he was heavily involved in the music program under the direction of Mr. David Fanning.  Mike’s music career was a destiny as he wrote in his own words.  The following are Mike’s own words written on the LemonWheel website in 2008:

“I can’t remember a time without music.  We had a piano in our house and I was banging out rough songs before I could walk.  My first instrument to be trained on was actually an accordion.  Later, I started playing guitar and bass as I was inspired by different songs and wanted to be able to play them. At age 10, the high school band director (Mr. David Fanning), visited our classroom and so began my high school career as lead trumpet player at Plainfield High School.  I was accepted to the University of Cincinnati as a jazz trumpet major.  At age 24, I went on the road with a show-band called Morningstar playing 5 star hotel resorts all over the eastern half of the United States.  After five years and after meeting my wife, Cheryl Shepherd Sumen, I settled down in Carmel, Indiana.  I played in several bands over the next 15 years including one I put together myself called Touch of Brass, and one I’m particularly proud of called Frontline. 

After Frontline, I joined a band called Phil Stevens and the Open Road.  We opened for more national acts at the 8 Second Saloon than I can remember, including Montgomery Gentry, Trace Atkins, Merle Haggard, and Randy Travis.”

Mikes music career was far from over as he went on to having a three year gig with a band called Hardride Express.  A high point in his career was joining a well-known band, LemonWheel playing gigs all over Indianapolis.  In Mike’s words “I was lucky enough to work with some of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with.” 

Following LemonWheel, Mike played with Black Orchid which was the last band he was in prior to his death.  Mike was a multi-talented artist playing keyboards, bass guitar, electric guitar, saxophone and the trumpet and he played them all well!  Mike also had perfect pitch which he was extremely proud of.  Mike was also a song writer, composer and singer.    

 In addition to attending the University of Cincinnati, Mike also studied Medical Laboratory Science at Cincinnati Technical College and earned a degree in Laboratory Science. 

 Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Lois I. Nusbaum and his wife, Cheryl Shepherd Sumen.  Mike considered his band mates throughout the years his extended family.  Survivors include his life-long friend, Beth Blevins of Plainfield.  A memorial visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 pm on Thursday, December 27, 2018 in Hall-Baker Funeral Home, Plainfield.  A musical memorial will be hosted by Mike’s most recent band, Black Orchid, Sunday, January 20, 2pm-6pm, all ages and musical tributes welcome, located Alley’s Alehouse, Pinheads 13825 Britton Park Rd Fishers, IN 46038.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Mike’s GoFundMe page  or to a Humane Society of your choice. 

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