The family that plays together
“It’s no secret that music has been a huge part of Mike’s life and also mine,” mom Gloria said. Mike’s father, Steve Zapata, is a local musician in Rockdale and Gloria’s dad, Rev. Max Rosas, sings weekly at their church, Assembly of God on Houston St., and also plays guitar.
And that is just to name a few of the family members.
The love of music and music ministry is what brought Gloria and Mike together. The two met at a praise fest in downtown Rockdale where Mike was invited to play drums on a whim, and Gloria was asked to sing. She sang after he performed.
The couple will be married 12 years May 23.
As their love for each other grew, so did their love for music. They became “the musicians” at the church.
Mike said it was funny because his wife would pray for God to bring musicians to the church because it was just them playing. God wound up doing so in the form of the Zapata’s children.
Michael, age 10, and sevenyear old Bianca recently got in on their family’s music scene and joined Mom and Dad’s love for song.
“Before we had kids, we would joke around that they would just have to be musicians,” Gloria said. “We really were only kidding. We both agreed that we would not push them into learning how to play an instrument but we also agreed that if they did want to learn that we would most definitely support them.”
One day Michael asked his dad that inevitable question of how to play the drums.
“My dad playing the drums is cool,” he said. Michael is now the regular drummer at the church.
Bianca saw what her brother was doing and asked to learn the piano like her mom. She has gone from pounding out a few notes to being able to pick up songs by ear that her dad plays on the guitar. She fills in at the church sometimes as well.
“I think she plays better than me now,” Gloria said.
The youngsters’ eagerness to learn pleased their parents. Mike practices with them and shares his musical knowledge.
As the church was getting ready to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day early last spring, Gloria’s mom found a song that she thought was appropriate for the occasion and wanted she and Mike to sing it.
“We thought it would be even better to show it to the kids,” Gloria said.
Their performance was a hit, the pastor, their grandfather, was in tears. Mike and Gloria showed their children a few other songs and now they all play together during worship services.
As Christmas approached, the family was having a hard time deciding what to give grandparents as gifts.
“We thought that a CD of their grandchildren performing would be a gift they could treasure for many years to come,” Gloria said.
They started the project in early Nov. 2009 and had to keep it a secret from their families.
“It was very hard, more for us than the kids,” Gloria said. “They told me a few times ‘Mama you almost ruined the surprise’.”
The family enlisted Zach Gallop and Bobby Buchanan at Rockdale’s own B&Z Sound Pros to assist with the recording process. The kids were naturals at that too, recording their songs in just one take.
“Zach was just great with the kids and joked around with them to ease their nerves a bit,” Gloria said.
They chose three songs for the CD. The first was the song that they made their debut at the church with, “A ti solamente a Ti” (meaning You and only You).
The second song is a song called “David’s Dance” and the third was actually written by Gloria.
“The last track on the CD is a song that I wrote in tribute of Mike’s 12 year old cousin Ana Muniz, who passed away last year with cancer,” Gloria said. “His family had previously asked for a recording of it so we thought that this would be the time to record it.”
That song is called “No estas solo” (You are not Alone).
As the families heard the musical gifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it was obvious it was a hit by the tears of joy.
“I think that we picked an awesome Christmas gift and it is going to be hard to top that one next year,” Gloria said.
The kids now want to share the CD with teachers and classmates.
Bianca was very excited to tell her schoolmates about the CD, and said she’d gladly do it again. “I like singing ‘David’s Dance’ and playing the keyboard,” she said of the experience.
As parents, Mike and Gloria hope that their children can learn so much from music.
“When I was younger music was my outlet,” Mike said. Instead of going out to parties or getting into uncomfortable situations, he was at home practicing the drums.
Gloria said she is just proud of the blessings her children are to her and her husband.
“We are just so very proud of them both and thank God for giving them this talent,” she said. “Our prayer is that they will use it to honor God.”