Hernan D. Zapata R.

Hernan D. Zapata R. is an international multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. He serves as the founder, director, and music instructor for Music For All Center.

Hernan is a native of Medellin, Colombia. His young career started when he played the guitar in a musical group he created, Grupo Mensaje. His group’s primary mission was to explore the art of harmonic choral music and the catholic Faith and popular music accompanied by guitars with non-profit expectations. This group performed in Catholic churches, jails, elderly homes, civic reunions, and schools.

Eventually, looking for a challenge, Hernan joined the Coral Bravo Marquez, a group of four harmonic voices with 30 members singing classical choral music such as Matona Mia Cara, Eco Mormola Londre, and other medieval tunes A-Capella. He was also a member of a choir of 500 singers who performed for the Pope, Juan Paul II, in Medellin, Colombia, in 1984.

Later, Hernan received a scholarship to enter the Conservatorio de la Universidad de Antioquia to receive his first education in opera and classical music from a very well-known international tenor. Hernan learned and performed musical pieces, including Nel Corpio Non-Mi Sento, La Donna EMobile, Granada, Se Tu M’ami Se Sospirit, and Caro Mio Ben. Eventually, he traveled to the U.S.A., where he explored a monastic life with the Benedictines in Covington, Louisiana, as well as at St. John Vianney College Seminary. In this seminary, he also had the pleasure of being part of the Catholic Mass that welcomed John Paul II in Miami in 1988.

Hernan continued his music education at Miami Dade College, where he was re-discovered by Dr. Beverly Coulter, a music director who knew how to continue his education process. She exposed Hernan to the Floridian public to continue performing operas from the classical era. He started singing as a tenor performing musical pieces from Mozart, such as Coronation Mass, Un Aura Amorosa, and Amelia Goes to the Ball (where he played the role of the lover). Hernan also performed musical pieces from composers such as Giovanni Pergolesi, Agustin Lara, Carlo Menotti, and more.

Hernan, during his years in school away from his hometown and a large family of 16 brothers and sisters, knew how to start his new life in the new land. He knows the exact meaning of the saying “home of the brave” (from the U.S.A. national anthem) because of his difficult times being a full-time student while making a living without the financial support of a family or government. Hernan feels right at home when he is entertaining a group of people.

Some of his colleagues said: “Hernan is clearly a soloist singer.” Others said he is a great guitarist because he could play classical guitar, music from Spain, and modern styles like Otmar Libert or Santana in places like South Beach style, others, that he can blend in any group because of his personality and multitasking abilities in music. Hernan’s ideas were just learning music for self grow and keep away from the streets. As he learned he was asked to perform and he did it for entertainment and eventually to praise God in churches as a music minister, where he dedicated most years of his life; his dream today is to teach and share his knowledge.

“There is nothing more rewarding than sharing my knowledge. Teaching fulfills my soul because it feels like being in many places at the same time. I am indirectly present where my students are making music. I work in what I love doing the most!”

Hernan D. Zapata

For this reason, Hernan decided to stop performing on stage and now prefers to be behind the curtains. He uses his talents, experiences, and education to give back to the community.

To achieve his dreams, Hernan established a corporation to use his talent to the fullest potential; Music For All, Inc. was born in 2002 first as a For-profit and then as a non for profit to be able to help families who could not afford music lessons online even before the pandemia toi students from far away. He started to teach guitar, vocals, flute, piano, music theory, and bass guitar. While he teaches at Music For All, he continues to learn to play the violin, viola, cello, and harp from other instructors. He has trained (and continues to train) students who later become music teachers, directors, and performers. ” I believe people start to die when they stop wanting to learn something” Hernan

To read Hernan’s complete Curriculum Vitae, click here.

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