A natural leader, “Zap” stands unique among the drum majors of Vanguard history. His natural charisma and characteristic authority during his 1978-1982 member career with Vanguard stands tall as a strongly memorable period in the history of the Vanguard. Zap had a natural abiity to motivate the corps during hard times and exuded tremendous energy that fed the performance quality of the corps. Zap inspired student leadership and raised the bar for all student leaders of Vanguard, receiving the support of many well-known instructors and performers of that era for this nomination.
His thrill and enthusiasm were infectious and drove the spirit of a transitional time through the innovation of asymmetricl drill. Zap continued to exude the same positivity and electricity that he became known for as the drum major that couldn’t stop smiling from the podium. Vanguard expresses warm appreciation to Mike Zapanta for exemplifying so many of the core values that have been the spirit of the success of this organization.