"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Meet Zak—Choir’s #1 fan at Bethel Woods

Zak Breese, 26, had never seen the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live.  Until Bethel Woods.  “Awesome! Exciting!” were his words. He attended both the sound check in the afternoon and the concert in the evening and loved them both. He particularly enjoyed Mack Wilberg, Choir director, giving instructions to the singers.

At sound check the Breese’s “Zak didn't realize at first that he was sitting among Choir and Orchestra members, as no one was yet in their robes or suits; when his mother told him that he was "sitting with the Choir," he said, "What?! My eyes are shocked!!"

Watch Zak in an interview with Heidi Swinton from the Tabernacle Choir with Eric Malizia filming. Included is an interview with his parents who share their appreciation for what the Choir has done for Zak’s life.

Zak was listening to the Choir before he could talk.  Adopted from Korea, he came with special needs and his parents were impressed when as a young child he found the Choir on the Internet. A love story began.

He has run through many headsets and worn out Choir CDs as he has grown up listening to his favorite songs, what he calls “hymn music.” He’s quick to describe the Choir -- “exciting” and “awesome.” In the afternoon he had a chance to meet many of the members of the Choir, calling them by name as he looked at their badges.

His father David Breese described his son as “honest, sincere, enthusiastic, and innocent.” His mother, Judy Breese, wrote in a note to the Choir the next day, “Zak is listening to his MTC ‘hymn music’ as I write this...the Breese family is grateful, beyond our ability to describe it, for the experience of faith and kindness.”  

It was not a picture perfect concert day.  It rained all day and evening; the wind blew; it was cold.  Judy Breeze wrote, “As we were leaving, we kept hearing audience members express their appreciation for the Announcer's good humor, and the Orchestra members' forbearance under such adverse conditions.  Cold, damp instruments, freezing fingers, and wet, flying sheet music were surely not part of their plan, but they dealt with all of it so gracefully.”