ADMINISTRATION


 
 
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NATHANIEL LEWIS

CORPS DIRECTOR

Born in Brooklyn, New York to a drum corps family, Nathaniel’s parents were the corps directors of a now defunct Brooklyn area drum and bugle corps, The Carter Cadets. As a toddler, Nathaniel was a regular at drum corps shows and rehearsals in the New York City area and along the East Coast.  At a young age, Nathaniel attended color guard rehearsals with his mother, drum rehearsals with his father, and brass rehearsals with his uncles.  At the age of five, Nathaniel began taking drum lessons and rehearsing with the Carter Cadets drumline. When Nathaniel was ten years old, he moved to Lakewood, California. In high school, Nathaniel performed with the Lakewood High School Marching Band under the direction of John Hannan and Steve Graves.

From 1986 through 1988, Nathaniel would march with the Anaheim Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corps under the direction of Steve Yates. In 1987, Nathaniel attended San Diego State University as a music major. In 1989, Nathaniel played snare drum with the Sacramento Freelancers Drum and Bugle Corps, under the direction of Don Silva and Norman Bartlett. 

After taking a few years away from the activity, Nathaniel began performing with Long Beach City College in 1993 and 1994. Nathaniel then went on to perform with the South Coast Percussion Ensemble from 1995 through 1996, under the direction of Paul Smietan. 

In 1997, Nathaniel started a Los Angeles area group “City Sound.” In 1997, City Sound had its very first performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Anaheim, California. From 1997 until 2008, City Sound performed throughout Southern California in various events and competitions. 

In 2001, City Sound was invited to perform at the New York City Drum and Bugle Corps competition “The New York Open”. City Sound performed a Latin jazz show that it dedicated to Tito Puente, who had recently passed. The show was big success, and City Sound was asked to return on several occasions.

In 2004 and 2005, Nathaniel was the Percussion Caption Head for So Cal Dream Drum and Bugle Corps, and in 2008, Nathaniel was asked to be the Corps Director, hold the position until he resigned at the end of the 2009 season.

After years of careful planning, Nathaniel was ready to take City Sound to the next level, and in 2009, City Sound became a drum and bugle corps and performed in Drum Corps International (DCI) events from 2009 to 2014. This was a historic achievement for City Sound to bring DCI its first Los Angeles based drum and bugle corps.

After a brief hiatus to spend time with his family, Nate has put his Corps back on the field as the newly named Vessel Drum and Bugle Corps. He welcomes the challenge to lead Vessel to be one of the top Drum and Bugle Corps in the country. Through his dedication and hard work, this goal is inevitable.

 
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JEN SWANEK

ASSISTANT CORPS DIRECTOR / CYMBAL CLINICIAN 

Jen Swanek is a thirty-two year veteran to the artistry of all things cymbalic. She began her career performing with world-renowned drum and bugle corps and winter drumlines, such as the well-remembered Velvet Knights Sex Cymbals. Jen was also the first female to earn a spot in the prestigious Santa Clara Vanguard cymbal line. After performing, Jen went on to develop her unique approach to cymbal technique through teaching at competitive organizations such as Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps, Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, Cal State University, Northridge, Riverside City College, and many high schools across California. Her instruction produced an impressive amount of talented performers that have won many accolades through the years in Drum Corps International, Southern California Percussion Alliance, American Drum Line Association, and Winter Guard International.

Jen most recently performed with the Santa Clara Vanguard Alumni Corps cymbal line in 2017. Currently she is teaching the World Class Broken City Percussion cymbal line, the Chaffey High School Marching Band, and is a percussion teacher at St. Francis High School. She is a consultant and clinician for several other independent percussion groups in Southern California and across the country, and serves on the judging staff for the American Drum Line Association.

For more than three decades, Jen has continued to cultivate interest and encourage musicians to become accomplished cymbal players, including her sons that are now skilled cymbal players forging their own path in the competitive drumline world. Her dedication and motivation has inspired her students to pursue and develop their own cymbal expertise, as they teach at well-known organizations across the country.

 
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LORI MILLER

LOGISTICS

Lori comes to us by way of the Orange County Independent Ensembles, where she found herself drawn to the marching arts. Her background in Administration and Human Resources has been an invaluable contribution to the daily operations and administrative duties of the programs.

Lori has actively sat on the Board of Directors of non-profit groups that serve children and homeless animals. Through these organizations, she is able to participate in community outreach programs that benefit those close to her heart: youth and animal companions.

When Lori is not busy spending her time as an integral part of Vessel Drum and Bugle Corps and Orange County Independent Ensembles, you can find her relaxing by spending time with her wonderful family and faithful dogs.  

 

DANIEL GREENBERG

LOGISTICS COORDINATOR

Daniel Greenberg is the Director of Instrumental Music at Murrieta Mesa High School. As the Director of Music, Daniel is in charge of the Marching Band and Color Guard, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Winter Percussion, as well as the Winter Guard and Pep Band.

Throughout the years, Daniel has been on the instructional staff for many organizations, including Madison, Wisconsin’s Capital Sounds Drum and Bugle Corps, Atlanta, Georgia’s Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, San Diego, California’s Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, and Diamond Bar, California’s Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps.

 
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SAMMY KNAPP

MEMBER MANAGEMENT / LOGISTICS / MEDIA & CONTENT COORDINATOR

Sammy has been involved with the marching arts since high school, where he was a saxophone player in the Ayala Band and Colorguard, and a visual ensemble, marching cymbal, and auxiliary percussionist in the Ayala Indoor Percussion and Ayala Concert Percussion programs. Sammy took a few years to rest from the marching arts to start his college path at Mt. San Antonio College, and later Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, where he is currently studying Digital Media Arts with an emphasis on Audio Recording. Sammy returned to the world of marching by performing with the Orange County Independent Winds Ensemble for two seasons, and the Royal Cavaliers Indoor Winds for one season.

Sammy hopes to one day be a sound designer or foley artist for film, television, or video games. Additionally, he would one day like to work with, perform with, or run his own indoor winds program in Southern California. Sammy is very happy to be working with Vessel Drum and Bugle Corps.

 
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ED BULL

MEMBER MANAGEMENT / ACCOUNTANT

Ed has been a volunteer Board Member and Treasurer for Vessel Drum and Bugle Corps for the last two years, and has previously been a Board Member for City Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, The Los Angeles Youth Arts Organization, and The Los Angeles JAMZ Drum Corps, starting back in 2007. Ed’s drum corps marching experience dates back to his days living in the St. Louis, Illinois Metro area in the 60’s, with The Lancers of Kinloch, Missouri, The Millstadt Crusaders of Millstadt, Illinois, and Brass Unlimited Senior Corps of Belleville, Illinois. Ed, a retired Air Force Veteran, marched drumline in the Chanute Air Base Drum Corps. Ed’s professional career as an accountant included employment with Countrywide, Boeing, Cedars-Sinai, and Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals. Ed is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and received his MBA from Lindenwood University. Ed is a CPA and currently a tax preparer during tax season.