Born in Brooklyn, New York to a Drum and Bugle Corps family, Nate’s parents were the Corps directors of a now extinct Brooklyn area Drum and Bugle Corps, the Carter Cadets. Nate grew up attending Corps rehearsals and shows along the East Coast, and by the age of 5 he was already rehearsing with the Carter Cadets Drumline.
His performance education history includes Lakewood High School, the Anaheim Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corps, the Sacramento Freelancers Drum and Bugle Corps, Long Beach City College, and the South Coast Percussion Ensemble. Nate is also an accomplished San Diego State University Music Major.
In 1997, Nate started a drumline in Los Angeles, and named it “City Sound”. From 1997 to 2008, beginning with their very first performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), they went on to perform and compete throughout Southern California and New York.
In 2009, City Sound emerged as a Drum and Bugle Corps and performed in Drum Corps International events from 2009 to 2014. This was a historic achievement for City Sound to bring the first Los Angeles based Drum and Bugle Corps to DCI.
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.
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.
STAFF COORDINATOR / DAILY OPERATIONS MANAGER
Sean Cunningham is the Founder and Director of Orange County Independent Ensembles. After starting his first indoor percussion group in 2011, he has grown the organization to include two highly competitive World-Class Percussion Ensembles, one Open-Class Percussion Ensemble, as well as a World-Class Indoor Winds Ensemble, competing in Southern California Percussion Alliance and Winter Guard International. Throughout the years, the efforts of these ensembles have netted three Southern California Percussion Alliance Championship Gold Medals and six Winter Guard International Medals, including four in World-Class competition.
The bulk of the success that Sean’s ensembles have had is due to his ability to build strong teams. Starting with innovative designers, adding bold caption heads, and rounding out the staff with talented tech instructors have Sean’s forte since the beginning. Sean hopes to continue this trend with Vessel Drum and Bugle Corps
ADMINISTRATOR / MEMBER MANAGEMENT / OPERATIONS SUPPORT
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 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.