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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