My name is Nate and this is my website.
I grew up in rural Western New York State surrounded by mostly cows and farmland. Through secondary school I took an interest in all subjects but preferred music and sciences. During my middle and high-school years I spent considerable time practicing electric guitar in my bedroom as well as tinkering in the workshop building balsa wood, radio controlled and plastic models of airplanes, cars and boats. In high school I had a brief interest in biking (around 10 miles per day for several months) but much of my energy became devoted to studying music. A Fender Strat HM (customized to resemble Joe Satriani’s Ibanez JS-series), Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone, a Korg X3 synth workstation and a pieced-together Slingerland/Yamaha Recording Custom/Ludwig drumset were the main recipients of my attention. In preparation for a music performing career, I took private lessons all through high school on saxophone and guitar. My guitar studies took me from lessons with Dave Constantino (Talas) at Limelight Music in East Aurora, NY to private lessons with Tony Scozzaro (Anthracite, Gamalon and G.I.T. alumni). On the saxophone I took lessons with Steve Rosenthal of the Amherst Saxophone Quartet, who had a strong connection with the University at Buffalo where I later attended college. My highest musical accomplishments in High School were winning principal chairs in All State and All Eastern musical ensembles through NYSSMA solo festival competitions. In the winter of 1996 I performed with the NYSSMA Conference All-State Wind Ensemble on tenor saxophone at the Concord Resort in central New York and in the following spring I performed with the 1997 MENC All Eastern Concert Band in Baltimore at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. It was also in high school that I discovered Drum and Bugle Corps and took an interest in learning to play drum-based percussion through rudiments and technical exercises.
In the fall of 1997 I enrolled in college at UB (State University of New York at Buffalo) as an honors student studying Music Performance on saxophone. I took lessons with Edward Yadzinski (Eastman School of Music and student of Sigurd Rascher and Vincent Abato) and later with Susan Fancher (solo artist). During my time at UB my most memorable experiences involve percussion ensemble studies with Anthony Miranda (percussion virtuoso), wind ensemble concerts with Dr Sarah McKoin (director of bands, alumna of Dallas Wind Symphony), marching band with James Mauck (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), saxophone ensemble with Harry Fackelman (Amherst Saxophone Quartet) and concert band with Jon Nelson (Frank Zappa, Juilliard School of Music). While studying at UB I felt like I was missing something special, so to see what life was like someplace else I transferred for 2 years to the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. It was a little bit disappointing as well and I discovered that different areas of the United States have slightly varying cultures, and also that I seem to feel most comfortable where I live now (even if cold weather isn’t my favorite). While there I studied saxophone with Todd Gentzel, conducting with Brad Genevro, timpani with Christopher Deane and marimba with SSG Rone Sparrow (United States Military Academy Band). I also was fortunate to make the last spot on the 1999 UNT Green Brigade drumline snare section. It was a great deal of work, but I developed a lot and learned things that I will be working on for the rest of my life.
Currently I live in the Buffalo, NY area and spend my time autocrossing my car, taking photographs, working, visiting Cold Stone Creamery and Tim Horton’s, and blogging on my four current websites.
My vehicle is a 2004 Java Black Pearl Subaru WRX Impreza that I purchased in February 2005. I kept it completely stock for about 3 years with the exception of replacing the factory radio with and Alpine head unit. Currently I have a Cobb Accessport v2.0, OBS front helical LSD, RCE Yellow springs, Tokico D-Spec struts and STI catback exhaust. Some modifications that came and went are:
-Cobb sport springs – too soft for height and would bottom-out frequently (quite unsettling)
-Eibach Pro-kit springs – weren’t low enough for me at the time
-Go Fast Bits Stealth FX blow off valve – seemed to cause a lot of backfiring and I got tired of people making fun of me for having one
-STI top-mount intercooler – rubbed against one of my air-conditioning lines and put hole in it. I’m not sure it was different enough from the stock intercooler for me to notice, so I put the stock TMIC back on
-VF-39 and STI Pink injectors – gave the car better top end and worse turbo-lag, not optimal for autocrossing so I returned to stock TD04 and blue injectors
-Dash Z Racing halo/LED headlights – broke some mounting tabs on them, one of the ballasts kept going out and the high-beams were very weak, so I have upgraded to OEM STI headlight housings with HID’s. I think they are a bit brighter than stock WRX headlights.
Don’t forget to check out my Beginner’s Guide to the WRX.