Interview with Nate Durante
By Nathan Brauer
Nathan Durante, a freshman at Branford High School, has recently joined Shoreline Arts Alliance (SAA) as an intern and Junior Board member. As a performing artist, one of his greatest passions is being able to form strong relationships through the universal love of music.
For Nathan, music has “ just always been there” throughout his life. It all started when he was younger--two and a half years old--when his mother bought him a guitar for his birthday. He picked up piano and trumpet along the way, learning how to play “classical, pop, rock, and band arrangements, you name it”. Hearing all of this, I was curious about what motivated him to continue with music into high school; to stick with an instrument, let alone three, since such a young age is impressive. He said that one reason was that playing was stress relieving. More noteworthy, however, was the fact that he highly values the connections and relationships that music has helped him create.
He first realized this when he attended a summer rock camp where he met the current drummer for his band. They immediately bonded over their shared enthusiasm for music, and Nathan says that even if they live in separate towns, distance isn’t a problem; being in a band and creating music with one another is what strengthens their friendship. After learning about his band endeavors, it sounded like he was interested in composition as well. I asked if he had ever written an original song, to which he said yes. He notes that some of his favorite song topics to write about include feelings and emotions, but more significantly he likes being able to raise awareness on issues like bullying, through his music.
In terms of what Nathan wishes to accomplish with his music in the future, he’s leaving his options open. “There's many things that could happen; it’s definitely a possibility. Well all I want is to really have a band and do gigs at night in restaurants when I'm older, maybe when I'm in college”, he explains.
Although Nathan was hesitant to identify what inspires him in a broader sense when I asked him who some of his musical role models were he eagerly responded in a bright tone, listing artists such as Metallica, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Michael Jackson, and Phish. On the flip side, when asked what advice he would want to give to anyone interested in starting to learn an instrument, he responded, “If I went 10 years back telling little Nathan that he’d be this good at guitar, he wouldn’t believe it. Just give it a shot, and if you like it you’ll work for it and then you’ll get good at it”.
When talking about how he first got involved with Shoreline Arts Alliance, he said that he wanted to gain a new perspective on the music that he’s known for so long. Learning about the business and marketing side of the arts is part of his steps to broaden his musical studies. After getting to work with the other interns and learn the behind-the-scenes of an arts organization, he says that he has found what he’s looking for, at SAA.
Lastly, I asked Nathan about what impact he thought music can have on a community. He first brushed over it lightheartedly, talking about how it can make people “happy”, and that“it’s just biology, or something”. Jokes aside, however, he sincerely believes that music has the power to bring people together and connect different cultures. He says that “It reminds all of us that we are the same and has the power to bring us all together”.