Performance. Education. Community.

A Tragic Loss - Founder Aaron Shepley

The Strikers are devastated by the loss of our founding brother and longtime Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley.

In 2008, Aaron took a new hobby of drumming and, along with Brett Hopkins and Tom Kundmann, created the Crystal Lake Strikers. What started as summertime diversion for local adult drummers grew into one of the most popular entertainment acts in the Chicago area. The Strikers have marched hundreds of miles in local parades, performed in front of millions of people and appeared live on television multiple times.

The organization has also expanded to fulfill Aaron’s vision of providing education to local students. He was immensely proud of the programs involving more than 100 students that have been created.

Aaron was a literal force of nature who loved the city where he grew up and the drumline he founded. The Strikers would not exist today without his vision, energy, and drive. We are all blessed to have been touched by him.

Our deepest condolences go to Aaron’s wife Regan, their daughters, Chase and Madison, and his friends and family.

If you would like to donate to the Strikers in honor of Aaron and his legacy, please click below.

If you prefer to send a check donation, you can address it to:

Crystal Lake Strikers

54B Lou St

Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Strikers Awarded Grant

The Crystal Lake Strikers have earned a grant from the Barrington Area Community Foundation (BACF) to support expansion of the organization’s award-winning Kingpins program for special needs students.

The growth of the Kingpins has led to a desire to expand the reach beyond its home in Crystal Lake. The generous grant from BACF will provide transportation and equipment to make that dream possible.

Read more here  >

Strikers Award 2020 Scholarships

At the Strikers' Evening of Percussion, eight scholarship winners from Strikers' ensembles were announced. They included:

William Laskey Memorial: Mikey Speziale

Tim Althoff Memorial: Emma Cross

Strikers: Mia Chahmirzadi, Brittany James, Brendan Schoneberg, Kris Sanchez, Linnea Sardina, Ana Munoz, and Nathan Melchert.

Read more here  >

Kingpins win State Award

The Kingpins received the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s Outstanding Program or Special Event Award in Division I at its Annual Meeting on Friday, January 24. This prestigious honor is bestowed on only one organization per division. 

The Kingpins Drumline, in its first year of existence, is a cooperative effort between the Strikers and the Northern Illinois Recreation Association (NISRA),

Read the Press Release here  >

Crystal Lake Strikers members perform with Kanye West

Recently, various members of the Crystal Lake Strikers performed with Kanye West's Church Service

Watch the complete story here  >

Crystal Lake Thunder Advances to WGI Finals

The Crystal Lake Thunder advanced to WGI Finals during the WGI competition in Dayton OH on April 12th, 2019

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Convergence Winterguard Takes Top Honors

For the 3rd consecutive year in a row, the Convergence Winterguard captures 1st place in Independent Regional A Class during the Midwest Color Guard Circuit competition

Learn more about Convergence >