About the Crystal Lake Strikers


Why the organization was established

In the fall of 2007, three area men sat in a local coffee shop imagining the possibilities of forming a drumline that would achieve two essential goals:

  • provide a performing outlet for drummers of college age and beyond

  • support and educate aspiring young musicians


In assembling the group, the founders discussed the simple fact that there are so many people who started playing percussion at a very young age, stayed with it in the various bands and drum corps, then... nothing. The people who have an outlet for their musical training past high school and college are rare. We believe this drumline provides an outlet for those individuals.


Within a matter of months following that meeting, the founders of the Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline, Aaron Shepley, Brett Hopkins and Thomas Kundmann, realized the first of these dreams when the line with the motto "have fun and dont suck" stepped off in the Crystal Lake Gala Parade.

Sporting their zebra skin drums and bowling uniforms the members of the Strikers clearly had fun and area crowds clearly loved the music and entertainment. Since that first parade, the Strikers have been widely acclaimed in parades and performances all over the region and have appeared in Chicagos Thanksgiving Day Parade for the past 10 years.

The Strikers play modern hip-hop and other catchy beats in addition to the traditional straight ahead technical material that drum corps utilize. The group performs in parades, major sporting events and festivals throughout the region.

The name of the game for this group is to sound good, and have a good time. They have a jazz drummer philosophy: "be cool man", "relax", "lighten up".

Did we say the Strikers wanted to have a good time?



The Crystal Lake Strikers currently consists of 20 battery percussionists comprised of snares, tenors, basses and cymbals. Membership is free for participants with the exception of payment for uniforms


The group typically practices once a week in Crystal Lake, IL beginning in March and ending some time in the late fall. Performances typically take place on weekends and may include parades, sporting events, festivals or drum corps shows around the region.

If you are interested in learning more about The Crystal Lake Strikers, would like to become a member, or book an engagement, please contact us.