The Crystal Lake Thunder is an indoor drumline competing as a WGI Class A Independent group. In their 3-year history they have grown from a beginner performance group into a WGI Finalist.
Indoor drumline is a competitive winter-based pageantry art centered around rudimentary marching percussion. Stemming from competitive drum and bugle corps, the indoor drumline activity encompasses scholastic and independent circuits under one umbrella organization called Winter Guard International - or WGI. Thunder operates as an independent group, competing in the Percussion Independent A class. Most students of independent organizations range in age from 14 to 22, at which point you graduate from the activity. Each ensemble prepares a floor show lasting approximately 6 minutes, and spends their season rehearsing and perfecting their program until meeting mid-April in Dayton, Ohio for the WGI Percussion Championships.
Performance. Education. Community.
Performance. Education. Community.
Crystal Lake Thunder
WGI Class A Finalist
WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN
First off, it is fun!
The Thunder is comprised of students who want to be challenged at the highest level. If your desire is to be surrounded by other players who care, who are there to work hard together, and who will give their highest effort - then this is the place for you.
Students that commit to an experience with Thunder are promised a top-caliber education in the realm of marching percussion. Beyond receiving instruction from a cohesive staff with decades of combined drumline experience, students will develop excellent habits - not only in the artistic realm of musicality and performance, but also the disciplines of personal accountability, time management, rehearsal etiquette, and teamwork. In the end, the most valuable aspects to gain are the lasting friendships and memories earned through a season of togetherness and perseverance.
HOW DO I AUDITION?
Contact us at email@example.com
Current audition materials will be provided when you register for the auditions. The following links give examples of the audition materials from past years. Battery Front ensemble
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Tuition is approximately $1200 for the season. As we understand that students and families are met with varying financial situations, we have payment plans to address these needs. Fundraising opportunities are available to reduce or even eliminate tuition.
HOW OFTEN DO WE PRACTICE?
Rehearsals are each Saturday from 10 am- 9 pm at Martin Elementary School. Approximately once a month the Thunder adds a Sunday rehearsal.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
Parents are absolutely vital to the success of the group. While nothing is formally required, the organization typically asks for help from parents with driving equipment trucks to venues, sewing uniforms, fundraising, and varying other logistically-oriented positions. If parents have any special skills (such as building props, transportation, fundraising etc.) and are willing to lend their abilities, please notify us of your specialties.
For more information on volunteering or sponsoring a member with financial need, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
BRYAN JAMISON - DIRECTOR
Bryan studied Music Education at VanderCook College of Music. As a performer, Bryan was a member of Green Thunder and the world class Cavaliers Indoor Percussion front ensembles. He currently works with the Lake Park High School and Batavia High School marching bands as their Front Ensemble Caption Head, designer, writer, and sound designer. He additionally teaches private lessons in the Northwest suburban area.
SAM SHEPARD - BATTERY COORDINATOR
Sam graduated from Batavia High School and studied Music Education at Elmhurst College. He was a member of Green Thunder Percussion and Cavaliers Indoor Percussion between the years of 2012-2017. For several years in the Chicago-land area, he instructed the drumline at both Batavia High School and Lake Park High School. In 2017 he moved to Oakland, CA and was the Percussion Director at Dublin High School in Dublin, CA. He is happy to be back in Chicago spending time with his family and friends, and reconnecting with the pizza he missed so much while on the west coast.
JOSH VEZINA - SNARE TECHNICIAN
Josh has been playing the snare for 10 years. He was on the snare line at Victor J Andrew high school for three years, marching both in the marching band and on the indoor line. He then attended Northern Illinois University where he was on the snare line for five years, spending three as the drum captain. During his time at NIU, he spent one season with Evolution Indoor.
BEN HEPPNER - BASS TECHNICIAN
Ben will be graduating from Northern Illinois University this December with a Bachelors of Music Performance degree. He has been teaching drumline in the western suburbs of Chicago since 2019, and is serving as the assistant percussion ensemble director at College of Dupage. Ben has played snare drum for four years in high school and two at NIU. He also played bass drum at Crystal Lake Thunder for three seasons, holding leadership positions at all three of these organizations. Ben is excited to make his debut at the Theo Ubique this December!
ALYSSA PACKER - CYMBAL TECHNICIAN
Alyssa has been playing cymbals For the past six years. She graduated high school from Victor J Andrew, where she marched cymbals for the indoor percussion from 2016-2019, and spent one season with 317 Veritas Indoor percussion. She has spent the past three years working with the Plainfield North Marching Band and has branched out to Plainfield Central Marching Band as well this past year. She will be continuing with the Plainfield 202 Indoor Drumline this year as well.
CRAIG HATTER - BATTERY CONSULTANT / FLOATER
Originally from Roselle, Illinois, Craig currently serves as the Assistant Band Director for Morton High School and Junior High. Craig holds both a Bachelors of Music Education and Percussion Performance from the University of Iowa. Craig is passionate about opening students up to the wide world of music and allowing young musicians to explore the many different facets of the arts that are available to them.
ISAAC FRANK - QUAD TECHNICIAN
Isaac holds bachelor’s degrees in both Music and Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University where he played with the NU percussion ensemble at PASIC in 2017. Isaac is currently the percussion coordinator at Wheaton Warrenville South High School. He plays tenors with the Chicago Bears Drumline and has taught with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. Isaac works as a consultant for a Chicago-based supply chain software company called GAINSystems.
TYLER STEWART - VISUAL TECHNICIAN / FLOATER
Tyler Stewart arranges for and teaches the marching percussion section at Huntley HS and teaches the drumline at Prospect HS. Tyler is a proud alumnus of the Crystal Lake Thunder, having played snare drum with the group since it’s inaugural season. When not teaching drums, Tyler teaches English at Wauconda HS in Lake County Illinois.
KATIE KLIPSTEIN - FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN
Katie Klipstein received Bachelors degrees in music education and music performance in percussion from Illinois State University. She has worked with a variety of marching programs including Normal Community HS, Plainfield North, Lincoln-Way, and Huntley High Schools. During the day she teaches K-6 general music and choir in Palatine. Dist. 15. This will be her second year teaching front ensemble at Crystal Lake Thunder.
TYLER BROOKS - VISUAL DESIGNER
BRANDI MCGEE - CHOREOGAPHER
DALE HALLERBERG - SENIOR ADVISOR
Dale marched multi-tenor and marimba with the Cavaliers from 1977 to 1980. He also played snare in the University of Illinois drumline - which including winning the first indoor drumline competition ever held. Dale taught the Cavaliers bassline for 5 seasons and was a DCI judge. More recently he has played for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, and the Crystal Lake Strikers.