FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Originally posted October 19, 2016 by Chris Lugo)

(ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS) – The Cavaliers are pleased to announce the launch of Crystal Lake Thunder, a new co-ed percussion ensemble and affiliate program of The Cavaliers that will be presented by Crystal Lake Strikers, a performing arts organization based out of Crystal Lake, Ill.

Building on the history of Green Thunder Percussion, Crystal Lake Thunder represents the next evolution of The Cavaliers network of programs and affiliate programs aimed at serving more young people in the Chicagoland area and beyond.

Thunder is Back as a co-ed percussion ensemble that will compete in Winter Guard International’s Independent A class in 2017, with The Cavaliers providing direct assistance in the areas of staffing, instruction, design, and operations. 

Auditions will be held in conjunction with Cavaliers Indoor Percussion’s 2017 auditions at West Leyden High School on October 30 and November 6. Visit for more information.

“Teaming with the Strikers to create Crystal Lake Thunder as an affiliate is an exciting step forward for our growing family of Cavalier programs, including The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, Chromium Winds, Classic Cavaliers, and GearWORKS,” said Chris Lugo, Executive Director of The Cavaliers' organization.

“Dramatically increasing the number of students we serve is a key priority for us, and I’m glad that we’ve found a great opportunity to partner and deliver a new competitive performance experience for local students with the launch of Thunder!”

Crystal Lake Strikers, the parent organization of Thunder, presents a variety of programs including Convergence Winter Guard, Strikers AllStars, Girls on the Drum, and the Crystal Lake Strikers Drum Line.

Dale Hallerberg will serve as Thunder's inaugural director, building on his experience with The Cavaliers and local music programs to lead an administrative and educational team embodying the philosophies of The Cavaliers’ organization.

"I am excited to help Thunder provide awesome opportunities for both male and female percussion students, and I am so grateful to work together with The Cavaliers in order to make this a success," said Hallerberg. "There is no doubt that having the backing and guidance of The Cavaliers will allow us to deliver a special experience for our local percussionists!"

"Dale and Joe Roach (Director of The Cavaliers and Cavaliers Indoor Percussion) have been working very closely to staff Crystal Lake Thunder and to plan the instructional, design, and logistics of the new group," Lugo added.

"This affiliate relationship is a Win-Win, and ultimately a great way for The Cavaliers to amplify our educational focus right here in the local community."


Crystal Lake Thunder is open to both male and female percussion students in the Chicagoland area, with a target age range of 14-22. Thunder will feature battery and front ensemble percussion positions, and 2017 auditions will be held in conjunction with Cavaliers Indoor Percussion’s 2017 auditions at West Leyden High School on October 30 and November 6.

Visit or contact Dale Hallerberg at for more information. 

Registration for this audition event has already been closed.


Find Crystal Lake Thunder on your favorite social media sites:


General inquiries should be sent to

About Crystal Lake Thunder

Crystal Lake Thunder is an affiliate program of The Cavaliers presented by Crystal Lake Strikers of Crystal Lake, Ill. This new Independent Percussion ensemble will offer young male and female percussionists a competitive performance outlet in the Chicagoland area that builds on the shared resources, style, and excellence of The Cavaliers' award-winning programs and ensembles

About Crystal Lake Striker

Crystal Lake Strikers, based out of Crystal Lake, Ill., is a performing arts organization that focuses on providing a performance outlet for musicians while supporting and educating young people. Programs include Crystal Lake Thunder (affiliate program of The Cavaliers), Convergence Winter Guard, Strikers AllStars, Girls on the Drum, and the Crystal Lake Strikers Drum Line.

About The Cavaliers

Founded in 1948 from Boy Scout Troop 111, The Cavaliers are one of the most successful drum and bugle corps in history, winning 20 national championships, including seven Drum Corps International world championships since 1992.

The Cavaliers provide a variety of educational and performance programs for young people, including GearWORKS, Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, and Chromium Winds. The organization delivers life-changing experiences that go beyond music and performing arts to build personal accountability, excellence, teamwork, and camaraderie.

The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization sponsored by The Village of Rosemont, Illinois.