Bass drummer Alec Berndt, with the Crystal Lake Strikers All-Star Winter Drumline, awaits taking the court with the drum corps Wednesday for a halftime performance at Crystal Lake Central High School. The All-Stars are comprised of percussionists from area schools. On Saturday, the group will perform at “An Evening of Percussion” at the Raue Center for the Arts. (Monica Maschak –

CRYSTAL LAKE – For members of the Crystal Lake Strikers All-Star Winter Drumline, Saturday’s event at the Raue Center for the Arts is the season’s elite performance.

The group is the educational arm of the Crystal Lake Strikers adult drum line and is open to local high school students.

“I really love seeing these kids learn new things and blossom and grow,” volunteer All-Star instructor Dale Hallerberg said. “Learning to perform, building confidence and working as a team – these are terrific side effects of learning how to drum.”

At 7 p.m. Saturday, they’ll perform “An Evening of Percussion” at the Raue Center, which will feature a variety of other acts with a focus on percussion instruments. The show is usually a sellout, so event organizers are encouraging people to buy tickets now.

When fall high school marching band season wraps, it’s time for the All-Star season to ramp up. The team performs during several halftimes at high school basketball games.

The All-Stars are a mixed bag of drummers, with 25 teens in the drum line coming from all District 155 schools – Central, South, Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove – and students from Huntley, Johnsburg, Lake Zurich and Mundelein. High school rivalries are put aside to become a cohesive unit, Hallerberg said.

“It has this neat side effect of broadening their horizons to now include new friends,” he said.

There are 19 boys and six girls. Many are honors students or involved in a variety of other after-school activities.

Saturday’s event will be South senior Chris Juliano’s final performance with the All-Stars at the Raue Center.

“It’s been a blast so far,” the 17-year-old said. “It’s what I look forward to every winter.

“Being a part of the Strikers has really opened my eyes that there’s more out there than high school band.”

In addition to traditional drum cadences, the All-Star Drumline picks a well-known song with which to play along. This year, the group marched and drummed to the hit “Gangnam Style.”

Also at Saturday’s event, a scholarship in honor of Tim Althoff – a young man who died unexpectedly of a heart attack – will be awarded to a member or members of the All-Star team.

If you go

What: “An Evening of Percussion,” featuring the Crystal Lake Strikers All-Star Winter Drumline

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake

Cost: $12 for adults; $5 for children ages 8 to 17. Free for children under 7 years old.

Information and Tickets:, or 815-356-9212