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Strutters percussion instructor sets new world record for snare drum solo

Steve Kress begins his world record attempt.

The Strutters percussion instructor Steve Kress has successfully set a new world record for longest snare drum solo at 18 hours and 7 minutes. The feat was accomplished at 7:07 AM November 12 on 105th St./Whyte Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Kress set the new record in true Canadian fashion by performing outside in the middle of winter. Using only one pair of Silver Fox sticks, a Remo drumhead and a marching Pearl snare, Kress braved the –14-degree Centigrade weather and muscle aches through the night to push the record to its full potential.

A similar record is held by Russ Prager from Sidney, OH, who performed indoors on a drum kit to recorded music for 58 hours.

Kress was allowed a 30 second break in music every two and a half minutes, and he was required to take a 15-mintue break every eight hours.

Kress’s musical training began at a very young age when he joined a local drum & bugle corps. He spent many years working on and developing his skills as a rudimental drummer. His love affair with drum corps never dwindled, but did take a back seat to his now obvious passion for music.

He took his skills as a rudimental drummer and applied them to the drum set and began to venture into the field of jazz and big band music. Working with his high school big bands and jazz combos, Kress was exposed to a whole new set of technical and musical challenges. He began to mentor young percussion students while attending high school and eventually set up a small percussion school. He left his high school and love of jazz to explore yet another challenge, the world of classical music.

Kress attended Cambrian College and began a four-year major in percussion and a double minor in opera and piano. While at Cambrian, he was an active member of the Sudbury Symphony, jazz ensemble, big band, percussion ensemble and college choirs.

His interest in music was not limited to performance alone. An accomplished composer and arranger he spent a lot of time writing for his ensembles and anyone else that would play his music. In his second year, Kress was commissioned by the Cambrian Theatre Company to create a score for a musical based on the play “Lysistrata.” Between his performances and his commissions, Kress left school in order to pursue a full-time career in music. Supplementing his income as a studio musician, session player and clinician, he continued his innovative approach to pedagogy and worked with many percussion ensembles and private students exploring various forms of percussion from Latin to African to classical.

After a five-year hiatus, Kress began working with the organizers of the 2001 World Athletic Championships and was thrust back into the music scene as he took part in the opening ceremonies as a tribe drummer and instructor. Here he met members of the Edmonton Strutters and rekindled his passion for drum and bugle corps. Kress is currently working as the percussion caption head and arranger for the Strutters Musical Association. With his innovative techniques and traditional approach to percussion, Kress is looking forward to working with the youth of Edmonton and sharing his experiences and wisdom. He is looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with the Strutters.

The Strutters are a non-profit group and has been active in the Edmonton area for more than 40 years. Also known as the 1st Canadian Regiment and the Winks Strutters, the corps’ commitment to the community involves more than parades and performances. They have opened the door for thousands of young adults to experience the arts and performance through their unique and disciplined brand of musical athleticism.

Kress is still playing after 16 hours!

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Drum Corps World is published as an on-line electronic magazine by Sights & Sounds, Inc., Madison, WI. It is supported by advertising from manufacturers, service providers, corps, circuits and show sponsors. The publication began in October 1971 at the same time Drum Corps International was formed and has been produced continuously as a tabloid newspaper until April 2011 and on the Internet since May 2011. It is released monthly, as well as six additional e-mail blasts, one in late June, three during July and two in August.

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