Strikeforce is a 60-strong high-energy gospel percussion group in City Harvest Church that has performed at events locally and overseas.
|CN PHOTO: Desmond Tan|
The brainchild of City Harvest Church drummer, Tan Boon, Strikeforce is a passionate group of like-minded musicians who share a common goal: to use their talents to serve God through beats and rhythms. To date, the team has performed in several major national events like the National Day Parade as well as the Chingay festival held every February. They have also been invited overseas to perform in music festivals.
All this success did not come without hard work and commitment. Strikeforce started in 2005 with humble beginnings, recruiting individuals (mostly without any drumming background), taking used trash bins and containers and recycling them as portable drums. Their first few gigs were mostly performed in their home church, CHC. As they began to expand their repertoire of percussive performances, their innovative spirit caught the attention of other people and organizations, which soon led to invitations to perform outside the church.
One such innovation was the creation of a portable drumming machine called the Urban Drum Machine. The UDM has automated water dispensers and LEDs attached beneath the drum skins and produces fascinating lighting effects with every hit made by the musicians. The device was entirely invented by Strikeforce members and is a good example of the team’s constant drive to improve their art.
Apart from that, Strikeforce continues to push its boundaries by experimenting with different drumming styles, such as Chinese drums and body percussion. They also use other drumming props, such as household items like frying pans, forks and spoons. Within CHC, Strikeforce members have also recently started to introduce the use of cajóns (percussion boxes) during cell group meetings and zone meetings. The cajóns accompany the worship leader and guitarist or band during the praise and worship segment of these meetings.
Strikeforce training sessions are held weekly on Sunday evenings. At each session, Strikeforce musicians will practice the drumming sequences, rehearse performance routines, and acquire new drumming techniques and rhythms. Training intensifies as upcoming performances or gigs draw close.
Jasmine Liew, 23, a student, recalls, “I first joined Strikeforce five years ago when I witnessed the Strikeforce ministry performing the song ‘Crossing Over’ during Asia Conference 2008. Though I did not have any musical or drumming background, I told myself I wanted to be like them. So I plucked up all my courage and signed up for the ministry. Till this day, I have never regretted that decision. To me, serving with Strikeforce is living out the Cultural Mandate. We have had the opportunity to perform at events, both local and overseas, to showcase the love, creativity and excellence of God,” she recalled.
Even with its string of successes, Strikeforce does not believe in remaining stagnant. Moving forward, Strikeforce aims to further enlarge the target of their ministry to other local and overseas churches to impact congregations.
In fact connections have already been made for “percussion-fueled” mission trips to Indonesia and Malaysia. There are also plans to partner with local charitable organizations to further spread the love and joy of drumming.
To be a part of this exciting ministry, all you need is a pair of drumsticks, tons of commitment and a burning passion to learn. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.