04.08.2005 // New Percussion Interview with DCI Judge and Educator Allan Kristensen

It seems like evertime we go to a drum corps show these days Allan Kristensen is judging some caption. To say he is a respected adjudicator and educator is puting it mildly. In ever stage of Allan's life he has shown professionalism, grace and integrity. Here is Allan's interview with Dynasty USA.........Enjoy!

1. First of all please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I count my blessing every day. I have been a music teacher for 24 years, and I have a beautiful wife and daughter. When it comes to being complete, I am.

2. How did drumming become a part of your life?

When I started junior high, I became friends with a drummer who talked
me into playing drums in the band and in a drum corps. I promised my
parents I would continue my accordian lessons though. Playing the
accordian at a friends' weddings and at a drum corps party in Japan
recently made it all worth it. Playing the drums at DCI finals,
judging DCI finals, becoming a music major and 24 years of music
education has made learning the drums worth it. Being on stage with
Shania Twain this past summer topped it all off!!!!

3. Where did you play?

My junior high buddy talked me into joining a drum corps one night.
After his mom picked me up, he turned to me and said that we have a
choice between two corps. One has been around awhile and the other is
brand new and starting tonight. We chose the established corps called
the "Moose Corps". The other, called the Santa Clara Vanguard, I
joined after the year with the Moose Corps that turned into the Golden
Eagles that later split into a corps called the Knight Raiders (now
just a guard called the Raiders). I marched from 1967 through 1976.
The last 3 of those 10 years were with the Vanguard.

4. Did you go to school for percussion or how did you become the
teacher/clinician that you are?

I was extremely lucky to have gone to my hometown school, where I
studied with Anthony J. Cirone at San Jose State. It was a large
studio, 20-25 students, but Tony had a grasp on each one of us.
Although my dreams were of conducting a major symphony orchestra, my
studies at San Jose State lead me to teaching, where I have always

5. What are you doing now and what is involved?

I am currently the Director of Instrumental Music at Clovis West High
School in Fresno, California. I have been at Clovis West for the past
4 of my 18 years in Clovis. I have also served as assistant director
at Clovis High for 9 years and was an elementary music teacher for 5.

As the Director of Instrumental Music, I direct the marching band,
conduct the wind ensemble and orchestra and I am responsible for all
other instrumental activities at Clovis West as well as in the Clovis
West Area - 7 elementary schools and 1 intermediate school.

6. Other than Dynasty USA what other instruments and accessories are
You using?

I recently switched all of my marching percussion instruments to
Dynasty, and I have plans to upgrade all of my grounded instruments
into a unified product and sound.

7. What are your loves outside of drumming?

Anyone who knows me will agree that spare time is spent first with my
daughter and wife with golf not far behind. I'm not a great golfer,
but I sure can slice as good as anyone I've ever seen.

8. Are you married?

Married? Yes, and I hope I am as understanding and giving as Kim is of
me. If you looked up "Perfect Life Partner" in the dictionary, her
picture is right there-no, really, it is! I would not be complete
without her!!!!!!

9. What is your best experience in life so far?

Oh my, there really are many! I must start with marrying Kim, my life
with Kim and now raising our daughter, Ryann! Without those two,
drummer stereotypes would have taken over and who knows what?! Being
with Kim for six weeks in Europe were absolutely the most amazing
experiences of my life.

From a drumming standpoint, my "best" experience was the night that I
bonded with the brothers in my drumline, and we created an out-of-life
experience on the field. I thought I was marching in the clouds that
night in 1975 at the World Open. Coming off the field, I must have
been glassy-eyed and unapproachable. I became "one" with my brothers
that night. It was a moment of a lifetime.

10. Please answer this question. "if I could change anything in the world today I would..............."
Allow EVERYONE to experience the daily freedoms that nearly all of us
experience daily here in the United States.

11. What advice do you have for young people today that want to become drummers?

Pride, Professionalism, Preparation, Performance (Thanks Tony)

12. What is your favorite color? Food? Drink? Movie? Drum Line? Country? and finally what is your favorite way to travel?


Food-Teppanyaki Beef

Drink-Coors Light

Movie-When I saw Star Wars the first night it was out in Portland,
Oregon with Dave Hill.

Drum Line-SCV '75/Cadets 2000/BD'76

Country-My parents came from a beautiful country called Denmark, but
there's NOTHING like the USA Baby!