Patrick Stalder - Project Manager of Top Secret Drum Corps
Patrick started drumming when he was just eight years old. His goal was to play in a Clique, a traditional group at the Basler Fasnacht.
Patrick joined Top Secret when he was 18 years old, back in 2010. Erik Julliard, founder of Top Secret and Producer of the Basel Tattoo asked Patrick if he wanted to join the Top Secret Drum Corps.
He became Snareline Leader after their performance in Edinburgh 2012. At that time, he was also serving in the Swiss Army as a drummer in the Swiss Conscript Band.
After his basic training in the Swiss Army he returned and became Project Manager of the Top Secret Drum Corps.
Patrick composed different parts for the Top Secret Drum Corps and choreographed the corps’ show in Edinburgh 2015.
The last show in Edinburgh 2015 was Patrick’s last show as an active Top Secret member but he still continues in the management of the Top Secret Drum Corps. Patrick still plays in his local Clique and enjoys going “back to the roots” of Basel-style drumming.
At what age did you start drumming?
“I started drumming when I was eight years old. It is every child’s dream to play in a traditional group at the Basler Fasnacht.”
Biggest drumming influence?
“That’s easy, the Basler Fasnacht. My whole family takes part in the Fasnacht every year. Also, the Top Secret Drum Style is based on the Swiss drum style and the rudimental Basel Carnival Style.”
What made you want to join the Top Secret Drum Corps?
“I guess it is a goal and a dream for every young drummer in Basel to one day join the famous Drum Corps. I was always amazed by the Top Secret Drum Corps. It was back
in 2010 when Erik asked me if I wanted to join them and of course I said yes. I felt so honoured that they asked me!”
What type of sticks do you currently use?
“Top Secret have their own Signature stick made from Hickory by Agner of Switzerland. We have a very good relationship with Agner Drumsticks and we are so lucky to be working with them on our sticks.”
Do you have a favourite rudiment?
“I really like the traditional Basel Carnival Rudiments. Basics like ‘douplé’ are very unique. There is a small piece called ‘Morgestraich’. Every drummer and fifer in the city plays this tune at the beginning of the Fasnacht and all the lights in the city are switched off at the same time (4am). A magic moment every year.”
Which other Drum Corps would you most like to play with?
“It is always difficult to drum with other drum groups, because the TSDC has its very unique style. For me the encore with the Blue Devils International Corps back in 2015 at the Basel Tattoo was an unforgettable experience. For the younger members, I am sure the performance with the Royal Marines Corps of Drums at the recent Mountbatten Festival of Music 2017 was one of the best performances they have ever had.”
What is your proudest drumming moment to date?
“I’m still very proud that I have the privilege to work as the Project Manager, to help form the Corps and help them get better and better each day, not only as individual drummers, but also as a group. It is my job to make sure the current members are able to have the same experiences or even better ones than I had in my time as an active drummer.”
What has been your most memorable gig and why?
“It was my last show in Edinburgh, 2015. After a hard party night and lots of drinks during the day, we were still able to perform a perfect show, with no dropped sticks on the ground, with a lot of energy and very good quality! After the performance, every member was so happy and sad at the same time. Twenty five young men cried after this performance. It was very emotional and a moment I will never forget.”
Do you have anything exciting planned?
“The Top Secret Drum Corps will perform at the Military Tattoo in Ystad, Sweden in August and at the Spasskaya Tower Festival in Moscow in September. I performed there back in 2011, it is a special feeling to perform on Red Square. It will be very exciting for the corps!”
Do you have any advice or a quote you’d like to share with us?
“Without drumming I would have not been able to meet so many people all around the world. Drumming is like a language that everyone can understand. It fascinates me every day.”
“Twenty five young men cried after this performance. It was very emotional and a moment I will never forget”
Patrick Stalder: “It is a goal and a dream for every young drummer in Basel to one day join the famous Drum Corps”
For those that don’ t know, Top Secret Drum Corps have their own coffee table book which has some fantastic photos inside. It was written by Christian Platz who followed TSDC around foray ear and documented everything in hisbook.