The History of Groove
This new Groove era was unstoppable. If it was possible, the group agreed to perform more events than in previous years. The number of regular performances was growing to include Dance Marathon, Conrad, Ames Middle School, Mentoring Banquet, and Walk for the Cure. The new gigs consisted of the ISU Women's Basketball halftime, the Construction Expo, Barjche, and Madrid and Le Grand High School. Group members again worked hard to plan the second annual Groove Clinic, this time having the Ames High School Drumline perform as well, and welcoming a larger crowd than the previous year. Groove performed in all the regular VEISHEA events, and had another great show to entertain the masses.
This year was the beginning of a new era for Groove. This was the year of the first annual Groove Clinic. The group had many of its normal gigs with the area high schools at Conrad and Boone. They also made the new gigs from the previous year an annual event- including Dance Marathon and the Ames Middle School Chili/Pizza Chowdown, and added a performance at the halftime show for ISU Men's Basketball. Early in the year members put a lot of work into organizing a clinic that would be held in the Recital Hall for the area high school students to attend and learn the basics of drumming. Although the first clinic had low attendance, Groove was able to spread the word about the clinic for future years. The group also put lots of time into its VEISHEA show, with every section writing and performing it's own feature on top of many combined pieces.
This year Groove continued to raise the bar. The group did many of its traditional gigs such as Conrad and Walk for the Cure, and as always the Mentoring Banquet was a huge success. This year the group expanded their schedule to include gigs at Ellsworth High School, Ames Middle School, and Dance Marathon. Members contributed more and more of their own music to the group by writing lots of new cadences and arranging music for the VEISHEA show. This years Latin Jazz show had some great tunes that entertained the crowd, with people packing the recital hall for all three performances.
This was a transition year for the group, as long time leaders Bob Guinn and Nick Hoover were no longer in the line. New leadership took over and members worked early to plan the show for VEISHEA weekend. GROOVE decided it was time for some new and more original sets, enlisting a couple very willing club members to write two new cadences. GROOVE had learned the importance and effectiveness of having an audience friendly show the year before and strove to include as many fun gimmicks in the performance as possible. The show, although not as technical as in the past, was definitely a crowd pleaser; audience members were spilling into the aisles to find seats during the three performances.
GROOVE continued to do area gigs, adding a new performance at a mentoring program reception. This year's VEISHEA show was the most ambitious the club had done to date and it went incredibly well. After the previous year's difficulties, GROOVE filled the recital hall a total of three times performing an audience friendly show. The instrumental requirements for the show exhausted the club's equipment inventory--with the need for eight drum sets, eight tenors, ten basses and twenty snare drums.
With some new drums, new pit equipment, and a lot of enthusiasm from the success of the previous year, leadership members started planning the VEISHEA show early in the season. The show, arrangements of Dave Gillingham tunes, was one of the most difficult club members had played to date. GROOVE learned that not only did they need to start show rehearsal earlier in the semester to pull off difficult performances, but also that the type of music that would appeal to GROOVE musicians was not always appealing to an audience. The performances went well, but the audience response to the show did not seem proportional to the effort involved in pulling off the difficult pieces.
"In the GROOVE" (Around LAS)
Auditions were a bit thin, but the club was still a decent size. The performance schedule followed that of previous years, with the club playing at a Conrad basketball game, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation's Walk for the Cure, and the Boys and Girls Club of Ames. GROOVE decided to increase the pit's involvement, playing an arrangement of Spain and a Pat Metheny tune, First Circle, for VEISHEA. The performances went well, but the club's members felt they were capable of much more.
This was a very important semester for Groove. With the old GROOVE drums desperately needing to be replaced, President Scott Peterson and the new treasurer Rob Kibbe, went in front of GSB asking for funds to purchase a new set of drums. With the help of Dr. Barry Larkin (Director of Percussion Activities at Iowa State) and a sponsorship with Yamaha, GSB approved the request. Several of the founding members were back in school and decided to play again with GROOVE. The drumline was bigger than it had ever been. GROOVE went "on tour' this semester with a two day trip to Omaha, Nebraska. During VIESHEA, GROOVE performed with its own pit for the first time. Stan Dahl, a former snare drummer at Iowa State, came back and played the steel drums with the ensemble, performing an amazing rendition of Santana's "Oye Como Va'.
Improvements from previous years of GROOVE carried through this semester. There were a few new shows at local high schools. Unfortunately, Groove's drums were showing their age and losing their sound. The Music Department allowed GROOVE to once again use the marching band drums. Scott Peterson was the club's president and Matt Good was the new treasurer. Together, they worked to secure funds to purchase more pit equipment.
With the success of the musical show from the previous season, GROOVE went to GSB requesting funds to purchase some mallet instruments and Latin drums to begin building their own pit.
"Marching to the GROOVE" (Iowa State Daily)
GROOVE became a goodwill ambassador for Iowa State, playing for such causes as the Walk to Cure Diabetes, Cure for Cancer Relay and Take Back the Night parade. The group also played at Camp Snoopy in the Mall of America. This year also marked the first musical show performance. The Department of Music's percussion ensemble teamed up with GROOVE to perform "Jump' by Van Halen and "Vicistitude', written by Tina Schooler.
Due to a stressful fall semester, GROOVE was very low key during the spring. GROOVE had several of its typical performances, but practice was kept to a minimum. GROOVE moved their practices back into the Music Hall and even "rented' space in which to store the new drums. GROOVE still kept its presence known by performing at two highly attended functions: the Ankeny Drumline competition and the Spirit Lake Air Show. Groove performed on two different days during the Spirit Lake Air Show, with one notable performance: the entire drumline marched out the back of an Air National Guard C-130 Hercules airplane. "How many drumlines can say they did that!' said GROOVE's new President, Rob Kibbe. This fall also marked the last time that the Groove drumline and the marching band drumline co-existed. The members felt that there was only enough time for one drumline.
The drumline club only practiced and performed for the VEISHEA parade. The members of the club were frustrated with the limits placed upon them by the Music Department. After much thought, the decision was made to break away from the Music Department. It was decided that the drumline club would ask for the money to purchase a new set of drums. After an in-session debate with GSB, the drumline club was allocated money to purchase a new set of red Premier marching drums. One of these red snare drums has been kept as a reminder of the beginning of GROOVE. The club's new drums arrived over the summer along with the club's new name, GROOVE : Grand Rhythmic Orchestra and Outstanding Visual Ensemble. Creighton Gaynor was the club's first president, with John Hobson as vice president and Matt Steinke as treasurer. The club was active during both spring and fall semesters. The marching band drumline played at halftime of the football games, while the GROOVE group was the entertainment at local community events. Many people were members of both groups, creating a stressful fall semester. Since GROOVE broke the agreement with the Music Department, the club was asked not to practice in Music Hall. After rehearsing in several odd places, including one notable practice at the Ames airport, GROOVE found a home in the basement of State Gym.
The Music Department was very unhappy with the direction the club was heading. The band director was not pleased with the amount of "wear and tear' on the marching band drums. Another concern was the club's rehearsal schedule, which were thought to be distracting to percussion majors. The Music Department feared losing control of the group and threatened to end the club's use of practice facilities and the marching band drums. The drumline club was quick to make an agreement with the Music Department to only practice and participate in the VEISHEA parade.
"Future of ISU Drumline in Flux" (Iowa State Daily)
With the amount of improvement made the previous year, the drumline members wanted the spring drumline to be an ongoing activity. The spring drumline decided to go in front of the Government of the Student Body (GSB) to ask for funds to become a club. This was the beginning of the ISU Spring Drumline Club. The club's main goal was to improve the drumline for the fall marching band season and entertain throughout the community. Along with the VEISHEA parade, the drumline club played at several elementary school assemblies, a high school basketball halftime, and the halftimes of Iowa Central Community College and Iowa State basketball games. The club was still using the marching band's drums for all of these performances, which was becoming a concern for the marching band director.
There was a large turnover of drummers in the marching band during the 1989 marching band season, decreasing the quality of the drumline significantly. During the 1990 marching band season, things began to slowly turn around for the drumline. Members of the drumline were pleased with the amount of improvement made during the fall and thought that it would be a great idea to continue practicing through the spring semester to prepare them for the following fall. The drumline members ended up "renting' the marching band drums for these practices and had their first performance in the VEISHEA parade. In the fall, the drumline had improved greatly and credited the improvement to the spring rehearsals.