Groove Day 2024

Last year's highlights w/ Sonny Emory...

GrooveDay Schedule

  • 10AMFree Masterclass by SPC Commercial Music Director of Percussion Phillip Smith

  • 11AMFree Masterclass by feature artist John JR Robinson

  • 1:30PM – GROOVE CONTEST w/ PRIZES! – come cheer on your favorite contestant!!!!

  • 3PM – Q&A with John JR Robinson


    ($50-students, $100-non-students)

    For all ages and experience levels, but participation is limited, so sign up below!

Email with any questions.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD your GrooveDay Contest materials…

South Plains College GrooveDay Contest Instructions

Each contestant must play the five compulsory grooves using the exact tempos. After completing the five compulsory grooves, each contestant will play one groove of their choice in any style or tempo.

Gear provided

(The set cannot be changed aside from minor height or distance adjustments.)

  • 5-piece drum set
  • 2 crash cymbals
  • 1 ride cymbal
  • 1 set of hi-hats
  • Single bass drum pedal
  • Isolation headphones for click track
  • Sticks – You may use your sticks. You cannot use any personal drums, hardware, or sound reinforcement.

Performance instructions

  1. When a contestant is called, they will have 30 seconds to make minor adjustments to the drums.
  2. The contestant will then get 15 seconds to adjust the click volume in their headphones.
  3. The first groove will be counted, and the contestant will play it with a click track for approximately 15 seconds.
  4. After the first groove ends, there will be 8 seconds of silence before the second groove is counted in, which the contestant will play with a click track for approximately 15 seconds.
  5. The same procedure will continue until all five compulsory grooves are completed.
  6. The contestant will then have 15 seconds to play their groove of choice before exiting the stage for the next contestant.

Judging Criteria

  1. Ability to play the notated groove correctly.
  2. Ability to lock into the groove instantly.
  3. Ability to play consistent time with the click and maintain a great feel.
  4. Ability to play the grooves with stylistic authenticity.
  5. Backbeat volume, placement, and sound consistency.
  6. Tempo, feel, and creativity of the personally chosen groove.
  7. Ability to adapt quickly to a backline-provided drum set and monitor system.

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The Commercial Music Program at South Plains College began in 1975. Visionary administrators, President Marvin L. Baker and Dean Nathan Tubb, saw great potential in an ambitious young musical instrument salesman (and rock’n’ roll musician), John Henry Hartin from Norfolk, Nebraska. Hartin traveled to Texas, interviewed for the job, and moved his young family to the plains of West Texas.

Hartin quickly established SPC as the place to study Country, Rock, and Folk music in the Lubbock area – a region famous for such musicians as the immortal Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Mac Davis, and many more. Hartin created classes in all of the ‘typical’ contemporary instruments, as well as performing groups that provide students with the opportunity to put their learning to work.

Within just a few years, it was well known throughout the regional that SPC would bring a group to your town, civic group, church, or school. The college began a large scale summer touring group that took our talented students, stages, lighting, sound, and costumes “on the road.” Over the following decades, these groups would expand their reach literally from coast to coast.

South Plains College expanded our Faculty and subject base to train students in ALL these performance areas: Commercial Music; Recording Arts; Live Sound; Performance Venue Technology; and Music Business. All these interrelate in the modern business marketplace, and that model continues to inform the adaptation of programs in the current “Creative Arts Department.”

The 1980’s brought wider recognition of the program, and enabled SPC relationships with nationally known artists. The long and gracious friendship with Tom T. Hall resulted in our large performance venue being named in his honor. Today, the “Tom T. Hall Production Center” houses a large stage, advanced digital lighting technology, recording studio, television studio, and sophisticated live sound teaching/performance space! With all these sectors of the music/entertainment industry in one performance space, students can most clearly see the interconnectedness of jobs.

Also with the passage of time, the fruits of the early days have begun to show. Many Grammy Winners, session players, band members, business executives, songwriters, and technologists claim SPC as the start of their career. From its humble start in a single dance studio, to a sprawling complex of recording studios, rehearsal and performance spaces, laboratories, offices, and workshops, the “Creative Arts Program” at SPC only requires one more element to continue the tradition of excellence,,,

YOU, the future student need only enter the doors to feel the legacy and excitement of the Arts brought to life in this place!