Genre opens door for first-time musicians


Photo from Genre’s showcase last semester. Courtesy of Justin Booth.

Emily Benda

“Gathering Everyone Nearby to Raucously Entertain” is quite literally the name and inspiration behind the student organization, Genre. Regardless of what instrument a student plays or the experience they have playing, all students are welcome to join the club and develop their musical talents. 

At first, Genre was created in 2011 by jazz musicians who just wanted to jam with a small music project. Within a year, however, more interest circulated and students began creating bands within the group. Genre has 60 committed members, 60 percent of whom participate in multiple bands, according to Justin Booth, president of Genre. 

The organization continues to promote itself and its bands on social media and showcases events such as the Genre Senior Ball 2 Day Event, which will take place at the Iowa Music Store on Saturday and at Zeke’s on Sunday. 

The Harrison Ford Dealership, Clockwork Calling and Supertree will perform Saturday. Rebel Creek, Mastiff, Mind Fire, Foxholes and Kickstart the Sun will play Sunday. All bands are affiliated with Genre.

“Genre is the coolest idea. The more of us [bands] that branch out, then more [bands] can open and close for each other. If one band gets their foot in the door with another venue, then they can invite their friends. It’s the point of getting out there,” Booth said. 

Kyle Folvag, advertising chair of Genre and the lead guitarist of Foxholes, agrees with Booth. 

“Genre is a really good resource for musicians, especially when you’re first starting out. It’s pretty difficult to be in a band. I remember our first rehearsal for Foxholes. I walked from my dorm room to west Ames with all my stuff. [Genre] makes it easier to get out and go do it,” Folvag said. 

Foxholes is a local indie rock band and released its first album, “Can’t Help Myself,” last year. Folvag is the only member of Foxholes who is a student at Iowa State and member of Genre.

There are a variety of rock sub-genres within Genre, as well as techno and reggae groups. Members meet each week and participate in a skills workshop every other meeting. Anyone can teach a workshop as long as they feel they have advice to pass along to others. 

“Seriously, there is so much talent, enthusiasm, creativity and general amicability that you get from this group. I’ve met a whole new group of like-minded folks … and they help keep me sane in the otherwise hecticness of graduate school,” said Jeritt Tucker, social media chair of Genre.

What started as a side project for jazz musicians has grown into a well established student organization. Anyone can join and improve their talents in shows Genre hosts throughout the year.

“I wanted the opportunity to explore music in a relaxed and creative manner while improving my skill level … Genre is a great way to learn because you feel very motivated to improve because you’re working toward an actual goal [the senior showcase and other events],” Tucker said. 

Tickets for the Senior Ball 2 Day Event cost $5 per night or $7 for both nights.