Grover Pro History
Grover Pro Percussion was founded in 1980 by Boston-based percussionist Neil Grover. The company’s mission has remained the same ever since: To supply the world’s finest percussion products for professionals, students, and performing ensembles.
Aiming to reproduce the sound of the Boston Symphony’s vintage Leedy triangle, which had a sonic sparkle when struck, Neil’s natural curiosity led him to explore why that particular triangle had such uniquely vibrant musical sound qualities. Enlisting the help of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Acoustics and Vibrations Lab, Neil set out to uncover the secret of creating a triangle with prominent overtone resonance. As a result of his extensive research, Neil crafted a 9-inch triangle for his personal use.
Starting a percussion manufacturing company was the furthest thing from Neil’s mind, but when Boston’s percussionists heard the “Grover” triangle, they insisted that Neil make one for them. Neil started making triangles, one at a time, to satisfy the requests of his Boston-based colleagues. Word quickly spread, and to his great surprise, Neil started to receive calls from top percussionists around the globe. Unintentionally, the Grover® Super-Overtone™ triangle was born.
Neil followed his triangles with tambourines, mallets, woodblocks, snare drums, and other percussion products. Neil developed and tested each product personally, ensuring a high level of quality control that remains unparalleled in the industry. In 1992 the company incorporated and moved to an industrial space north of Boston. The company quickly outgrew its workspace and, in 1994, moved to a significantly larger manufacturing complex. To meet the growing demands for Grover products, the company invested in highly customized machinery and tooling. As the company grew, Neil assembled a dedicated staff of percussion specialists to ensure that his personal commitment to percussion was embodied within the company’s infrastructure.
In 2006 the Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” filmed two segments at Grover Pro Percussion. The popularity of the show exposed Grover Pro’s products to millions of viewers around the globe. Neil happened to be performing in Norway when he first viewed the episode!
Today, Grover Pro Percussion Inc. is located in Woburn, MA, adjacent to America’s Technology Highway. The company employs a dedicated team of percussion specialists, production experts, and seasoned business managers. Despite his busy schedule, Neil Grover serves as President and CEO. Neil’s products are known throughout the world as among the finest musical instruments ever made!
GROVER PRO FIRSTS
- Pioneered the first triangle specifically designed to produce overtones
- Pioneered the use of Beryllium Copper tambourine jingles
- Developed “fully integrated” jingle combinations
- Invented “dual-Width” jingle slots
- Introduced first deluxe set of color-coded triangle beaters
- Created the concept of “jingle voicing”
- Invented “nodal” triangle suspension
- Introduced “two-tone” chime mallets
- Created woodblocks with dual internal mounts
- Developed the tambourine Roll-Ring
- Developed first multi-pitch Musical Anvils
- Pioneered tunable tambourine with internal titanium hardware
- Introduced the Hybrid tambourine
- Pioneered the first internally adjustable tension castanets
- Designed the first road case with a lid that coverts to a trap table
About Neil Grover
Neil W. Grover is a renowned percussionist, respected music educator, percussion innovator, and pioneering entrepreneur. He is the founder of Grover Pro Percussion, Inc,. considered leaders in the design, manufacture, and distribution of world-class percussion instruments.
At the young age of 23, Neil was appointed Principal Percussionist of the Opera Company of Boston, a position he held for seven seasons. During this time his career started skyrocketing and he found himself in constant demand for all musical genres including symphony, chamber music, ballet, opera, and commercial work. Highlights of his collaborations include the Royal, Bolshoi and Boston Ballets; American Ballet Theatre; Dance Theatre of Harlem; Music from Marlboro; Boston Musica Viva; Empire Brass; and with the iconic rock band Aerosmith. In demand as a recording artist, he can be heard on the film scores of Phillip Glass’ Mishima and John Williams’ Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In addition, Neil appears as a Boston Pops percussionist in the hit movie Blown Away starring Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones. He has toured with Music From Marlboro, the Boston Symphony, Henry Mancini, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and the Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance. Among his greatest collaborations are his 35 years of dedicated service performing, recording, and touring with the world-famous Boston Pops, where he has collaborated with Maestros Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart. For 30 years, Neil was a regular in the percussion section of the Boston Symphony and has performed under Maestros Seiji Ozawa, James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Neemi Jaarvi, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Bernard Haitink. His percussive talents have been enjoyed by thousands at renowned venues such as Boston’s Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and festivals at Tanglewood, The Hollywood Bowl, Wolf Trap, Blossom, and Ravinia. In addition, he has performed for millions of listeners through broadcasts on the NBC, CBS, NHK, PBS, A&E, and NPR networks. At the request of John Williams, Neil joined the multi-media musical extravaganza, “Star Wars In Concert”, serving as Principal Percussionist on their North American Tour.
Neil shares his encyclopedic knowledge of professional percussion techniques and career development through his educational outreach programs and publications. As one of the field’s most prolific and requested clinicians, he has given presentations at over 100 colleges and universities throughout the USA and Canada. He is equally respected overseas, having led master classes at such venerable institutions as the Sydney Conservatory (Australia), Conservertoire de Paris, London’s Royal College of Music & Guildhall School, Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Royal Conservatory (Scotland), as well as throughout Japan, Korea, and Europe. In addition, he has been an invited clinician at over 50 state and international Days of Percussion, including the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference, Iowa Bandmasters Convention, and five times at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
Neil Grover has written/co-authored five publications: Four Mallet Primer, Four Mallet Fundamentals, Art of Triangle & Tambourine Playing, Percussionist’s Cookbook, and The Art of Percussion Playing. He has written articles for School Band & Orchestra, Percussive Notes, and Drum Tracks. As founder and president of Grover Pro Percussion, Neil’s innovative designs and cutting edge manufacturing techniques have set a new standard for the ergonomic functionality of modern day percussion instruments.
Neil and his company have been featured in publications like Percussive Notes, Modern Drummer, School Band & Orchestra, Musical Merchandise Review, as well as on two episodes of the Discovery Channel’s series “How It’s Made”. Neil was asked to participate in the NAMM Oral History project documenting the history of the music industry. His contribution to the project can be viewed at Namm.org. Most recently, Neil’s story has been featured in “Embracing Entrepreneurs Across Disciplines”.
Neil graduated with distinction from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with famed Timpanist Vic Firth. He was the recipient of the C.D. Jackson Master prize while a Boston Symphony fellow at Tanglewood. Formerly Chair of the percussion programs at both the Boston Conservatory and the University of Massachusetts, today, Neil’s own students occupy leading positions in many top performing, educational and music business organizations.
Neil has served four terms of office on the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society, the world’s largest organization of percussionists.
Neil is married to Tony-nominated actress Maureen Brennan, whom he met during the Broadway tour of Pirates of Penzance.