Dave Isaacs is the founder and ensemble director at INov8 Winter Percussion. He
marched snare drum at Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (2003), Madison Scouts
(2005) and finished his marching career at RhythmX on snare, being part of the first WGI
group to tour Europe in 2007, and winning their first gold medal in 2008. Dave has been
writing music for the last 13 years, and has worked with several successful high school
marching bands, a few World Class groups and has even traveled to design and consult overseas.
Why did you start INov8?
I started INov8 for two reasons. The first reason was personal, and it was because I have my own style and creative vision. I wanted to be able to create in a way that would leave my ideas, I guess, untainted so that I could really produce what I feel and what comes from the heart. INov8 allowed me to do that. And second, it
allowed me to create an opportunity for kids in the area and specifically the kids I teach at Floyd Central High School.
Where do you see INov8 in five years?
This really just all stems from daydreams I have about the ensemble. I take those daydreams and I bounce them around until they turn into long-term and short-term goals. One of those goals is to take the primary ensemble as far as it will go. In five years I would like to see us at World Class finals. My other goal as an organization is mass expansion. Which would include a possible second percussion group, either in A or Open class, a winter guard, since INov8 was originally a guard, and a winds group. Expanding to make the INov8 culture as widespread as we can possibly make it.
What is something you are looking forward to this year?
Announcing the show at auditions. I plan on revealing the show, floor and uniforms, and there’s a good possibility that I'll be able to play an audio file of the opener. I'm really looking forward to the look on everyone’s faces and seeing their reaction.
What is a fond memory you have while working with the group?
I think it was the community performance last year. I just remember feeling really good about the ensemble. The members seemed to be gelling well and there was an energy about the ensemble that I wanted to hold onto.
Can you describe that energy?
Everyone had one common goal and purpose, and they seemed to be putting their heart into that. All in all, the thing that makes me happiest on the weekends is the camaraderie. When we have a bad weekend, the feeling isn't there. But when we have a good weekend, we're like a family - everyone is connected and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong in the world.
What do you want members to leave with at the end of the season?
A sense of accomplishment, friendships and an excitement to return.
What about your personal marching experiences has shaped INov8 as an ensemble?
I look fondly on my marching experience because there wasn't anything I wanted to do besides show up to rehearsal on the weekends and drum with my friends. When Mondays came, I just wanted the weekdays to be over and to be back again. I want members to feel musically challenged and artistically fulfilled and to enjoy the camaraderie and family atmosphere that we have.
What about INov8 sets it apart from other groups in WGI?
I think we have a unique style, and the mixture of a relaxed atmosphere and a challenging product is something that I've always wanted to be able to offer - you can have fun and be pushed really hard at the same time. I think anyone who comes to INov8 has the unique opportunity to create a culture. We can make this whatever we want to make it. We're two years into the activity and as a young ensemble we can become whatever we imagine.
What are the top five things you want people auditioning this fall to know?
1) Start simple and start slow... but be ready to move fast!
2) You can't be more prepared
3) Show up ready to make friends
4) Keep an open mind and be flexible
5) A positive attitude makes all the difference
INov8 Winter Percussion is now accepting registration for the 2018 Audition Clinics. To register, click HERE.