Dale Grotenhuis (1931-2012) came to Dordt College in 1959 to begin the music program. He contributed much to the growth of the college in its early years.
His choirs quickly became known for excellence. Under his direction, the Dordt College concert choir participated in annual tours that took members throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, building respect among its audiences not only for the choir but also for the college it represented.
Grotenhuis began composing already in high school, writing a march for his high school band that was played at graduation. He composed the Calvin College Alma Mater as a student and the Dordt College Alma Mater after he came to Dordt. He conducted the 2nd Army Band Male Chorus and was chief music arranger for the 2nd Army Band while in the armed services. He conducted clinics, festivals, and All-State choirs in several states, and he led workshops and clinics at major universities. In 1985, he received an Outstanding Educator of America award and the Iowa Choral Conductors Association’s McCowan Award for “outstanding contribution to choral music in Iowa.”
Many of his more than 300 pieces have become classics, published and sold by companies such as Lorenz Music, Shawnee Press, Adoro, and others.
The Grotenhuis Music Collection was deeded to Dordt College by the Grotenhuis Estate in 2013. The physical collection includes over 500 unpublished music scores composed or arranged by Dale over the course of his career and is housed in the Dordt College Archives. Choral and instrumental pieces make up the majority of the collection with the instrumental category being further subdivided into band, brass, and keyboard compositions and arrangements. Most of the scores are undated. The few dates specified range from 1973 to 2002. All scores were scanned in their original state to preserve the primary format of the works.
The Estate assigns a Creative Commons Attribution/Noncommercial/No Derivatives (CCC BY-NC-ND) license to all of the material in the Grotenhuis Music Collection. Individuals who wish to publish materials from the Grotenhuis Music Collection must secure permission from both the Estate and from Dordt College in its capacity as the owner of the physical property.