What is Beats?

Students playing their instruments in the band room. Photo Credit: Zitlalith Cortes

By Zitlalith Cortes ’20

Beats is a club where students come together to learn and have fun playing instruments. Beats is lead by Benjamin Groch, sophomore Classical Literature and Composition teacher, and Dominic Manna, a security guard at Pritzker, in the band room. They practice every Wednesday after school from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

As junior Steven Camey explained, “Beats is a club where people come together to have fun, play music, and make new friends.” They work together based on the instruments they know how to play and restructure the piece of music in their own way. “The best memory I have of Beats is the concert. We performed, and it was a rush. It was fun to see people dance to our music,” said Camey who has been in Beats since freshman year.

When they have practice, they listen to songs and their beats to imitate the sounds or add unique touches to the song. Then, they grab the instruments they know how to play and create their own version of the song.

Ingrid Pena, a junior, describes what Beats means to her: “Beats is a small club where everyone comes together to just jam out on music we all like. It is also a place where I can sing rock songs and jam out to them with my friends which is something that I really enjoy.” “My favorite memory is when I sang for the first time solo my freshman year. It was really nerve racking but most people enjoyed it,” Pena said. She has been in Beats since freshman year and “was the only girl there,” stated Pena.

Since it is the beginning of the year, they are barely starting to get used to the system and how they are going to work. Pena explained, “As of now we are not practicing anything, we are just experimenting parts of songs, especially Cumbia. On regular days, we focus on two or three songs and then we rehearse them a couple of times.”

As junior Veronica Campoverde stated, “I like that everyone is really close together and each member is really nice and welcoming. I also really like the fact that there’s more diverse music being played rather than typical music that’s usually on the radio.” “I joined Beats because I really enjoy playing music as well as singing, so Beats was a way for me to do it all at once,” Campoverde said.

This club was created in 2016-2017 by Groch. For beats, they receive .25 of enrichment credit each semester students continue in the club. Students do not need experience to join. Students see Beats as a time where they could spend it to distract themselves from the real world or learn to have better communication skills.