The University’s own rhythmic renaissance group, Groove,
packs a high energy sonic punch. The STOMP-esque group wields an
array of percussive artillery, banging garbage cans to sawing wood.
It combines a little music and a lot of creativity with extra
emphasis on rhythm.
Engineering senior Lev Gartman gave birth to Groove a year ago.
“I knew there would be a market for it in college,”
Gartman said. He credits its booming popularity to its
accessibility regardless of musical knowledge. “There’s
so much diversity in the songs that there’s a role for
everyone,” he adds.
A program played at the League Underground on Oct. 29
highlighted Groove’s diversity. The group opened with a
clapping routine that turned audience applause into a regular beat
machine. It then followed with a carpentry skit in which saw,
hammer and drill turned into musical instruments. Later, it added a
dance routine with puppets, continued with a beer bottle rendition
of “2001 A Space Odyssey” and finished with a trash can
Since its inception, Groove has ballooned from two interested
members in 2003 to more than 32 musicians who give up more than
eight hours to rehearsal each week. The biggest problem, Gartman
explains without losing his smile, is discipline: “These kids
just have too much fun.”
Though the nature of the performance often seems childish, it
never sacrifices the professionalism of its sound.
“Surprisingly, everyone does come together” Gartman
Next year, Gartman will be moving on, having accepted an
internship position from none other than STOMP. As for Groove,
Engineering and Music student Mark Swiderski will take over as
“conductor of soul.” Gartman hopes to nurture Groove to
a point where he can return in 20 years and attend a performance.
He wants the group to eventually expand outside the University and
into elementary schools, high schools or even a wedding or two.
“My biggest rule of thumb,” Gartman adds, “is to
never rule anything out.”