John Legend's music manager talks with Springfield-area high school students at the Rose Music Center on Monday night before John Legend took the stage. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees
Photo: Ty Greenlees

These lucky local kids got a behind-the-scenes look at John Legend’s concert

John Legend’s cameraman was a little envious of the small band of Springfield-area high school students on the stage of the Rose Music Center on Monday evening. 

“I wish I had this when I was in high school,” Sam DiCarlo, also an LED tech, said with a smile. “I am jealous they get to do this.”

About 10 students active in YOUmedia Learning Lab at the Springfield Center of Innovation: The Dome got a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of Legend’s Darkness and Light Tour at the Huber Heights venue.

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They learned about a range of fields from lighting to music directions. 

Amy Stacy, a program manager at the Springfield City School District, said the district aims to immerse students in experiences and encourage them to dive deep.

“We are trying to offer additional career opportunities to explore,” she said. “They are exploring their interest, what drives them. And because of that they are engaged.”

Springfield-area high school students listen to a video technician describe the panels that make up a giant stage display at the Rose Music Center on Monday night before John Legend took the stage. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

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The experience was right up Springfield High School senior Tadareus Patterson’s alley. 

Patterson already has a video company and wants to pursue camera work as a career.  

“It’s a different point of view,” he said of the experience. “When you see things like this (the tour), you want to know how it is executed.”  

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Eugene “Man-Man” Roberts, a keyboard player and Legend’s music director for nearly a decade, said he’d like to see more tours offer students such experiences. 

“This could be the start of something great, and I hope others adopt it,” he said after explaining part of his role to Patterson and other students. 

Roberts said Legend and his team love to give back.

“We want to give them as much knowledge and wisdom as possible,” he said when asked what he hopes the students gain from the experience.

>> PHOTOS: Springfield students learn backstage with John Legend crew

Mustafa Haleem, a Global Impact STEM Academy senior interested in topics ranging from video to electronics, enjoyed the experience. 

Darius Watkins, left, and Tadareus Patterson check out their selfie photos onstage at the Rose Music Center on Monday night before John Legend took the stage. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

“It is just cool to see real people doing what I want to do,” he said.  

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Beth Lenz, a recent Global Impact Stem Academy graduate, quoted a line from Broadway hit Hamilton when asked why she was interested in how shows are produced.

“I want to be in the room where it happens,” Lenz, already a board operator at the Springfield City School District's John Legend Theater, said. 

She was impressed with what she saw Monday.

“It’s been really cool. I’ve never seen lighting or equipment on this scale,” Lenz said. 

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