Josh Garrels and John Mark McMillian were all over my Snapchat and Instagram feed on that Saturday night of Jan. 31. And now that most of the Pres Ball talk is over, Lecrae is all I hear talked about. Of course, I have heard of Lecrae and Josh Garrels — most people have, especially at Wheaton.
But how did we get them to come to us? Well, it’s no big surprise that our College Union is behind it, and in particular — Larryon Truman. He is the man who gets these big-name artists to come to a 2,400-student college in Wheaton, Illinois.
While setting up for our interview, Truman was still completing tasks and finishing errands — the duties of the concert manager for College Union. As he described his job to me, he told me about the 50 or more people he will be in charge of on the day of a concert that CU is hosting. Truman will direct the concert committee which consists of a number of members including a stage manager, those in charge of tickets and the press box office, security, runners, ushers, and merchandise crews. Truman’s primary job when not running around and sorting things out in preparation for the big day, is looking for potential shows and reaching out to musicians.
His job seems pretty awesome. When I asked what his favorite part of the job was, I expected him to say that it was being in contact and getting to know musicians personally. But Truman said that his favorite part of being the concert manager was being able to carry out part of CU’s mission statement by energizing the campus community. “I really enjoy orchestrating what goes on behind the scenes for making a concert amazing,” he said. “Those memories will be held and remembered forever by everyone there and I got to be a part of why that happened.”
But it’s not always easy. Wheaton’s CU tried to get in contact with Lecrae for seven years before they finally got through — so you could imagine the excitement when he finally got through.
Putting on shows in order to energize the campus community is what CU concert manager Truman lives for, but almost equally as real is the stress from not having shows lined up. This was Truman’s worry last semester. He had no planned shows for second semester. But suddenly, he had the Revelators tour and Lecrae booked to come to Wheaton — all in the span of one week. That week, Truman said, was the most exciting moment of his job thus far.
With the excitement also comes a comparable level of difficulty. Truman told The Record that sometimes because of it is his first year as concert manager, it’s hard to always feel “adequate or prepared.”
He said, “Sometimes we feel like we don’t know what’s going on.” But he and his team are always learning.
Truman lastly added how this year has been one of the best for student turnouts within college hosted concerts and is excited to see Edman Chapel packed for Lecrae. Truman expressed his excitement for Lecrae’s event and encouraged students to be there so they can experience a glimpse of this energized campus community on Feb. 19.