LITITZ, Pa. (WHTM) – Students in Rock Lititz’s Academy of Live Technology Program got a hands-on lesson in what it takes to make live entertainment magic. The program is part of a partnership with the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design.

“There’s a lot more behind the scenes than I ever thought there was and it’s all really cool stuff,” said transfer student Chavito Allen. “I didn’t realize how much collaboration that there is creating a stage and the mechanics and automation and bringing all of those parts together.”

Senior trainer Brian Leister showed students some of the equipment Columbus McKinnon Entertainment has to offer at Rock Lititz.

Rock Lititz is a world-renowned destination for A-List performers to rehearse and plan their elaborate shows. Leister says what the students see at Rock Lititz is exactly what they’d find at a venue.

“The structure that we have here is very representative of the entertainment industry as well,” said Leister.

Students split into teams and raced to complete the kind of basic set-up that live entertainment workers do every day.

“I’m super excited to one day get to work here and be in this environment,” said student Caroline Lumsden. “It’s absolutely buzzing with innovation and it’s just such a cool environment and cool place.”

Some of this equipment is brand new to these students, but it’s the very same stuff Rock Lititz uses when acts like Aerosmith and Taylor Swift come through.

“You can see some of the eyeballs light up because they are seeing that innovation of what their theatre program used versus what the concert touring uses,” said Rachel Hales, the experience manager for Rock Lititz.

If the goal was to inspire students for their futures, it couldn’t have been a bigger success.

“Man this place is amazing are you kidding me? They’re excited to get new students in. That’s something that has really stuck with me the entire day,” said Allen. “The fact that I keep on hearing ‘We want you here, we want to teach you things, we want to show you things’.”

These students are just beginning the Academy of Live Technology program. Their education will kick into high gear when a state-of-the-art facility opens next spring on the Rock Lititz campus.