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Carnegie Hall Heroes: Joseph Scott

Carnegie Hall Heroes
Photo by Chris Lee

Joseph “Scooter” Scott, Stagehand

Though his formal name is Joseph Scott, everyone calls him “Scooter.” He’s a Carnegie Hall stagehand, and nothing happens without him and the Hall’s hard-working crew. The stagehands have a range of responsibilities that support production work in the building’s three concert halls—they move pianos, build sets and bleachers, deploy seating for orchestras, and set and operate audio equipment.

“The music is the favorite part of my job,” he says. “I used to be a bassist—I studied music and I love all kinds of music. After college, I wanted to form a band like The Crusaders, but I earned my living as an audio engineer. The love of music is really at the heart of who I am and what the job means to me.

“We show up at eight in the morning. We go to the truck, unload the stuff, and get it into the Hall. As we’re doing that, it’s our job to interface with the production crew and work out how to deploy the orchestra, if there is one. We set up the audio equipment next, the front-of-house sound if we’re recording, and a house mixing board if it’s needed.

“My best story involves Stewart Levine, the guy who produced The Crusaders. He produced one of my all-time favorite groups and he was associated with Hugh Masekela. Hugh was there performing, and Stewart had been in earlier for the sound-check. I told him how much I appreciated his work. And he said, ‘This is one of the best-sounding stages I’ve ever heard.’ To get a compliment like that from one of my musical heroes was incredible.”

This article first appeared in Carnegie Hall: 125 Years of an Iconic Music Venue’s Most Remarkable People and Memorable Events, available at carnegiehall.org/125th_Anniversary_Magazine.