DJ Troyer builds an entertainment empire

By on December 23, 2014

The man behind the Lititz bar scene soundtrack

Sometimes music is simply background noise, helping to blend chatter, laughter and the clinking of glasses into one welcoming sound of a night out at the bar. But on certain nights in Lititz, at establishments such as La Piazza, the Parkview Hotel, and the Hideaway, music comes from the DJs of L and B Entertainment at the request of the locals.

Luke Troyer likes to sing, and this led him to go to karaoke as many nights as he could. After watching the DJs, “I figured, I could do this,” said Troyer. “I just enjoy it.”

Dan Allia celebrates his birthday Dec. 18 with a special serenade for the Parkview crowd. (Photos by Lenay Ruhl)

Dan Allia celebrates his birthday Dec. 18 with a special serenade for the Parkview crowd. (Photos by Lenay Ruhl)

So, eight years ago he approached Oliver Hetrich III, owner of the Hideaway in Lititz, and asked him if he could DJ there.

“He gave me my start,” said Troyer. Four years after starting out, Brandon Heuyard joined him and they started L and B Entertainment. Now, with the help of Dan Allia and Rob O’Brien, they DJ almost every night of the week in Lititz and surrounding areas.

Prior to taking this on full-time he worked at Mervin Zimmerman plumbing. Within six months of starting, he was DJ’ing four nights a week. “It was too much doing that and getting up for work at 7 a.m.,” said Troyer.

At the Parkview on Thursday, Dec. 18 for karaoke night, Troyer set up at 10 p.m. and started playing music. He knows what different people normally request, and that’s how he decides what songs to play. Throughout the night, different patrons come up to request songs, sign up for karaoke or just to chat and say hi. He isn’t just the DJ, he’s part of the Thursday crowd. A 1999 Warwick graduate, Troyer has lived in Lititz since elementary school.

A family man, Troyer is married to Miranda Troyer, who occasionally bartends at the Parkview. Miranda doesn’t get to join her husband much while he’s working, because the couple has two daughters at home. One attends John Beck Elementary and the other is at Warwick Middle School. Both of the girls are cheerleaders, and this keeps Troyer and Miranda busy in the fall.

Ironically, Troyer doesn’t listen to much music beyond changing stations while he’s in his car. “At the end of the night I’m excited for just quiet,” he said.

Over the past two years Troyer has noticed an increase in country music song requests. “I think country music has changed quite a bit,” he said. “There’s a lot of fun country songs.”

Angie Green, better known as “Stevie” at karaoke night, sings one of her Stevie Nicks standards along with her backup singers, Lorelei Risser and Brooke Mitchell, at the Parkview Hotel in downtown Lititz. Running the show is DJ Luke Troyer (right).

Angie Green, better known as “Stevie” at karaoke night, sings one of her Stevie Nicks standards along with her backup singers, Lorelei Risser and Brooke Mitchell, at the Parkview Hotel in downtown Lititz. Running the show is DJ Luke Troyer (right).

There are also a lot of fun karaoke stars in Lititz. At the Parkview on Thursday, a variety of songs were performed from Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools” to “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger, and even a throwback to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, sang by Angie Green. “They call me Stevie here,” she said of her fellow Parkview patrons.

When there is a gap in karaoke requests, Troyer sings himself. “It’s one of the reasons why I started,” said Troyer of his love to sing. “I just like fun, upbeat music.”

In Troyer’s opinion, he would say the star karaoke singer in Lititz is Rob O’Brien, as far as voices go. If the vote was based on overall performance and singing ability, his most memorable would be Zach Landis, who he doesn’t see out much anymore. Troyer said that Landis puts on a performance and he can sing. “He’s broken at least two chairs in here,” said Troyer.

Some song requests he dreads are “Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. He said it is always at the end of the night when people want to do it. “It’s a slow, terrible song for the end of the night,” he said. Another one is “Picture” by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.

Some people request the same song every week. Troyer said he often thinks to himself, “I think you need to find a new song.”

Jahod Hill at the mic.

Jahod Hill at the mic.

According to Troyer, all of the bars have the same level of rowdiness, it just increases depending on the night and who’s out. He observes a lot as he’s working, maybe even more than the bartenders do. His favorite thing to watch unfold is when people are trying to be sneaky. They’re sitting together all night, and then they will say goodbye as if they are leaving separately. One will leave out one door, and a few minutes later the other will go out a different door. “But it’s obvious,” said Troyer.

Heuyard and Troyer also DJ weddings together, which is one of the main reasons Troyer brought Heuyard on board with him. He’s seen too many weddings turn chaotic with one DJ trying to do everything. With the two of them, they keep things flowing. Heuyard is the one who added La Piazza to their work list.

L and B Entertainment recently started doing trivia. Troyer has a lot of fun with this because it’s something different. They use Cheaters Never Prosper, a local entertainment company, for their questions. Parkview patron Lorelei Risser really enjoys trivia on Wednesdays. “It’s silent, like we’re studying,” she said.

Although Troyer hoped when he first started that it would eventually turn into a full-time gig, he never went out of his way to get big. He has gotten most of his jobs through word-of-mouth. They currently have Tuesday Trivia at Jack’s Family Tavern and Restaurant in Millersville, Wednesday trivia at the Parkview followed by DJ and karaoke at the Hideaway. Thursdays are karaoke at the Parkview, Friday DJ at the Amvets in Ephrata and La Piazza in Lititz. Saturdays, between three DJs, they are at the Parkview, Hideaway and Cheers in Manheim. They were occasionally working at the VFW in Lititz as well.

“This is our territory,” said Troyer. “We just have some nice places to work at.”

Lenay Ruhl is a freelance entertainment feature writer for the Record Express. She’s a Warwick grad, went to college in Florida, and recently returned to her hometown. She welcomes your questions and comments at lenay.ruhl@gmail.com.

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