Purdue Golden Girl auditions make spring debut April 12
Breaking with a fall audition tradition that dates back nearly 50 years, the 2003-04 Purdue Golden Girl, along with the Girl in Black and the Silver Twins, will be selected in the spring for the first time Saturday, April 12.
With the number of high school twirlers dwindling, Purdue found it needed to take the same step other universities with major marching band programs had already done, and move to spring auditions to have a better chance of attracting top talent.
According to Alisha Kuckartz, Auxiliary Director for the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, the move is already paying off. She expects the number of twirlers trying out for the top spots to more than double. A total of 17 women have committed to the April tryouts, coming to the campus from California, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin as well as Indiana. Last fall, there were six women competing for the top spots. Only the Golden Girl and Girl in Black twirling spots were filled. No one filled the Silver Twins position.
“It’s very exciting because the top of twirling at Purdue is enlivened because of the change,” Kuckartz says.
For the first time in more than a decade it’s also possible Purdue will have identical twins as Silver Twins. Two sisters from southern Indiana will be among those auditioning for that position, Kuckartz says. The Silver Twins were created in 1960 for identical twins Sharon and Karon Roeske, but over the years it’s become common for unrelated twirlers interested in the challenge of performing as a duo to hold the position.
As in the past, the public is welcome to attend the field auditions, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 12, at the band practice field on Third Street across from Shreve Hall. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to Lambert Fieldhouse.
Following the field auditions the panel of judges will have lunch with the twirlers, then conduct a series of personal interviews designed to judge the women’s ability to handle the public relations aspect of Purdue’s prestigious solo twirling positions.
A public announcement of the women selected for the 2003-04 Golden Girl, Girl in Black and Silver Twins will be made at 5:30 p.m. in Room 15 of Elliott Hall of Music.
To be considered for the top positions, the women have to apply and be accepted by the university. Kuckartz hopes twirlers not selected for the top positions will have a great experience and want to come back in the fall and audition for the twirling line, but says it’s important to offer them the option of going elsewhere.
“This gives high school girls committed to continuing their sport an opportunity to audition before they make a commitment to the university,” Kuckartz. She feels it may also result in the twirling line becoming more prestigious, because those auditioning in the fall are focused on being part of a team, instead of using that audition as a stepping-stone to a solo spot.
Four returning twirlers, including the 2002-03 Girl in Black Krista Woodward, will take part in the April 12 auditions. “Their attitude has impressed me. That they’re excited about the changes shows me their hearts are in the right place, and they’re really looking out for what’s best for the program,” Kuckartz says.