Clarinetist Katie Worden on celebrities at the 500
The Indianapolis 500 is one of the longest running traditions in the Purdue "All-American" Band. But it is more than just playing for Jim Nabors, and Florence Henderson as they sing "Back Home Again in Indiana " and "God Bless America ."
There is an added bonus: you get to see very remarkable people. This year I had the pleasure of meeting two wonderful people. I met and talked with Colin Powell, former Secretary of Defense. That was a real treat. But being a Film Studies major here at Purdue, I found my encounter with Academy Award winning actor Russell Crowe to be the highlight of my day. I was able to talk to him and compliment his various performances. I was even able to have my picture taken with him.
Many other celebrities come to the Indianapolis 500. Over the years I've performed there, I have had the pleasure seeing Carol Burnett, Montel Williams, Patrick Dempsey, The Teutul's from American Choppers , Christopher McDonald, whom you might know as Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore, Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition , Bryan Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, and many more.
It is always a great time at the Indianapolis 500, we perform on national television, we represent Purdue University at one of the biggest events in not only the state but in the country as well. We get to watch the race, and march on the track, as well as meet, as you can see, a whole lot of celebrities. The atmosphere of race day alone is enough to get you excited about the forthcoming events. All the other things are just added bonuses.
-By Senior Katie Worden
Assistant Section Leader, AAMB Clarinets