sealPurdue News

April 3, 2003

Purdue Golden Girl auditions make spring debut

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – 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 for the first time in spring on Saturday, April 12.

With the number of high school twirlers dwindling, Purdue Bands found it necessary to take the same step other universities with major marching band programs had already done by moving auditions to spring. The move provides Purdue a better chance of attracting top talent, says Alisha Kuckartz, auxiliary director for the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band.

Kuckartz says 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 so far committed to the April tryouts. They will be coming to campus from California, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as Indiana. Last fall six women competed for the top spots. Only the Golden Girl and Girl in Black twirling spots were filled.

Kuckartz says she is looking forward to the auditions.

"It's very exciting because twirling at Purdue is enlivened because of the change," she 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 Seymour, Ind., will be among those auditioning for that position. 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 performing as a duo to hold the positions.

As in the past, the public is welcome to attend the field auditions, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. 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, 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 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 Elliott Hall of Music, Room 15.

To be considered for the top positions, the women have to apply to, and be accepted by, the university. Kuckartz says she hopes twirlers not selected for the top positions will return in the fall to audition for the twirling line, but that it's important to offer them the option of going elsewhere.

"Spring auditions give high school girls committed to continuing their sport an opportunity to audition before they make a commitment to the university," Kuckartz says.

Kuckartz says she believes spring auditions 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.

CONTACT: Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations director, (765) 496-6785,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media interested in interviews should contact Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations director, at (765) 496-6785.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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