Denver Nuggets’ Sky-line Drumline hold annual auditions for 2019-20 season

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer

On Saturday afternoon, hopefuls arrived at Pepsi Center in order to secure one of the open spots on the Denver Nuggets’ Sky-line Drumline for the 2019-20 season. Before the auditions were underway, Sky-line Drumline manager Chris Dighero said the group was looking for about 20-25 people but pointed out the open spots can range from 5-7, depending on the number of people that audition and everyone's availability.

The audition consisted of a solo performance, a group performance and one-on-one interviews with new applicants. Participants were provided sheet music they had to memorized and perform in front of judges Saturday.

"Things went as I expected,” said David, a first-time applicant in the process. “Everyone was very nice and encouraging." While David certainly has the musical background that was expected from the judges, if he is selected for the 2019-20 Sky-line Drumline roster, it would be his first professional opportunity. "I was in drumline in high school and played a little in college,” David said. “I also helped coach it a little bit in high school.”

Another first-time applicant was Miranda, who said she got involved in percussion in high school, but her interest and passion for music in general began well before then. "The auditions were fun,” Miranda said. “I got to play with some people that I've known for years. I liked the energy."

As Dighero emphasized before the auditions, the judges weren’t simply focused on an applicant’s musical background and technical skills.

“What we're looking for is a musician that brings a lot of energy,” Dighero said. “In the Drumline world, it's typically about how many notes you can play and how well you can play them. We are looking for that but we're looking for individuals that are going to be fun to watch for the fans at Pepsi Center."

Energy is exactly what drew Miranda to the auditions. After taking a break from drumlines and music over the past couple of years, she is eager to rejoin a drumline and feed off of that energy.

"It would mean a lot (to make Sky-line Drumline),” Miranda said. “I crave that camaraderie you get in a drumline. You feed off each other and have a great time together. To be able to attend the games and be part of the hype, that would mean a lot."

David also expressed his desire to make strong connections with Drumline members and share in a fun experience and atmosphere. "It would mean a lot (to make Sky-line Drumline),” he said following the auditions. “It seems like a great opportunity, a lot of fun and the people really seem awesome, so it would be great to make some new friends in the process."

The auditions can be a tense time for applicants, but also test Drumline staff behind-the-scenes.

"There's a lot of planning that goes into this behind-the-scenes from myself and the game entertainment staff,” Dighero revealed. “Just making sure that we have the timeline finalized, making sure people know where to go and be at the right times. As a result, It's really a smooth-running process, especially because the people coming in usually know how to drum and know how it works.”

After applicants participated in the audition process for several hours on Saturday, now comes another tense time: waiting for the call. While the exact number of open spots hasn’t been decided, participants like David and Miranda are eager to join a professional drumline in order to build rapport with team members and thrive in the fast-paced, energetic setting during Nuggets games.

It’s safe to say there are plenty of others hoping for the same opportunity to energize and entertain Nuggets fans throughout the 2019-20 season.


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