2023 Tiger Tunes hosts and hostesses open the Sept. 28 show. (photo by Sarah Dean)

New hosts and hostesses are selected for Tiger Tunes 2024, stepping up to the plate

February 22, 2024

By Sydni Whitfield, Staff Writer

This past Saturday, Ouachita Student Foundation (OSF) held auditions to select the 2024 Tiger Tunes hosts and hostesses. Students could also audition on Thursday for those whose schedules conflicted with the original date. 

“5 students auditioned on Thursday and 25 auditioned on Saturday. It was a large number, but everyone did great!” Jon Merryman, Director of OSF, said. 

Those vying for the role of a host had to be prepared to sing and dance on audition day. They come in prepared with a song, but the dance choreography is taught to them on the spot. 

“Auditions start with learning a dance created by out Tunes choreographer, Stacy Hawking, and taught this year by 2023 hostess, Brynn Clark,” Merryman said. “They then performed the dance in groups of three.” 

After the dance portion of the audition, students were given the opportunity to display their vocal abilities. 

“They perform an acapella selection they received before auditions. Later in the day, there are onstage performances that are open to the public where each person sings a 2-minute prepared song,” said Merryman. 

This year, OSF had nine judges from across campus and even out of state. The judges were searching for vocal talent, ability to move well, ability to blend and work with a group and good attitudes. Judges are also on the lookout for students who will represent Ouachita well. 

“The host auditions were so much fun! They always are,” Logan Babel, a 2022 host who is returning to the stage this year, said. “For people that don’t dance, the audition still ends up being a great experience. Everyone is trying to learn this choreography in a condensed time frame. I’ve spoken to many people that have said they never thought the dance would be fun, but they had a surprisingly good time.” 

Auditions can be a very intimidating process that can turn many aspiring performers away, but the support from fellow competitors was present.

“All in all, the audition experience is one you won’t forget. We’re all just there to have fun and showcase our love for music. No one is judgmental. We love and cheer each other on,” Babel said. 

Tiger Tunes season is very busy for hosts and hostesses. Hosts and hostesses will start practicing during WOW week of the Fall semester. 

Haley Shourd, a hostess from last year, is returning to the stage once again, but this year, as a director. 

“It’s exciting to know I will have a hand in leading all the practices and really making the group cohesive,” Shourd said. “Not just in the music, but also in our attitudes and making sure that we are keeping our main focus on the show and on the goal of Tiger Tunes: raising money for student scholarships.” 

Shourd notes that one of her main concerns, as director, will be on the hosts and hostesses and their health. 

“Last year, when I was a host, I lost my voice towards the start of performances. I would hit a note and my voice would crack. I had never had that happen before, but I had also never been in a situation where I would be singing so frequently either,” Said Shourd. “I think this year, one of my priorities will be checking in with everyone concerning vocal and mental health. You can work so hard leading up to the date of the performances, but if you do not have a voice, there is not much you can do.” 

Tiger Tunes is one of the most exciting experiences on campus and the hosts and hostesses play a huge role in providing a fun, exciting and musically delightful show for current students, alumni, families and the Arkadelphia community. 

“Being a host is a big job,” Shourd said, “but I think this group is really going to be able to step up to the plate and deliver wonderful performances.” 

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