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What Song Am I Going To Sing For My Audition?

Ever get stuck and stressed about what song to sing at your audition? Wouldn't it be good to have 7 different styles of songs ready for the audition season? Consider putting together a song book for the audition season and have a selection of songs in your audition book ready to go.

Choose songs that vary in genres and that are both up-tempo as well as ballads. Try to build a good mix of up-tempo and ballad songs.

Your song book should have your music printed double sided and in a binder for the ease of playing by the audition accompanist. ake sure your sheet music is in the key that you will be singing. Help your accompanist help you be successful in your audition.

Music Directors really like it when you sing a song style that they have requested in the audition requirements. Don't just sing your old standby. Be prepared and update your song lists ahead of time.

Have you ever been asked if you have another song to sing for the audition panel and then had to sing the scale because you didn't have another song? Being prepared means you can choose another song that you have practiced in your audition book and be confident singing it.

Most importantly, research the show, the character(s), and read the song requirements in the audition posting. Then pick a song that best showcases your voice and vocal range.

Here’s a breakdown of the types of songs you should have in your audition book:

1. Golden Age:

The Golden Age (anything from 1940 to the 1960s) is a musical era you must have in your book. Ideally, you’d have at least one Rodgers and Hammerstein song in there.

2. Jazz Standards (American Song Book)

For this genre, think of the tunes made famous by Frank Sinatra. Some examples could be, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” or, “It Might as Well Be Spring” from State Fair. It's a good idea to have a jazz standard in your book — or be prepared to do some major musical tweaking on the spot if you don’t.

3. Sondheim

Most people say to never sing Sondheim, but if you can handle his crazy rhythms and phrasings at the drop of a hat, you’ll be sure to impress the casting team. Examples; "Side by Side", Company, "No More" or "Stay With Me", Into the Woods, "Could I Leave You" Follies.

4. Rock Musical

This is what you need for shows like Rent, Rock of Ages, American Idiot, Spring Awakening and Jesus Christ Superstar. Examples, "River Deep, Mountain High", "Whattaya Want From Me", "The Edge of Glory".

5. Contemporary

Look for standalone cabaret songs, such as those from Jason Robert Brown, Goldrich and Heisler or Kerrigan and Lowdermilk. Some examples, "I'm Not Afraid of Anything" Songs for a New World, "This Is Not Over Yet" Parade or "Anyway" Tales From the Bad Years.

6. Pop

With more recording artists such as Sara Bareilles and Carole King dipping their toes into Broadway, it’s good to have a Top 40 song in your book.

7. Disney

Examples include songs from Mary Poppins, Newsies, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

8. A Few Overdone Musical Theater Audition Songs To Avoid

  • “I Dreamed a Dream” Les Misérables

  • “Let It Go” Frozen

  • “Tomorrow” Annie

  • “Gimme Gimme” Thoroughly Modern Millie

  • "Defying Gravity" Wicked

This is just a list to help you out with getting more variety in your audition song book. There are many other types of songs that would be great to have for an audition. Choose the ones that show off your voice within your range that you like to sing.

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