Build Your Musical Theatre Audition Song Repertoire

A Singer’s Musical Theatre Repertoire
Audition Song Preparation
Singers need to have a range of songs to choose from. In musical theatre, there are certain types of songs that you need to have at least one of in order to be ready for different types of auditions. This list is also useful if you are preparing a series of songs for a recital or other performance and would like to show a range of pieces. By preparing at least one ballad and one uptempo audition song in each of the following categories, you should be ready to perform at most musical theatre auditions on very short notice.
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Best of Broadway/Complete Words and Music for 80 Great Songs of the American Musical Theatre (253 Pages)
Broadway Ballads : Piano, Vocal, Guitar
Broadway Belter’s Songbook : Piano/Vocal
Broadway Jazz : Piano, Vocal, Guitar
Broadway Love Songs : Piano, Vocal, Guitar
Broadway Waltzes : Piano, Vocal, Guitar
The Great Lyricists of Broadway, Hollywood & Tin Pan Alley : Piano, Vocal, Guitar

1. 16 Bars (Both belt and head voice selections) Up-tempo, ballad

2. “Pick Hits” (A general audition or rep situation) Up-tempo, ballad

3. “Standard Legit Broadway”
(1950 – 1979: Kander & Ebb, Lerner & Loewe, Loesser, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Styne)

4. Early Broadway
(1920s – 1940s: Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers & Hart)

  • Knowing songs from musical theatre’s history adds range and flexibility to your repertoire. If you are auditioning for an “old” show, you need to have an audition song that matches that type of sound.
  • 50 Gershwin Classics

5. Contemporary
Contemporary (1980 – 1990s: Schwartz, Ahrens & Flaherty, Maltby & Shire), New Contemporary (2000s: La Chiusa, Jason Robert Brown)

6. Non Music Theatre Standards: Pop/Rock (current), Pop/Rock (50s), Country, Jazz/Blues

7. Operetta/Opera

8. Comic Song

9. Idiot-Proof Song (for horrible accompanists)

In very rare situations, the accompanist just isn’t very good. Find a song that is suitable for your voice but has a very simple accompaniment. Keep it on hand at auditions for emergencies, but be very careful how you use it. Never stop the accompanist after they have started playing and say you would like to do a different song because they aren’t playing well! Poor sight-reading skills do not justify rudeness. If you are going to make a switch, do it before you start. If you are not sure if you should make a switch, ask someone who has already had their audition. (Note: Never accompany yourself at an audition unless it has been advertised as being acceptable for that particular audition!)


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