The most important part of auditioning is taking a piece and making it your own. When looking for talent, directors don’t want to hear another rendition of something they have heard many times before; you need to make sure you stand out!
In musical theater, your song choice is usually dependent on the role for which you are auditioning. Many singers recommend avoiding songs from shows like Les Miserables and Wicked, as these are very common choices and tend to be overused; however, if you believe you can sing one of these audition songs very well, do not be afraid to use it!
Here are a few options for audition songs for altos that are bound to make an impression:
1. “I Want to Go to Hollywood” – Grand Hotel
The context of this song makes “I Want to Go to Hollywood” a good choice mainly for younger singers who want to show off their ability to reach the lower notes. It is best used for musical theater auditions requiring something a little more upbeat, and for anyone who feels jazz is their strong point.
2. “Somewhere” – West Side Story
Another one of the most popular audition songs for altos, “Somewhere” incorporates interpretation of lyrics into your audition. If you need to show your ability to both act and sing, this song is a great choice. It also includes a number of reasonably high notes, so is useful for showing off your ability to sing a wide range.
3. “I Can Hear the Bells” – Hairspray
I Can Hear the Bells should only be attempted by altos who are sure they have the ability to sing this reasonably challenging piece. When sung well, it can be the perfect choice for an up-tempo and jazzy audition.
4. “Another Night at Darryl’s” – Witches of Eastwick
“Another Night at Darryl’s” is made up entirely of notes that any alto should be able to easily reach, while at the same time shows off a wide range. This is an ideal choice for reflect your talent as an alto rather than falling into the common trap of singing something that is verging on soprano. Full of character, “Another Night at Darryl’s” is not very frequently used (nor are most other pieces from Witches of Eastwick), so it gives a good opportunity for you to “wow” your director!
5. “A Change in Me” – Beauty and the Beast
Although songs from Beauty and the Beast are frequently used in auditions, “A Change in Me” is not used as often. The song starts quite low but rises much higher near the end, so it’s perfect for showing off a good range.
6. Various gig songs
When looking for audition songs for altos for a gig, you may want to avoid musical theater songs. Some popular audition songs to consider include:
- “Here We Are” – Gloria Estefan
“Lithium,” “Good Enough” or “Lacrymosa” – Evanescence
“Close to You,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” or “Only Yesterday” – The Carpenters (great for lower altos)
- “The Power of Goodbye,” “Frozen,” or “Live to Tell” – Madonna