Audition Songs for Altos

Are you planning on pursuing your dreams to become a musical theater actor, but you have no idea what songs you should perform during the tryout? Maybe these suggestions for audition songs for altos might help.

If you have an alto singing voice, you are probably having a hard time finding songs that suit your voice. However, the search will be worth it in the end. If you can find a piece that fits within your vocal range, not only will you hit all the notes correctly, but you will also gain more confidence because you know you can knock it out of the park.

Here’s a list of the best audition songs for altos:

  1. A Change in Me – Beauty and the Beast
  2. Somewhere – West Side Story
  3. I Want to Go to Hollywood
  4. I Can Hear the Bells – Hairspray
  5. Another Night at Darryl’s – Witches of Eastwick

Read on to learn more about the best audition songs for altos and how to choose the one that is right for you.

About Audition Songs for Altos

Audition Songs for Altos

If you are an alto, you probably already know the importance of choosing songs meant for your vocal range. If you find the right alto song for you, you can perform using your full potential. Now, the probable reason why you are having problems picking a song is that you miscategorize yourself.

Even the literal meaning of the word is misleading. The Italian word “alto” came from the Latin word “altus,” which means high. Here is the most confusing thing. You may be thinking that this refers to the highest tone that you can sing. This is not necessarily true.

For females, the alto voice is the lowest that they can sing. Meanwhile, for men, it is the highest. If you are a beginner at singing, you also have to consider your gender. The reason is that the terms usually mean different things depending on whether you are a male or female.

If you are sure that you are an alto, start creating a list of songs you can choose from. Make sure to choose songs you are fairly comfortable singing. If you are struggling to sing a particular song, then it might not be suitable for you.

Do you still find it hard to find the best audition songs for altos? Then the list of popular audition songs for altos in the next section may help.

List of Audition Songs for Altos

Here are a couple of good audition songs for altos that you might want to include in your repertoire. Just make sure to study and practice whatever you choose. That way, you can give it your absolute best during the audition:

1. A Change in Me – Beauty and the Beast

Songs from Beauty and the Beast are typical mainstays of musical auditions. However, this song is not as popular as the rest, so you can still stand apart. This song can show your range because it starts on a low note and finishes a bit higher.

2. Somewhere – West Side Story

This song can show your range as an alto singer. The good news is that there are also parts of the song with some reasonably high notes. This is a good thing as it can show off your entire range.

3. I Want to Go to Hollywood – Grand Hotel

This is a good song choice, especially for younger performers who like to showcase their talents to hit even the lower notes. This is best if you are auditioning for a show that is a bit on the upbeat side. If you are more inclined to jazz, then this is for you.

4. I Can Hear the Bells – Hairspray

This is a rather challenging song, so only attempt it if you are confident that you can crush it. If you can sing it well, it’s the perfect audition piece for a show with a jazzy and up-tempo side.

5. Another Night at Darryl’s – Witches of Eastwick

This song consists of notes that all alto singers can reach easily while demonstrating their wide vocal range. Moreover, this is not a common song used for auditions. You will, therefore, have a better chance of wowing the judges and standing out from the rest.

Tips for Choosing the Best Audition Songs for Altos

classical audition songs for altos

1. Pick a Song That You Can Sing Relatively Easy

If you struggle singing your favorite song, practice will not be enough to get you to the level of professional singers with the right vocal range for it. This means if you are an alto, pick a song that falls within your vocal range. Aside from being easier on you, it will not also cause too much strain on your voice.

2. Pick a Song That Is Not Quite Popular

One way to stand out from other performers is to sing a song that is not mainstream. Avoid choosing a popular mainstream tune for your audition song as much as possible. The reason is that the judges may have already heard countless renditions of it. This will make the judges compare your rendition with the others they have already heard.

3. Choose a Song That Fits the Show You’re Auditioning For

You should thoroughly review the audition notes for important information that can help you breeze through the process. One crucial thing to check is if the judges are looking for someone to sing certain songs. For instance, if you audition for a jazz musical, pick a piece that falls into the genre.

4. You Don’t Need to Sing the Whole Song

The worst thing you can do during an audition is to waste the judges’ time literally. If the audition notes state that you prepare 16 to 32 bars of a song, try your best to stick with it. You also need to take into consideration where you will cut the song. Make sure to cut it at a reasonable part but avoid doing it abruptly.

Also, keep in mind that you also do not need to stick to the 32-bar limit. You can go beyond it a bit. The judges will not be reading your sheet music anyway. The best thing to do is to time your song. For instance, a 16-bar cut could last between 30 to 45 seconds. Meanwhile, a 32-bar cut should last no more than a minute and a half.

Tips for Preparing for Your Audition

best audition songs for altos

If you have been called for an audition, then try your best to stand out with these tips:

1. Dress Accordingly

An audition is just another form of a job interview, so treat it as such and dress appropriately. You do not need to come in wearing a suit. However, you should also avoid dressing up like you will be hanging out with friends.

Women should typically wear a dress and shoes that complement each other. Also, do not wear chunky heels as they don’t do your legs any favors. Keep in mind that the casting judges will also judge you on how you will look on stage. That said, try to look your best.

You can also dress up for the role that you are trying out for. If you are auditioning for a female role for “Man of La Mancha,” wear something a bit more risqué than what you usually wear. The reason is that women in the show are supposed to be all provocative. However, do not go too far that your attire becomes too distracting.

2. Bring the Right Material

The casting notice that you got should state the kinds of songs that casting directors are looking for. However, it will still be up to you to bring the right material. This can be a bit tricky. Even seasoned performers can botch an audition because they did not bring the right material.

3. Bring Something Extra

It is not a good idea to bring one song with you to an audition. You have to bring a repertoire. If possible, bring an entire book of sheet music of all the songs you have mastered.

Even if the casting notice says you only need to bring one or two songs, bring your entire binder. It is better to use a binder so that the accompanying musician can easily turn the pages.

The casting directors may not feel your choice of songs. However, if they kind of like how you sing, they will ask for another song. Having extra songs will give you a chance to wow the directors and secure the role.

4. Perform Honestly

A musical theater may be a monologue set to a musical score. However, the casting directors also want to see if you can give the character you are auditioning for justice. Concentrate on how the character should sing and what message you want to convey.

However, you should sing honestly. Do not try too hard, as you will risk sounding phony. Still, avoid holding back too much as you might sound lacking in passion. Find your happy medium.

On the other hand, there are times when it is good to go against the grain. Use your judgment on when you should pick a not-so-obvious song choice. There are times when the casting director would request you to sing songs from other genres.

5. Talk to the Accompaniment Musician

Aside from the pleasantries, have a short chat with the accompanist to ensure you are both on the same wavelength. Indicate in your sheet music where the musician should begin and end.

When you are speaking with the pianist/accompaniment, talk using their language. Don’t just say that you will start here and finish there. Be more specific and say which measures you want them to start and stop. Make sure that your accompaniment understands, as this would affect your chances of getting cut.

After the audition, always thank the accompanist and never blame them if you mess up. Even if you feel like they did not keep up with your tempo, never snap your fingers at them to go faster. Most musicians would take offense to that. You wouldn’t criticize another professional’s work in their workplace, especially since you are not working there.

6. Learn to Go with the Flow

Rarely do musical theatre auditions go according to a set number of steps. This means you must be prepared for the unexpected. When the unexpected does come, you should not let it throw you off your game. Although you must follow the audition notice, there will always be an off-chance that the casting directors would throw you a curveball.

If you audition for a role in a comedy musical, the directors might ask you to deliver a joke. This is to test your comedic timing. When that happens, carry on with their suggestions without missing a beat. Do not let it faze you, too.

Once the audition is over, thank the directors and leave. There should be no small talk, no brown-nosing, no complaining, and no excuses. If you feel like you messed up, let it go and walk out the door. You will only be pointing out your mistakes to the judges.

Once you go out the door, forget about the audition and continue with the rest of your life. If you did mess up your audition, do not dwell on your mistakes. Learn from them so you can improve yourself.

Conclusion – Audition Songs for Altos

It can be quite hard to find audition songs that suit your voice if you are an alto. However, note that they are out there. You will be glad that you put in the extra effort in the end.

If you find audition songs that fit perfectly within your vocal range, you will likely hit all the notes. Moreover, they will give you a huge boost in confidence whenever you are auditioning.

Armed with the right songs and attitude, you can breeze through all auditions, whether it’s for musical theater or otherwise. It could also help you land most of the roles you targeted. Yes, it can be challenging being an alto, but you can make it work.

Again, here are some of the best audition songs for altos:

  1. A Change in Me – Beauty and the Beast
  2. Somewhere – West Side Story
  3. I Want to Go to Hollywood
  4. I Can Hear the Bells – Hairspray
  5. Another Night at Darryl’s – Witches of Eastwick

Related reading:

10 Best Songs for Altos

Best Karaoke Songs for Alto Females [19 Songs]