Advice on vocal auditions?

<p>I'm a rising senior preparing for vocal auditions in the coming fall/winter, and I need some help with the selection of my audition material. I know most schools will be looking for at least one classical song in a foreign language and one in English. Other than that, what does admissions look for? Slow, fast, etc.? Something that exhibits range well? (I am an alto but can sing all of the tenor range and all of the soprano range.) Are there certain pieces that are overdone and they just hate to hear?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>ccharisma, each school will specify their audition requirements. The range of requirements varies greatly depend on where you want to go and if you are preparing for music ed or vocal performance. Each school will have their audition requirements posted on their web page. If next year's aren't there yet, check last year's. They do not usually vary much. </p>

<p>You previously indicated that you do not have a private teacher. Anywhere that requires pre-screening is someplace where you will most likely be up against competition that has been studying for several years with private teachers. Try some universities where the school of music is not at the conservatory level. We looked at the University of South Carolina. Their audition was not as rigorous, only requesting one foreign language piece and the English piece could be one from musical theater. Each state most likely has a university with a similar program. </p>

<p>Have you studied any songs in a foreign language yet? Unlike musical theatre auditions, you do not really have to worry about over done songs. As a matter of fact the audition panelists almost expect you to be doing standard pieces as a part of your studies. As to range or other characteristics, you should select songs that show you to the best of your ability, with musicality. This really is a time to have a private teacher and you should look for one, even if you have to travel a bit to get to one. A teacher can help select songs that suit your voice and will audition well. Perhaps your choral director knows someone or is there a choir director at a nearby church that could help. </p>

<p>Good luck, this is a tough time even with the support of a good teacher.</p>

<p>Keep it simple. They want to hear what you CAN do, not what you CAN'T do A good bet is to pick from the standard rep Schirmer's 24 Italian Art Songs. Amazon.com:</a> 24 Italian Songs and Arias - Medium High Voice (Book/CD): Medium High Voice - Book/CD (Vocal Collection) (0073999815924): Hal Leonard Corp.: Books</p>

<p>Be sure and have someone help you on your diction. And do try and seek out professional voice teacher.</p>

<p>Depending on where you apply, you may be recording a prescreening CD/DVD. Be sure your first song is your strongest piece. Most panels do not listen to your whole CD. In fact, most listen 2 minutes or less. You will find a lot of info on CC about prescreening CDs. You are right to be looking at repertoire requirements NOW. I second the recommendation about finding a teacher. Diction, breath and technique are important at this stage of the game in addition to repertoire. You'll be surprised to find good teachers in even the smallest of towns. Ask a t a local university, your accompanist, your church, maybe you have a performing arts groups or a theatre in your town. Those people tend to know. See if you have a Music Club in your town - typically they are made up of accompanists, voice teachers, strings and percussionist performers. You can go on the National Federation of Music Clubs website and see if you have a local group that is affiliated.</p>

<p>Charisma - Don't sing a tenor piece! Contralto piece, yes - tenor, no. Most vocal instructors feel that a female voice should be singing female pieces - period. It has to do with quality as opposed to range. I'm not sure where you live, but there may still be time to get into a summer camp - you need someone to hear your voice. I recently assisted at a competition (more pop than classical - my D did NOT compete in it), and it was instantly apparent who had training and who didn't. Yes, there were a few diamonds in the rough, and a few that had more training than talent, but by and large - the training and work were definitely positives in the outcome.</p>

<p>Thanks everybody. I should mention that though I don't have a private teacher (the selection is very limited in my city), my choral director at school has been very good about teaching us proper diction, breathing, etc. though there's always room to improve!</p>

<p>Singersmom07: I've done a few foreign songs- mostly Latin and Italian. Will it matter if I haven't studied other languages (e.g., French or German) at this point? Also, about how long should each piece be? I've looked at the audition requirements for a few schools, but the guidelines are not particularly specific. I imagine the auditions would be rather short, for efficiency's sake.</p>

<p>musicamusica: Thanks! Do you know any sources for classical English songs? Are there any songs that a singer just absolutely should know?</p>

<p>Agree with musicamusica for Schirmer's 24 Italian Art Songs for your Italian. English composers can come from Barber, Copland, Gordon (Ricky Ian), Ives, Quilter, Rorem, Bernstein, Britten, Musto, Bolcom, Argento, Finzi, Gurney, Warlock, Vaughan Williams. If you only need one foreign and one English that should give you a list. DD really liked Quilter for her auditions. She does a lot of Rorem now. Since you have not done any other language it may be hard to pick it up with correct diction. Does your chorus do any German or French that your teacher could help out with for a song from composers such as Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Strauss, Mahler, Duparc, Faure, Chausson, Debussy, Poulenc? Select contrasting styles or tempos.</p>

<p>Depending upon the school they will specify their requirements. But generally they require and art song in italian, german, french and english. You can't go wrong with the 24 italian art song book, however if you were sitting in and evaluating auditions all day, would you really want to hear 30 renditions of Caro mio ben? I doubt it.
For diction purposes you can get some books that come with a diction cd from sheetmusicplus.</p>

<p>It will generally be on Italian piece, one German or French, and one English. If you let us know the schools you're applying to, we can actually look up the sites for you and tell you specifically what they want. Or you can do it yourself, by going to the college website and looking it up.</p>