Acting in Plays, Singing/The Wiz audition song!
Hi Sean, my name is Parker(17 years old). At the end of the year, I'm auditioning for the Lion in The Wiz and was hoping you could help me find a song that fits perfectly for the character and style of the play. I'm a bass/baritone. Hope you had a nice holiday! Thanks so much!
Hi, Parker –
Thank you for the question.
I'm going to assume you've been singing along with Ted Ross from both the Original Broadway Cast recording and the film soundtrack. If so, then you are the best judge if your bass/baritone range can sustain all the demands in the upper register. Technically, the role of the Lion in THE WIZ sits on the high baritone side. The vocal range extends from Low G to High G and some riffing on up to High B-flat. Obviously the style is in the mode of Pop music from the '70s and not that of Rodgers and Hammerstein. For example, his song "Mean Ole Lion" is extremely energetic with lots of belt action happening between High G and the B-natural below it.
Professional audition notices want the singers to demonstrate standard R&B and Gospel. Add Funk and Soul to that list. If you have that leeway, then consider some of the best songs from such artists as Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Gnarls Barkley, and Marvin Gaye. Check out the titles below on Youtube. Click on the URLs to find the sheet music on-line. Notice that the keys can be can be transposed to reflect the range of The Lion:
Dancing On The Ceiling
I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Whatever you choose, push the agenda of The Lion and the expected vocal style through your material and presentation.
I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm also an entertainment critic for HuffingtonPost.com – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield
and Classical music reviewer for Examiner.com – http://www.examiner.com/user/4557381/articles
. When you're ready to come to San Francisco for vocal coaching, contact me at: Broadwaybelters@yahoo.com
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