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QUESTION: Okay, I'm sorry this is kind of a long question. Coming up soon is an audition for the high school I'm going to's theatre program. I also have an audition for a school musical. This is kind of a two part question. First, I was wondering if you could think of any good websites to find two monologues (have to be from a play and under 5 minutes). The second part has to do with the song. For my audition, I need a piece of a song that is from either from a Disney or Broadway song. I'm trying to find a song that is unique enough that the judges won't hear it a bunch of times throughout the auditions, and shows off a large range. I'm pretty sure that's how you word it. At the risk of sounding "not so smart", I mean, from my vocal group I can sing both very high and low comfortably.

ANSWER: Hi, Megan –

Thank you for the question and all the surrounding information.

Unless I'm a consultant on the audition panel for a specific Disney production, I don't want to hear a Disney song for a non-Disney show. Nevertheless, if you are required to prepare Disney material, then choose your favorite song and have it printed-out in the key that will work best for your voice. For example, "Colors of the Wind" from POCAHONTAS. Click on the web site below to find the sheet music to the "Pop Version". You can only see the first page. Notice the options to change the key. Once you're at this site, search on the Disney song titles that appeal to you.

Colors of the Wind:
http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtdFPE.asp?ppn=MN0056946&

High school musical auditions have much in common with professional auditions. It starts with the right voice for each character and ensemble position. Sopranos sing soprano roles, baritones sing baritone roles, etc.

I don't know what you mean by "very high and very low". How high? How low? On your professional résumé you must state your vocal category, i.e., soprano, mezzo soprano, etc., and the specific notes of your vocal range. In the world of Broadway musicals, as with opera, roles are written for specific voice types. You will be competing against theatrical singers who can hit the back wall without a microphone and present material that reflects the vocal requirements of the role they want or the section of the ensemble that suits their voice, i.e., Alto.

My job as a professional vocal coach is to identify your true vocal category and to train you accordingly. Then it's about helping you with your chosen or assigned material.

What show are you auditioning for? It is generally understood that you not present a song from that show. Whenever possible, it's always a good idea to choose another song from another show by the same composer. If it's a show by Stephen Sondheim, then sing a Sondheim song that appeals to you and reflects the vocal range and demands of the character you want. Again, you can sing anything you want. Just be sure it's in the key that works best for you.

It is not unusual to read audition notices which specifically state to NOT sing anything by Webber, anything from WICKED, anything from LES MIZ. And there's a reason. They're sick of it.

Don't worry about finding something "unique". That song doesn't exist. If we've never heard it or are totally unfamiliar with it – there's a reason. It didn't sell then, it won't sell now.

Post another question. Tell me the name of the show and be specific about your vocal category and range. I will get back to you with some song choices.

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

Check out my web site: http://FabulousFilmSongs.com

See my recent interview with popular TV host, David Perry, on "Ten Percent":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKeeTYTYMAI

Below are links to my articles and youtubes on the San Francisco Bay Area entertainment and cultural scene:

"Christmas Holiday" – at the Deanna Durbin Festival, Stanford Theatre, 12/21-23
http://www.examiner.com/article/christmas-holiday-at-the-deanna-durbin-festival-

In Conversation with Peter Gallagher – Coming to the Venetian Room
http://www.examiner.com/article/in-conversation-with-peter-gallagher-coming-sund

Melody Moore steps into Tosca — Opening Night at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tosca-san-francisco-opera_b_21965

Patricia Racette – A Definitive 'Tosca' at San Francisco Opera
http://www.examiner.com/review/patricia-racette-a-definitive-tosca-at-san-franci

'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/moby-dick-san-francisco-opera_b_1

Vasily Petrenko, BRIT Male Artist of the Year, Conducts SF Symphony, 10/5–6
http://www.examiner.com/node/53741556

Marco Vratogna Is Sensational as Rigoletto at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/marco-vratogna-is-sensati_b_19070

A conversation with Joshua Bell, featured guest artist at opening of SF Symphony, 9/19
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-joshu_b_18824

San Francisco Opera Opens 90th Season With Verdi's 'Rigoletto'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/san-francisco-opera_b_1873183.htm

Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry makes San Francisco debut
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/jazz-vocalist-nicole-henr_b_18536

Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford duke it out at The Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/norma-shearer-and-joan-cr_b_17750

San Francisco, starring Jeanette MacDonald, to be featured at the Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/san-francisco-starring-je_b_17396

The Wizard of Oz Meets the San Francisco Symphony
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/wizard-of-oz-san-fran-symphony_b_

The "It" Girl, Clara Bow, A Featured Star at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 12–15
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/the-it-girl-clara-bow-a-f_b_16613

Jun Kaneko's 'Magic Flute' Is Stunningly Visual
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/magic-flute-jun-kaneko_b_1633445.

Samuel Ramey is Leo the Great in San Francisco Opera's 'Attila'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/samuel-ramey-attila_b_1586131.htm

'Victor Herbert, Collected Songs' – A Great CD
http://www.examiner.com/review/victor-herbert-collected-songs-a-great-cd-for-mem

Tom Judson Is Making It Big In San Francisco
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tom-judson-cabaret_b_1498594.html

A Chat with Dominique Labelle, featured this week in PBO's 'Alexander's Feast'
http://www.examiner.com/article/a-chat-with-dominique-labelle-featured-this-week

A Look at Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/gennadi-nedvigi-ballet_b_1427319.

Organist Christopher Houlihan Makes A Powerful Debut at Davies Symphony Hall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/christopher-houlihan_b_1398351.ht

RICHARD WINSOR – An Interview With the Star of 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/richard-winsor-swan-lake_b_135148

EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the "Czar of Noir"
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166840

DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166623

THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO's "Hung" and 3D Thriller "Dark Country"
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166393

KRISTIN CLAYTON– A Conversation with "The Diva" of Teatro ZinZanni
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166029

DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=32007

CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=24462

AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=27122

MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=109326

A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=99268

CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=86049

A Look At "Giselle" with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33-a6Oa-0j4

ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=58241

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield
BroadwayBelters@Yahoo.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your help, I'm not used to doing musicals, I usually do auditions for plays. That's why I'm so confused on the song part. I wasn't sure at the time, but i asked our vocal coach about my range. Long story short, I can sing from C3 to C7. Since the first part of this question, I got into the theater program, and found out about the musical. They are doing Les Miserables, and for this part of the audition we can choose any song. Any suggestions? I've had previous singing and acting lessons, but this is the first time I've tryed to combine them; in other words as i may have already said, this is my first musical. Oh, and I'm 13 if that effects the song choice at sll.

Answer
Hi, Megan –

Thank you for the follow-through question. Choosing monologues is not part of my expertise on this web site.

I appreciate all the information you have included. Let me help you.

You do not have a 4-octave range from C3–C7. No one has a four-octave range. If you do, then it's time to alert the media and get an agent. You won't need any monologues.

In the professional world, your true vocal range, i.e., soprano, contralto, etc., is measured by how you manipulate your voice through a stretch of notes covering two octaves or so. Most trained Broadway singers can sing a bit beyond their two octaves.

For example, a standard Broadway alto needs a really good Low A3. There's a lot of material in the alto repertoire that never goes higher than Eb5 or even Db5 and which also contains a lot of belting between A4 and C5. All my altos can demonstrate scales from G3 to A5 without any breaks or noticeable shifts, most go higher and lower.

Every voice-type deals with at least these kinds of particulars – and so much more. Ultimately, your true vocal category is proven through live performance of material written specifically for it. For example, at an audition – sopranos audition for soprano roles. No one is going to hire a high soprano to sing a role written for a belter –  as with "Kim" in MISS SAIGON.

As I've said, my job as a professional vocal coach is to determine your true vocal category. In order to do that, I have to hear you.

Consider that some audition notices for LES MIZ have requested contemporary Rock material. If you have that option, then sing your favorite and most gutsy Rock song. Find the sheet music on-line, preferably at a site that has the option to change the key – such as musicnotes.com. Have the sheet music printed in the key that works best for you.

Then start rehearsing the song as though you were seriously preparing for an "American Idol" audition. Your Director and Conductor will know if you have what they're looking for vocally – no matter how old you are.

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield

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Sean Martinfield

Expertise

I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: BroadwayBelters@yahoo.com I am also a music and cultural critic for HuffingtonPost.com and Examiner.com. I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.

Experience

As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at: Broadwaybelters@yahoo.com

Publications
HuffingtonPost.com Examiner.com FabulousFilmSongs.com SanFranciscoSentinel.com

Education/Credentials
San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

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