MTE (Musical Theatre Ensemble)

This course explores the styles and periods of musical theatre development, and incorporating ensemble singing and audition materials. Focus will be on healthy musical theatre singing and techniques for success in auditions. Students are given exposure to different styles of singing, dancing, and acting. This ensemble class works towards one completed musical revue performance for presentation at various venues.

2014 Musical Theatre Revue:

<iframe src=”//″ width=”500″ height=”280″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

Song Choices:

A Singer’s Musical Theatre Repertoire

Audition Song Preparation

Singers need to have a range of songs to choose from. In musical theatre, there are certain types of songs that you need to have at least one of in order to be ready for different types of auditions. This list is also useful if you are preparing a series of songs for a recital or other performance and would like to show a range of pieces. By preparing at least one ballad and one uptempo audition song in each of the following categories, you should be ready to perform at most musical theatre auditions on very short notice.


Category of Song Styles To Purchase

Best of Broadway/Complete Words and Music for 80 Great Songs of the American Musical Theatre (253 Pages)

Broadway Ballads : Piano, Vocal, Guitar

Broadway Belter’s Songbook : Piano/Vocal

Broadway Jazz : Piano, Vocal, Guitar

Broadway Love Songs : Piano, Vocal, Guitar

Broadway Waltzes : Piano, Vocal, Guitar

The Great Lyricists of Broadway, Hollywood & Tin Pan Alley : Piano, Vocal, Guitar



1. 16 Bars (Both belt and head voice selections) Up-tempo, ballad

For this short audition, choose a song that can be effective even if you only sing a little piece of it. Don’t choose a song with a lot of build, or one that has obvious changes in tempo or dynamics.

The 16-Bar Theatre Audition – Soprano

The 16-Bar Theatre Audition – Belter (Mezzo-Soprano)

The 16-Bar Theatre Audition – Tenor

The 16-Bar Theatre Audition – Baritone/Bass



2. “Pick Hits” (A general audition or rep situation) Up-tempo, ballad

This song choice is for situations where there are very few specific requirements. Have both a slow and a fast song that really suit your personality and that you really enjoy performing.

The Definitive Broadway Collection

The Definitive Broadway Collection – 2nd Edition

Musical Theatre Classics – Soprano Volume 2

The Teen’s Musical Theatre Collection – Young Women’s Edition Book/CD Pack

The Best Broadway Songs Ever

The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Tenor Vol. 1

The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Tenor Vol. 2

The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Mezzo-Soprano / Alto
The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Volume 1 Revised – Mezzo Soprano
Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Volume 2 Revised – Mezzo Soprano
Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Volume 3 – Mezzo Soprano

The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Baritone Bass Vol. 2

The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – Soprano Vol. 1



3. “Standard Legit Broadway
(1950 – 1979: Kander & EbbLerner & LoeweLoesserRodgers & HammersteinStyne)

If you are auditioning for a “standard” show, your best audition choice is a song from another “standard” show.

Rodgers & Hammerstein (sheet music from 11 musicals on CDROM)


4. Early Broadway
(1920s – 1940s: BerlinGershwinPorterRodgers & Hart)

Knowing songs from musical theatre’s history adds range and flexibility to your repertoire. If you are auditioning for an “old” show, you need to have an audition song that matches that type of sound.

50 Gershwin Classics


5. Contemporary
Contemporary (1980 – 1990s: Schwartz, Ahrens & Flaherty, Maltby & Shire), New Contemporary (2000s: La Chiusa, Jason Robert Brown)

This is for auditions for the new shows. Having new songs in your repertoire shows that you are always learning new things and striving to stay current with performing arts news and trends.

Contemporary Broadway

Contemporary Theatre Ballads


6. Non Music Theatre Standards: Pop/Rock (current), Pop/Rock (50s), Country, Jazz/Blues

Non-traditional musical theatre songs are important for these trendy new shows that don’t use the “regular” style. While you need to have a pop song in your repertoire, choose carefully. Just because a pop song is entertaining doesn’t mean it is well written musically, and you should remember to judge a pop song just as you would any other – look at range, style, personality, and suitability to be accompanied with a piano. Some pop songs just don’t work with piano, and most auditions won’t let you bring a tape or CD.

Professional Singer’s Pop/Rock Fake Book – Women’s Addition

Professional Singer’s Pop/Rock Fake Book – Men’s Addition

American Idol Audition Book – With CD


7. Operetta/Opera

Having a Gilbert & Sullivan audition song is essential for a serious vocalist.

Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Songbook

A Gilbert & Sullivan Collection

Gilbert & Sullivan For Singers – Soprano

Gilbert & Sullivan For Singers – Mezzo-Soprano

Gilbert & Sullivan For Singers – Tenor

Gilbert & Sullivan For Singers – Baritone/Bass


8. Comic Song

Everyone needs to be funny sometime. Especially if you are auditioning for a comedy.

Comedy Songs from Broadway Musicals

Belter’s Book of Comedy Songs

The Audition Suite Four Comic Songs for Theatre Singers


9. Idiot-Proof Song (for horrible accompanists)

In very rare situations, the accompanist just isn’t very good. Find a song that is suitable for your voice but has a very simple accompaniment. Keep it on hand at auditions for emergencies, but be very careful how you use it. Never stop the accompanist after they have started playing and say you would like to do a different song because they aren’t playing well! Poor sight-reading skills do not justify rudeness. If you are going to make a switch, do it before you start. If you are not sure if you should make a switch, ask someone who has already had their audition. (Note: Never accompany yourself at an audition unless it has been advertised as being acceptable for that particular audition!)