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The Northern Star

The Northern Star

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Calling all altos: alto range audition songs

With auditions for NVD’s production of Freaky Friday less than a week away, the hunt for the perfect audition song is on! 

For some, this could be a fairly easy find, but for those with the alto vocal range, a common issue is finding too many songs that are either too high or too low. Altos’ ranges land smack in the middle of those, with the general range essentially spanning from F3 to F5–in other words, altos can struggle with reaching certain high or low notes that singers of other vocal ranges may reach. In any case, songs on any side of the alto spectrum are hard to find. Luckily, to make the search easier, here are a few songs to consider for NVD’s altos.

With fabulous lower alto tones must come fabulous lower songs. These songs can show off the beauties of a lower vocal range, leaving room to showcase cool, clear vocals with a touch of vibrato. 

Songs like this can include “My Husband Makes Movies” (from Nine), “I Resolve” (from She Loves Me), “Shy” (from Once Upon A Mattress), “How Could I Ever Know?” (from The Secret Garden), “Le Jazz Hot” (from Victor / Victoria), and “I Can Hear The Bells” (from Hairspray).

For altos whose vocal sweet spots lie not too high and not too low in the alto range, songs are somewhat easier to find. These songs allow for riffs and cool-sounding notes while still staying comfortably within the specific vocal center.

Here are songs in the middle of the alto spectrum to consider auditioning with: “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” (from Grease), “My Husband Makes Movies” (from Nine), “Girls of the Night” (from Jekyll & Hyde), “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” (from Evita), “21 Guns” (from American Idiot), and “Someday” (from The Wedding Singer).

Many altos can sing higher-ranged songs—and well—but cannot quite hit soprano notes, or can hit just below. The soprano range is higher than the alto range, therefore most sopranos can reach more “impressive” notes, while altos cannot reach those same notes.

Here are songs that can show off higher-oriented vocals, both sharp and smooth for any style: “Letterbomb” (from American Idiot), “The World According to Chris” (from Carrie), “When You Believe” (from The Prince of Egypt), “Bring On the Men” (from Jekyll & Hyde), “Somewhere” (from West Side Story), and “Lifeboat” (from Heathers)

These songs are always worth considering when an audition song is needed very soon. They offer multiple styles of music and different sub-ranges within the alto spectrum, so being picky with an audition song choice isn’t an issue. For example, if a comedic, mid-range song is preferred, “Someday” (from The Wedding Singer) might be a good option. On the other hand, if a low-range ballad is wanted, “How Could I Ever Know?” (from The Secret Garden) is worth considering. For any altos looking for an audition song, the hunt just got easier! Good luck, altos, in your search for the perfect song!

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About the Contributor
Lia Levy, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Lia, and I’m a sophomore at NVD this year. I’m a huge music and film buff and have a knack for showing it… in the best way! I’m so excited to see where I’ll go with my first year as a staff member at the Northern Star.
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