a couple weeks of online sheet music sales under my belt now, I've
discovered that tenors are my best customers: Highway Miles, Lady Must
Be Mad, Way Ahead Of My Time... these are my top sellers so far. Now I
happen to think "It's Amazing The Things That Float" and "Patience" are
lovely songs for the ladies, but I haven't sold a single copy of either
one yet. Well, the market is what it is, and I aim to please. So
instead of despairing over my lack of female customers, I'm just going
to try to cater to my tenor clientele. Here goes...
Hey, tenors! Have I got something for you. Maybe you found your way to
my website because you like a particular song of mine. Maybe you
already have a copy of the sheet music for that song. And maybe you
occasionally use the song in auditions. Great! But now you need more
songs of mine in your book... That's why I've created AUDITION CUTS FOR
TENORS, a handy-dandy
compilation of 12 cuts from 10 songs of mine. All the cuts fit on three
pages or less, are a minute or less in length, have chord symbols
written in, and most importantly, have been specially edited and
formatted and generally spruced-up specifically for use in auditions.
Here's what you get:
From Rome" is from a show
called THE ALCHEMISTS, an original story set in early 19th century
England. So this cut would be appropriate is you're auditioning for
something a bit period, a bit legit, a bit highbrow and Jane
Austen-ish. The character is a painter who goes to Rome to make a name
for himself and has a crisis of confidence when he encounters all the
masterpieces there. The cut offers a chance to showcase some faster,
patter-y lyrics follow by a big expansive soaring section.
is another song from the same show for the same character. I won't lie
to you: this is a particularly challenging cut, with a very long,
sustained melody line that requires a lot of technique and breath
control on the singer's part. This would be a good choice for an
audition that needs to demonstrate a singer's chops first and foremost.
It has a hypnotic quality and is quite lovely when sung well.
There, My Verse" is from
HONOR, an adaptation of As You Like It set in feudal Japan... but you
don't have to be Japanese. The song is more toward the legit end of the
spectrum. The cut is the home stretch of the song, and it's quite the
roller-coaster ride. There's a wide dynamic range and various dramatic
tempo shifts. Unlike the two ALCHEMISTS cuts above, which are a bit
more esoteric in their emotional content, "Hang There, My Verse" is a
straight-up young-man-in-love song -- i.e., musical theater red meat.
Two cuts of "Highway
Miles" are included, a
chorus/verse from near the beginning and the home stretch. The song is
from THE FLOOD, which is about the 1993 Mississippi River flood. So the
music is contemporary, American, and pop-rockish. It's a traditional
young-hero-dreams-of-escaping-his-mundane-surroundings kind of song.
Gavin Creel sang it in the original production, which is why it got out
there more than a lot of my other songs.
Lady Must Be Mad" is just
like "Hang There, My Verse"... except that TLMBM came first. Both songs
are from musicals based on Shakespeare plays; and both are based
closely on famous soliloquies from those plays. And in both cases, the
audition cut is the home stretch of the song, where there's a lot of
vocal pyrotechnics going on. This is one of the higher tenor cuts in
the collection. The final note is only (only!) an A... but the lead up
to it makes it difficult for singers. A lot of tenors prefer a safer,
transposed version. (See my transposition offer on the store page...)
Gone" is one last cut from
THE ALCHEMISTS, but a different character than the other two. The song
is secretly a bit of a pop/rock song hiding out in a show set in 19th
century England. In the context of the show, the song is actually a
suicide note that the character has written... but nobody listening to
this audition cut needs to know that. As far as the cut is concerned,
it's a triumphant, anthemic sounding theme about freedom and escape.
is a charm song from THE FLOOD. Like "Highway Miles" it was originally
performed by Gavin Creel (though in this case, I wrote the song after
he was cast and I'd heard that voice of his.) I did some extra editing
on this cut, to remove the spoken lines that would normally go between
the first couple phrases of the lyric. I also simplified the time
signatures: there's some tricky counting in the show version of the
song that's not very audition-friendly. I hope this version smooths
over some of those difficulties.
and Third" is from THE TAXI
CABARET. It's a contemporary, poppy, storytelling kind of a song. The
character has an epiphany while waiting at a broken stoplight that
isn't changing. The gist of it is that he realizes that sometimes we
can't wait for the universe to give us a sign or tell us what to do;
sometimes we just have to make up our mind by ourselves. Anyway, it's a
nice energetic cut that works well for a lighter, nimble voice... and a
tenor who can act.
The cut from "A Trip To
The Seaside" is a little
moment of introspection and wonderment for the young F. Scott
Fitzgerald in THE PURSUIT OF PERSEPHONE. The musical style is expansive
and soaring. It's an uncharacteristically contemporary-sounding section
in a midst of a show set in 1915 that is filled with a lot of period
pastiche music. For this cut, I re-wrote it in a new meter to cut down
the number of bars. Okay, it's still not quite 16... but it's close.
And rounding out the collection are two cuts from "Way
Ahead Of My Time." This is
a good choice if you're going for comedy and/or camp. The "tenor-ness"
of the song is not particularly demanding... it could probably be sung
in this key by most baritones. Nevertheless, the song works best with a
light touch and a more nimble tenor voice seems to work best. The first
cut includes the "homo sapien who's an intellectual" joke; the second
cut is the big ending, with the "Pa, can't you see I'm..." joke.
(Though I'll admit, by itself as a cut, that joke doesn't necessarily
register; so that cut is more for if you want to sing the high note at