hey tenors

With 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:

"Back 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.

"Golden" 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.

"Hang 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.

"The 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...)

"Long 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.

"Runaways" 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.

"Seventy-Second 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 the end.)

Musings Past