Every song in your book should be something you authentically, truly love to sing that shows your particular strengths. Auditions aren’t just about how well you sing and act; they are about who you are as a person - you get to share your talent and disclose your true self through the songs that you choose. This takes work and time - study, practice, figure out who you are as a person (more or less - we’re all works in progress! - more on type later) as you mine for music you connect with intensely. You may not love a song on first hearing, but give it a chance. If it shows your vocal gift and suits your personally, love will follow:). Remember conversely that there are songs we may love but that don’t do anything for us as performers. In my experience, musical theater performers are strong and resilient (they have to be) but they are also able to be vulnerable in the loveliest way. Loving the songs you sing is vital: it sets your listener at ease, and you’re automatically connected to the material (see Song Interpretation!).
So what makes a great audition song?
Songs you love that fit the requirements and show your talent.
Building a voice takes time, as does building your book. Some songs will be assigned to you as purely vocal work (see above: building a voice takes time!!), but some will be the right fit for audition repertoire. Will you have access to all of the pieces in the posts that follow by the end of a semester of lessons? Of course not! You’re still discovering your voice, who you are, who you want to be. So be yourself and do the work. We’ll get there.
The Short Audition Book List requires only one song per category and is appropriate for high school performers; younger students can start here too, but it's only a guide until you're a bit older. The Really Long List is for college students and professionals, but high schoolers should definitely take a look for inspiration! There are other considerations besides category and time period; the personal qualities you bring to performing and how they affect your book are just as important.
Remember, do the work and the songs will come. Check out the post appropriate for your age. And everyone should look at Your Audition Book: Putting it Together. Read on......