Contemporary musical theatre writers LOVE belt tenors. We have over 60 songs for belt tenor alone on our site. Case in point.
But finding the right belt tenor audition song can be a little tricky. As with high belt/mixers, you have to make sure you’re not just screlting a Q# at the casting director and creatives. You still have to be able to show vulnerability and emotional range.
Here are five songs we think do just that (Don’t you want to know what the other 55 songs are? Are you a member yet? Why not?! 180 writers, 550+ songs. Subscribe here).
All I Want
Music & Lyrics by: Daniel Maté
Performed by: Jason Tam
A true contemporary song with great patter lyrics and soaring melody in the refrain. You have to have great diction and strong comic chops to pull off some of these great turns of phrase, but the reward will be laughter (or at least a knowing smirk) behind the table.
Have a Tituss Burgess or Billy Porter type of voice? Boy, do we have a song for you! Listen to the rawness of this lyric and feel the beautiful harmonic shifts that lift them up. This is a perfect example of how a belt tenor song can both show vocal strength and a depth of emotion. And, beyond it being a fantastic song, we have to say: YAY WOMEN WRITERS! Celebrate and support them!
My Father’s Son
Music by: Joy Son
Lyrics by: Steve Routman
Performed by: Steve Routman
Nothing is more potent than talking about family, except maybe singing about it. The lyric has a wonderful way of taking you on a journey, not knowing how it all adds up until it’s tied up in a perfect bow at the end. The melody bends with the conversation and is beautifully supported by the accompaniment.
I sometimes feel pop/rock musical theatre can feel non-specific lyrically, musically and dramatically. “Nothing More” does not have this problem. Listen to the clever setting of the text in the opening, the descending piano licks telling you what the character is feeling… Rosser & Sohne know how to get at the heart of a character’s story while also writing in the pop/rock idiom. For me (and those behind the table), it’s a breath of fresh air.
Music & Lyrics by: Michael Patrick Walker
Performed by: Noah Galvin
A young man struggles to reconcile his father’s idealistic advice with the reality of the bully who tormented him every day. This song captures the feeling of wanting to be stronger than you are – and of being certain you will be and terrified you won’t be at the same time. Both comedic and earnest with a conversational lyric and pop/rock music, “Someday” is a very relatable song with a drive and build from start to finish. Perfect for a younger tenor with a strong belt sound.
And stay tuned for the next week’s Anthology: Legit Mezzo.
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Visit www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com for more information on over 180 contemporary musical theatre writers and 550+ songs, all searchable by voice and song type.