Anthology: Vol. 23 – Legit Tenor

legit tenorIf you’re just tuning in, we’ve been updating our Anthology blogs by voice type given their popularity and because we have some great new repertoire we want you to know about. If you’re a Legit Soprano, or Legit Mezzo, click on the hyperlink and explore songs that were meant for your voice.

There’s a myth that contemporary writers are only writing for belt tenors and high belt/mixers these days. We don’t have to look very far to see that isn’t true, though. In our second edition of the Legit Tenor anthology, we’re happy to share some wonderful exceptions to the perceived rule.

Gonna Spend the Whole Day Fishin’ (from Toots in Solitude)

Music by: Frederick Freyer
Lyrics by: Patrick Cook
Performed by: Patrick Cook

This song is a great choice for a tenor who has excellent diction and can activate the playful quality in the lyric. We particularly like the contrast of the patter of the A sections and the lyricism of the B sections. A solidly Golden Age piece, this song requires a similarly solid pianist. Patrick Cook displays just one of his many gifts by singing this demo.


It Makes Me Sing (from …And Then I Wrote a Song About It)

Music by: Sammy Buck
Lyrics by: Daniel S. Acquisto
Performed by: Nick Cearley

We love the unabashed optimism, clever lyrics, and groovy chorus of this song. It reminds us of the wonderful story songs of Ed Kleban as featured in the quasi-autobiographical musical A Class Act. Nick Cearley, of course, is charming as ever. This is a great song for a cabaret, and a beautiful reminder there are so many things to sing about.


Killing Me (from The Hinterlands)

Music by: Danny Larsen
Lyrics by: Michelle Elliott
Performed by: Henry Nettleton, Eliza Palasz, Connor Russell, and Brianne Wylie

We’ve featured other songs from Michelle and Danny’s powerful six-part musical miniseries, The Hinterlands, but we felt it was time to feature another given the devastating high-profile suicides, pervasive bullying we continue to hear high school students struggle with, and the recent release of the second season of “13 Reasons Why,” which graphically depicts the harassment teenagers are often left to process on their own. While this performance features multiple singers, we have the individual sheet music available on our site. This song feels very much in the world of Spring Awakening and may be appropriate for shows of that genre.

A Thousand Miles (from Pride & Sensibility)

Music by: Carl Danielsen
Lyrics by: Selda Sahin
Performed by: Morgan Kar

This is a contemporary story song featuring lyrics that feel effortlessly conversational and music that churns and yearns underneath the soaring vocal line. Our favorite part is the key change at the end: the way it settles, the piano obligato slowly unwinding until it finds itself content. This is wonderfully expressive writing for a tenor ingenue and a fantastic audition song.

Top of the World (from Tuck Everlasting)

Music by: Chris Miller
Lyrics by: Nathan Tysen
Performed by: Andrew Keenan-Bolger

We had the pleasure of supporting Chris and Nathan during previews for their show, Tuck Everlasting a couple seasons ago on Broadway – what an accomplishment! This is one of our favorite songs from the musical, which requires a strong mix and (again) great diction. If you need a song that features a character who’s excitable and has a beautiful naiveté about them, this is the song for you.


Broadway Baritones, you’re up next in our Anthology series! Check back next week for some amazing new songs to add to your book!

Check out our new book “Mastering College Musical Theatre Auditions: Sound Advice for the Student, Teacher, and Parent” now available on Amazon.

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Visit for more information on over 180 contemporary musical theatre writers and 550+ songs, all searchable by voice and song type.


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