I have been singing in choir for 7 years by now, mostly in school and student choirs during study years (I have no professional training whatsoever). Now I applied for a better choir in our city (composed mostly of professionals, but they take talented amateurs too); they will have audition in 3 weeks' time, and I've been told to bring a song which I would like to sing in front of the others (besides the audition led by the choirmaster).

What are they looking for/trying to hear at such auditions? So far I've been singing in Soprano, but I am more a Mezzo-soprano. What song would be suitable to show what I am really able of? The genre of the song can be literally anything (from folk through jazz to pop, anything).

4 Answers 4


We can't possibly suggest specific titles. But there is something I can say to guide you. It will make more sense if I start out this way:

I went to hear a performance of The Fantasticks at my community college years ago. The young woman in the lead role had a lovely voice, but it was her first semester, and she had almost no vocal training. However, she was a natural. I can still hear her "Follow, follow, follow... follow me" in my mind's ear to this day.

The best music comes when the musician has the training that allows him to do challenging things, but he doesn't allow all that training to get in the way of letting his natural, unstudied music come out.

That natural expressiveness is going to be your main selling point.

So, choose a song that allows you to be expressive, in a way that comes naturally to you. Make sure the song doesn't expose any technical deficiencies you might have. It doesn't need to be flashy, and it doesn't need to use every last bit of your range. (The choir director will explore your range with you separately.)


Did you get in?

But seeing as the question has popped up again:

The requirement for a choir singer is a strong, accurate voice, and excellent music reading. A high degree of solo 'expressiveness' is not particularly relevant.

Sing 'If I Loved You' from 'Carousel'. If your reaction is 'but I'd rather sing xxxx...' fine, sing xxxx. Also, they've asked you to BRING a song. So do - bring the music for a pianist, in the key you want to sing it in. Maybe not necessary for a community choir, but as you say this is a prefessional-level outfit...

  • Yes, I did get in, btw. All went fine for two years, then the conductor decided to pursue other ambitions :(
    – Akabelle
    Apr 2, 2018 at 12:36

It's almost impossible to specify which song to sing. However, when you've made that decision, 1. if it's accompanied, make sure you have a specific key, or the charts to the key you'd like to perform it in. 2. If it's a capella, two options: a. You may well feel happy just starting to sing, and the key won't take you out of your range - lots of singers do this naturally. b. Have a note or chord to name, that will guide you into pitch. Hopefully, you'll warm up the voice before the audition. If you can manage without the sheet music, it's more impressive. After all, it's probably a song you should know well enough to do without. Good luck!

  • Don't sing unaccompanied for an audition. They need to hear that you can keep with the piano, both in pitch and timing.
    – Laurence
    Apr 2, 2018 at 14:07
  • I tried to cover both options. It might just be that a piano isn't available. Does the OP walk away? Anyone holding the audition should be able to critically listen to both pitch and timing. First auditions for some of the 'talent' t.v. shows are a capella, although this is for a choir position.
    – Tim
    Apr 2, 2018 at 14:30
  • Yes, we are talking about auditions for a semi-pro level choir. There'll be a piano.
    – Laurence
    Apr 2, 2018 at 14:32

Based on my experience from helping, whenever people choose a more well known song and nail it, it sounds better than a person who did just an equally good performance with a lesser known song. Just a little bias I guess. But hey, couldn't hurt if you could sing it. Best of luck.

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