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Four Helpful (And Mostly Free) Resources for Singers (Part 2)

With school semesters, recital planning, and fall auditions in full swing, I thought that now would be a fitting time to write a follow-up to my last article on resources for singers! Whether you are searching for new repertoire, trying to fill a gap in your recital, looking for a new audition piece, or thinking forward to summer YAP auditions, I hope there’s something on this list you find helpful (without spending a dime)!

1. Kassia Database

Price: Free

So much more than just an art song database, Kassia focuses on indexing and making accessible art song by women composers. Covering all periods of music, Kassia records the range and tessitura of most pieces, as well as difficulty level, accompaniment characteristics, and direct links to extant scores. My personal favorite feature is the “Songs for the Developing Singer,” which recommends pieces appropriate for collegiate-level students based on high, medium, or low voice. Kassia also has an excellent resource list to help you discover more compositions by women composers and composers of color.

2. The Liedernet Archive

Price: Free

Online since 1995, this impressive source has over 174,000 vocal works catalogued as well as over 38,000 text translations. Liedernet has honestly saved my booty for last-minute translations and text author information before lessons and for recital notes on multiple occasions! Not only are text translations offered in English, but sometimes in a variety of other languages as well. While searching may seem daunting, there is a great menu option to take a tour of the site to orient yourself on how to use it!

3. Art Song Central

Price: Free

While less expansive than the previous entries, Art Song Central serves as a one-stop-shop for public domain sheet music, IPA transcriptions, and audio references (when available) for standard repertoire. The site currently hosts entries for just over 300 songs for all voice types. There are additional search functions for Christmas and wedding music, the latter of which I have used several times in a pinch for unexpected church wedding gigs.

4. Audition Oracle

Price: Free (Basic/Limited Access), about $60 per year (Premium)

Looking for a summer a YAP, church job in a large city, or smaller opera companies/music societies? Audition Oracle might be for you. On this site, you create an artist profile which you can supplement with your resume, head shot, and other relevant experience. This will make your profile searchable by those creating audition listings. The free version of Audition Oracle includes pay-to-sing and unpaid opportunities, whereas the Premium plan opens up access to paid job opportunities like opera choruses and teaching jobs. Interestingly, while Audition Oracle is mostly focused on classical music, listings for jazz and musical theatre opportunities are also frequently posted.

I’m always pleasantly surprised to find new resources and admire the ingenuity of those that continue to create sites like those listed above. Please bear in mind that some of the sites run on a volunteer basis and rely on user donations to operate, so don’t hesitate to give a little bit if you have the means to do so!

Which of these resources do you think you could take advantage of? Are there similar sites that you think should be included in future posts? Let us know in the comments!

- Preston Hereford

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