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School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

image of two women dancing together, smiling

Community Engagement

We are offering several virtual summer workshops (Summer Virtual Jazz Intensive, NewDANCEfest, OU Summer Theatre Workshops...Online!) please see below for more details!

The Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance is committed to enhancing the lives of our neighbors through music lessons and classes (OU Community Music), interactive workshops (Voice Teaching Lab, Percussion Day and more), youth ensembles (Honor Band, Orchestra and more), traveling theatre productions (James and the Giant Peach) and meaningful community partnerships (OU/Pontiac Initiative.)

Summer Offerings
Summer Virtual Jazz Intensive

Summer Virtual Jazz Intensive
with Regina Carter, Sean Dobbins and Nancy Stagnitta

July 20 - 24
10 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. daily

Click here to register!

The OU Summer Virtual Jazz Intensive will focus on themed topics (ensembles) such as history of women in jazz, bridging classical to jazz, jazz as language etc. The format will feature four 50-minute sessions each day that will include a listening section, virtual ensemble rehearsals and a daily improvisation workshop.

The OU Virtual Jazz Intensive is made possible by generous support from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

OU Summer Theatre Workshops...Online!

OU Summer Theatre Workshops...Online!
July 13 - 17
Registration open now at

The Oakland University Department of Theatre is offering "OU Summer Theatre Workshops… Online!" July 13-17, featuring theatre performance and design workshops, meet-the-faculty sessions and masterclasses with world-class theatre artists  Laura Michelle Kelly  (Broadway's Mary Poppins) and Jen Price Fick (Art Director for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.) Intended for ages 14-18.
- Click here for full workshop descriptions and daily schedules.
-Questions? Email .


Check back with us on May 1 for opportunities for summer workshops!

NewDANCEfest is a multidimensional festival, which brings artists at various levels of the profession together. Opportunities are provided for Established Choreographers, Emerging Choreographers and Dancers to create and study in a rich, rewarding and artistic environment. Choreographers are given time and space to create new works, and Dancers are given professional training and the experience of mentoring with some of the best professionals in the dance world. NewDANCEfest will provide daily technique classes in a variety of styles, choreography seminars, discussion forums, critique sessions, mentorship opportunities, informal showings and performances. The festival will be located in the beautiful city of Rochester, Michigan with classes for the Intermediate/Advanced Division (ages 10-15) held on the campus of Oakland University. Classes for the Advanced/Professional Division (ages 16 and up) will be held at The School of Eisenhower Dance Detroit located at 103 South Street. Housing for all participants is available on the Campus of Oakland University for an additional cost.

For more information and to register, visit
Music, Theatre and Dance at OU offers community members an opportunity to participate in workshops on our spacious wooded campus in suburban Rochester Hills, Michigan. Our workshops are taught by our faculty and by guest performers and teachers.

These outstanding arts performance workshops combine an open and collaborative atmosphere with rigorous standards and excellent teaching.

OU works to ensure safe conduct and supportive interaction between youth and program leaders. Learn more about our initiatives at the Youth Protection website.

Refunds will be given up to two weeks prior to the event start date. Cancellations within two weeks of the event start date will not be refunded.

For more information, please contact
Percussion Day

A feast of percussion from around the world, featuring workshops, group performances, and individual lessons with Sean Dobbins, Patrick Fitzgibbon, Sam Jeyasingham, Dan Maslanka, and Mark Stone.

Check back in 2020! Questions? Email

Voice Day
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Workshop and Masterclass on Yoga for Singers with Dr. Evangelia Leontis
Free admission.   Register today!

1 - 2:30 p.m.
Group Yoga Workshop
Location: OU Recreation Center, Studio 919
(bring a yoga mat if you have one - there will be extras if you need one)

2:45 - 4 p.m.
Location: Varner Recital Hall

4 - 4:30 p.m.
Q&A for prospective students

7 p.m.
Oakland University Opera production of Dialogues of the Carmelites 
Up to 2 complimentary tickets available for Voice Day participants
Our Voice Day session with Dr. Leontis contains two parts: a group workshop with a hands-on, interactive introduction to proper alignment of the body using key concepts from yoga and yogic breathing techniques as they pertain to singing, and a dynamic application of these concepts to performance in a masterclass setting. The concepts of body alignment taught in yoga are extremely useful for singers as they encourage proprioceptive awareness and a tension-free stance.  The group will be led through a series of yoga postures specifically aimed at preparing the body to sing by eliminating tension and facilitating proper alignment. Pranayama breathing techniques will also be presented and are used to help singers become more aware of the movements of their breath, aid in developing breath control, and to help calm pre-performance nerves. This workshop will introduce these concepts to the entire group and then apply them to the performance of 2-4 Oakland University students in the Master Class portion of the day.

Concepts covered will include:
Yoga stretches and poses that prepare the body for singing
Finding your best body alignment for singing (and for life!)
Centering the mind and body for performance
Pranayama breathing techniques to expand and connect to breath

Evangelia Leontis, soprano, has extensive experience on the opera, concert and recital stages. She has been featured on the operatic stage in roles including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Frasquita in Carmen, and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, among others. Dr. Leontis won the Bel Canto Award in the 2015 Orpheus Competition, was a finalist in the 2015 Kentucky Bach Choir Competition, and a winner of the 2010 Greek University Women’s Club Music Competition. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM), Boston University (MM), and UNC Greensboro (DMA).  Dr. Leontis currently serves on the voice faculty of Keene State College and previously served on the faculties of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and Guilford College. 

Dr. Leontis completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Bali, Indonesia with YogaWorks and has a blog entitled Inner Voice: the Intersection of Yoga and Singing. She has presented this workshop at numerous schools and programs including the Boston Conservatory, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Manchester Music Festival, the New Music School, Greensboro College, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. More information can be found at

Clarinet State Solo and Ensembles Clinic

Sunday, March 8, 2020 from 1 - 4 p.m.
Free admission
Click here to register! Email with questions.

Clarinetists in grades 9-12 are invited to perform solo and ensemble works in preparation for State Solo and Ensemble, as well as any other auditions or performances. Oakland University clarinet professor George Stoffan will offer suggestions for soloists and ensembles. Clarinet ensembles, as well as mixed ensembles, are encouraged to perform. All will benefit from the opportunity to perform for all in attendance and from the feedback from Professor Stoffan.

Note: Parents and Teachers are welcome to attend!

Piano Day

Sunday, February 9, 2020
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cost: $40 for Piano Day and Competition (parents and teachers can observe for free!)

1. Click here to register.
2. Click here to pay
(after you've registered.)

  • Each student can choose a masterclass or mini-lesson session (please indicate preference on registration form) with an OU faculty. Participants will compete for cash prizes as well as scholarships to the OU Summer Piano Camp.
  • Competition Details:
    • Age Groups and Performance Times
      • Ages 12-14  |  10 minutes
      • Ages 15-18  |  12 minutes
    • Repertoire Requirements
      • Two memorized, contrasting solo works
    • Prizes
      • Winners in each group will receive cash prizes, scholarships to the OU Piano Camp as well as future performance opportunities

Questions? Please contact Dr. Tian,

High School Jazz Festival
Update: This event (originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020) has been postponed. We hope to reschedule in May. Please contact us if you have any questions -

Co-sponsored by Student Affairs & Diversity

Click here to register!
Click to PAY HERE

The OU jazz faculty hosts the Oakland University High School Jazz Festival on March 28, 2020. High school jazz bands (large and small) are welcome to perform and receive comments from OU jazz faculty. The deadline to register is February 1, 2019.

The rest of the day will include studio classes, a workshop entitled "Connecting With Your Band Through Improvisation","How to become a Grizzly" and a performance by the Oakland University Faculty Jazz Collective. The festival will conclude with an open jam session! This is a public event — anyone can participate in workshops and observe the performances.

Refunds will be given until March 21, 2020. Cancellations after March 21, 2020 will not be refunded.

Questions? Contact Sean Dobbins at
Piano Camp
Piano camp is cancelled for summer 2020.
Check out our Piano at Oakland Facebook page  throughout the summer for performances, presentations, Hot Topics discussions and other events hosted by OU faculty, students, and alumni.
Assembly Quartet Saxophone Workshop

Assembly Quartet Saxophone Workshop at Oakland University
The summer 2020 camp has been cancelled. We'll see you in 2021!

Faculty Artists:
Dr. Jeffrey Heisler, Oakland University
Dr. Ian Jeffress, Western Carolina University
Dr. Matthew Younglove, Tennessee Tech University
Dr. Adam Estes, University of Mississippi

Open to all saxophonists age 12 - college undergraduates.  This thrilling week of saxophone includes performance in solo, chamber, and ensembles music settings, private lessons, study of jazz style, improvisation, contemporary techniques, and classes in improving musicianship.

Questions: contact Dr. Heisler at


$395 - high school / college undergraduate student (8:30am - 5:00pm daily) 
$200 - middle school student (8:30 - noon daily) 
$1200 - for 4 saxophonists from the same school (or a pre-existing undergraduate quartet)
$50 - to add a private lesson with one of our Assembly Quartet faculty


Teaching Young Voices
Teaching Young Voices has been postponed until summer 2021. Please check back.
Honors Ensembles
Attention all high school band/orchestra directors. We’d love to have your students join us for two exciting ensemble events, as high school musicians from across the state come to the Oakland University campus to rehearse and perform with OU faculty and guest clinicians.

Membership in these ensembles will be based on teacher nominations. 

Find the appropriate ensemble below to submit nominations or to register.

Questions? Contact

Oakland University Honors Orchestra
November 15-17, 2019
Fee $40



Friday, November 15
5 – 6:45 p.m. – Registration and chair placement (String faculty)
7 – 9 p.m. – Rehearsal in Recital Hall (RH) 

Saturday, November 16
4 – 5:15 p.m. – Sectional rehearsal with string faculty
5:15 – 6 p.m. – Pizza (provided)
6:15 – 8 p.m. – Rehearsal in RH

Sunday, November 17
2 p.m. - Dress Rehearsal for Strings in RH
2:30 p.m. - Dress Rehearsal for Strings and Winds in RH
4 p.m. - Concert on stage in RH

Questions? Contact

Oakland University Honor Band
with clinician Frank Tracz, director of bands at Kansas State University

November 8-9, 2019
Fee $25



Friday November 8
4:30 p.m. - Check-in begins (4 p.m. for those auditioning for the OU SMTD scholarships)
5 p.m. - Placement auditions begin
7 p.m. - Rehearsal begins
9 p.m. - Rehearsal ends

Saturday November 9
9 a.m. - Rehearsal begins
11 a.m. - Sectionals with OU Faculty
Noon - Lunch (provided)
12:45 p.m. - Rehearsal 
2:30 p.m. - Break
3 p.m. - Pre-concert rehearsal 
3:30 p.m. - Concert

Questions? Contact
OU/Pontiac Initiative

Oakland University is committed to working with its neighbors, to determine potential areas of meaningful partnership that will benefit both the community and Oakland’s students. The School of Music, Theatre and Dance is holding several events at Pontiac venues throughout the season, including the Pontiac Creative Arts Center and Flagstar Strand Theatre for the Performing Arts. For more information about the OU/Pontiac Initiative, visit

Children's Theatre

The OU Department of Theatre’s season comes to a close with a children’s touring show. In May and June, James and the Giant Peach will tour Metro Detroit Schools, libraries and other public venues. Learn how to bring this exciting production to your school by emailing or calling (248) 370-2030.

Dance for
Parkinson's Disease

Dance for Parkinson's Disease participants will be empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative.  This class is an aesthetic experience that uses the elements of narrative, imagery, and community to develop artistry and grace while addressing such PD specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, isolation and depression.  The classes engage participants' minds and bodies, and create an enjoyable, social environment that emphasizes dancing rather than therapy.  Active demonstration by professional dancers inspires participants to recapture grace, while guided improvisation fosters creativity, and experimentation with movement.

For more information about these classes, which are for those living with PD and their caregiver/spouses, please contact DPD Director Ali Woerner at

Synergy on Stage

Synergy on Stage is a dynamic local company that provides American Sign Language interpreters for theatrical productions. The OU Department of Theatre has had a 20+ year collaboration with these interpreters and the Deaf theatre-going community. The actors are fully integrated into the performances, providing the Deaf community with accessible performances of plays and musicals. Select theatre performances, which are notated on our event calendar, are shadow-signed each season.