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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
smtd@oakland.edu

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
smtd@oakland.edu

Safety Initiatives

A Safe Return to the Fall

Now more than ever, the faculty in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance are committed to academic and artistic excellence in a safe learning environment. We know students and parents have questions about the fall semester, and we hope this information will ease concerns regarding classes, performance events, and facilities.

All OU students will be provided a mask, and SMTD will provide other PPE in the form of aerosol barriers and cleaning supplies for any necessary shared instruments and/or equipment. This site will be updated frequently, and our plans are subject to change at any time. Information here is specific to the School of Music, Theatre and Dance; however, all students, faculty, and staff will be expected to follow university health and safety guidelines.

SMTD Safety Initiatives
Academics

SMTD classes will be a combination of in-person, online or a hybrid of the two. Please visit the Academic Experiences page if you have questions about the instructional mode of your class. You can also view this in MySail, which indicates which format your class will be. Do not hesitate to contact your professor if you have questions about your classes.

Technology and Internet Accessibility

Because many of your classes will have an online component, additional technology may be necessary. Your professor will indicate affordable options for you to purchase in order to be successful in your classes. While SMTD will have a variety of technology for student check-out, supplies will be limited. Please email Mr. Terry Herald at herald@oakland.edu if you need to borrow any equipment for the fall semester.

Need WiFi? The Student Tech Center (STC) has hotspots for students who do not have internet access at home. Complete the Wi-Fi Hotspot Reservation Request form. Students must be enrolled for at least one course in the current semester to qualify. For more information, the STC is located in room 44 the basement of the OC; their phone number is 248-370-4832 and email is stc@oakland.edu. Additionally, there is a list of companies who are providing free access during the COVID-19 pandemic on the STC website.

Lecture Classes

Most SMTD lecture classes will be online. Those that will meet in person will be held at 25% capacity with students and faculty 6 ft apart. Students and faculty will be required to wear a mask and submit the daily health screening form before coming to campus.

Performance Classes

Applied Music Lessons

  • Many applied studios will hold weekly lessons online. Students will be notified by the professor to discuss technology needs for virtual lessons. For those studios holding applied lessons in person and/or hybrid (both in-person and online), students and faculty will be distanced 10-12ft apart, wear appropriate masks, have a vinyl aerosol barrier between student and instructor, and sanitization protocols in place. Extra time will be scheduled between lessons to allow aerosols to settle and to sanitize any necessary technology, instruments, barriers, or PPE.

Music Ensembles

  • All wind, brass, jazz, and vocal ensembles will meet virtually for Fall 2020 with some in-person coachings in small groups outdoors.
  • String, guitar, and percussion ensembles will meet in-person or hybrid. Students will be distanced 6ft apart and wear masks.

Vocal/Acting Coaching

  • All Theatre vocal and acting coaching will occur online. Please contact your professor to discuss any technology needs for online coaching.

Dance Studio Classes

  • Dance classes will be hybrid, where students are divided between in-person and online learning. Students will be distanced 10-12ft apart, wear shoes or socks at all times, and avoid floor work. Please discuss any required technology needs with your professor.
  • Students can request the dance studios for one-on-one rehearsal time outside of class.
Performance and Production

In the state of Michigan, the performance spaces in SMTD are considered entertainment venues and, therefore, regulated by state guidelines. This information will be fluid and updated as we move in and out of the various reopening stages.

Stage 4 (current stage) guidelines
  1. No performances open to the public can occur inside, on campus, or at off-campus locations in stage 4. Academic degree-required performances can occur inside as long as there are no more than 10 people total in the space.
  2. Outside performances are allowed in stage 4 as long as there are no more than 100 attendees. Events outside must be approved by the University Large Event Task Force committee, the OU Grounds Committee, and abide by all OU safety guidelines. Email Kathy Boersma at keboersm@oakland.edu for assistance with the approval process for any outdoor event. Forms must be submitted at least 60 days before the event.
  3. Live streamed events are encouraged as long as we follow all copyright laws related to live streaming. Please contact Terry Herald at herald@oakland.edu at least 3 weeks prior to your live streamed event to determine if we have the rights to live stream, and if not, if we have budgetary funds to purchase rights.
Box office information
  1. All events, even free, must be ticketed or have a set guest list in order to limit the number of audience members.
  2. Seats will be assigned as patrons arrive to ensure appropriate spacing and space designations will be clearly marked.
  3. Audience members must submit an email address so that they can receive mobile or print at home tickets, as well as additional information regarding OU’s required public health policies and procedures.
  4. Audience members will be required to complete a health screening before coming onto campus and will be required to show the “approved to come to campus” notification from GHC either printed or on their phone.
  5. For events like major standings and senior recitals, the performer should submit a guest list to the box office manager at least one week before the performance. All attendees must fill out the daily health screening form before arrival.
  6. Please direct any questions regarding the box office or guest lists to Megan Herald at meherald@oakland.edu.
Event Safety Guidelines
Indoors (Current Stage 4)
  1. All students, faculty, staff, guests, and attendees must complete a daily health screening form before coming to campus
  2. Only 10 people total are allowed in a performance space at a time.
  3. Performers must be spaced 10-12 ft apart.
  4. Performers should not share music stands. If any equipment has to be shared, it should be sanitized before and after use.
  5. Backstage waiting areas for performers will be labeled, as will entrance and exit flow patterns onto and off of the stage.
  6. Attendee seating and entrance and exit flow will be directed by production staff.
  7. Attendees must wear a mask at all times and be spaced 6ft apart.
Outdoors (Current Stage 4)
  1. All students, faculty, staff, guests, and attendees must complete a daily health screening form before coming to campus.
  2. Only 100 people total are allowed at an outdoor event at a time.
  3. Performers must be spaced 10-12 ft a part.
  4. Performers should not share music stands. If any equipment has to be shared, it should be sanitized before and after use.
  5. Attendees must wear a mask at all times and be spaced 6ft apart.
Ventilation
  • The HVAC systems in all OU buildings, including Varner Hall have been tested, repaired if needed, and air filters have been replaced to comply with university and state back-to-work ventilation regulations. 
  • Varner Hall is equipped with MERV 14 filters. MERV filters are the most effective at filtering small particles and were installed in Varner even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All faculty offices and classrooms have supply and return ventilation which supply clean air and filter out the aerosols in the room. Ventilation in Varner Hall has outdoor air exchange several times an hour.
Practice Rooms
  • Only 1 person is allowed in a practice room at a time.
  • Pianos should be sanitized before and after use with the cleaning supplies provided in each practice room.
  • Practice rooms for wind/brass/voice students will be limited. Only those rooms with a HEPA air purifier are available for use for these students.