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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

image of one dancer with her leg extended and four dancers in the background

Admissions and Auditions

There are two steps to becoming a Major in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance:

  1. Apply and be accepted to the University through Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions. Prospective students should complete this application (all application materials submitted) at least two-weeks prior to your audition date. Apply to the University here: https://www.oakland.edu/futureoustudents/

  2. Present a successful audition for your prospective area. Click on your area below to register for an audition.

AUDITION DATES FOR WINTER 2021 ADMISSION:
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 Music, Theatre and Dance
We will be accepting video audition submissions beginning October 1 through December 8, 2020 for Winter 2021 admission. Please register for an audition at #2 below and you will be forwarded video audition submission guidelines. Make sure to see the audition requirements for your major are below as well. If you have any questions, please email smtdadmissions@oakland.edu.

AUDITION DATES FOR FALL 2021 ADMISSION:
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will be conducting virtual auditions.

Auditions will consist of the following*: 1) a recorded audition due two weeks before the audition date**, and 2) a live zoom portion on the audition date. Please reserve the entire day on your chosen audition date. Additional details on how the virtual auditions will be run will be posted on this website in the near future. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021 Music, Theatre and Dance - Audition Videos Due By January 9   
Saturday, February 13, 2021 Music, Theatre and Dance - Audition Videos Due By January 30
Saturday, March 6, 2021 Music, Theatre - Audition Videos Due By February 20
Saturday, March 20, 2021 Music, Dance - Audition Videos Due By March 6

*To guarantee a place on the schedule, registrations and videos must be received at least 2 weeks before your desired audition date.

**Acting program candidates do not need to submit a video audition in advance. Your audition will consist of a live zoom audition on your chosen audition date only. 

Shortly before your audition videos are due, you will be emailed a link to a Google drive folder. You will upload your audition video(s) into this folder. 

Transfer Students
To transfer into the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, follow Steps 1 and 2 as outlined above. Pending a successful audition and admission to the University, please contact SMTD admissions at smtdadmissions@oakland.edu to schedule a meeting for testing and previous coursework.

International students
Most international students are required to pass the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). For more information about requirements for international students, visit the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) website.

Audition Requirements
Audition requirements vary by area of study and degree program. For comprehensive requirements by area, click on the tabs below.

Music

Music Department Virtual Audition Guidelines
Auditioning students will submit a recorded audition on a principal instrument or voice. You will be evaluated on proficiency with your instrument or voice and considered for admission into the program. All programs will have a live zoom interview component. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your goals and to ask your own questions. If you are applying to the music education or music technology programs, there will be an additional interview as part of your audition.

You will be emailed a link to a google folder into which you will upload your audition video and supplemental documents (portfolio, resume, etc.). YOU MUST UPLOAD YOUR MATERIALS TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR AUDITION DATE.

PLEASE SEE THE VIDEO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES AND RECORDING SET UP FOR MUSIC AUDITIONS DOCUMENT.

All those admitted into the music department will be required to take an online music theory placement exam. If you are accepted into the music program, you will receive a link in your email soon thereafter regarding the music theory placement exam. 

You are not required to take the piano placement exam. However, if you would like to place into a higher level of piano techniques class, you may take the piano placement exam. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to SMTD admissions at smtdadmissions@oakland.edu

Undergraduate Theory Placement Exam Information
Piano Placement Exam Information

Voice Audition Requirement
Undergraduate Auditions:
Present two songs in contrasting styles which will demonstrate a range of emotional and musical styles. The songs should be memorized and sung with piano accompaniment (please see Piano Accompaniment Alternative below). Classical song literature and folksong arrangements such as those listed in the MSVMA Solo and Ensemble list and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) high school audition requirements would be considered appropriate. Foreign language songs are also appropriate, but not required. A musical theatre selection may be substituted for one of the above, if it is a strong suit for the singer. 

PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT ALTERNATIVE: You may use a track - these can often be found on YouTube or you may choose to download the app "Appcompanist" which has a very large library of classical and musical theatre accompaniments. With Appcompanist, you can change the tempo and the key. Due to COVID-19, they are currently offering free 30 day trials. ALTERNATELY, you can sing unaccompanied.

Graduate Auditions:
Present  four songs or arias from memory in a variety of styles and languages (typically English, Italian, German, and French) which show the voice to its best advantage. See Piano Accompaniment Alternative above.
Brass and Woodwind Audition Requirements

Please record a movement of a sonata or concerto or two contrasting etudes. The instrumental faculty would prefer you prepare your best solo pieces. You are free to perform pieces that require an accompanist, however, no accompanist required for your audition. Please submit without edits.

As a supplement to your audition video(s) and interview, we would like to schedule a virtual lesson for you with the applied teacher of your instrument. This will be a great opportunity for you to get to know the teacher of your instrument and for you to learn more about what OU has to offer. We will work with you to schedule the lesson at a mutually convenient time some time before the virtual audition interview date.

Piano Audition Requirements
Present one selection from the Baroque era, one first-movement from a classical sonata and one free choice from the Romantic through 21st century. All these pieces must be memorized and recorded without edits.

Be prepared for sight reading and playing scales and arpeggios during your video interview.

With your audition video(s), please upload a resume/CV and a repertoire list into the Google folder.
Percussion Audition Requirements
Please submit recordings of yourself playing at least one mallet solo using 2 or 4 mallets, one snare drum solo at the rudimental or orchestral level, and one timpani solo. If you DO NOT have access to a mallet instrument and/or timpani, please submit recording(s) of yourself playing the instruments that you do have (snare, hand-drums, etc.) We will be flexible based on the instruments you do have access to. On your zoom interview, you will be asked to play on snare drum or a practice pad, and be prepared for sight reading.

As a supplement to your audition video(s) and interview, we would like to schedule a virtual lesson for you with the applied teacher of your instrument. This will be a great opportunity for you to get to know the teacher of your instrument and for you to learn more about what OU has to offer. We will work with you to schedule the lesson at a mutually convenient time some time before the virtual audition interview date.
String Audition Requirements
Please prepare at least two contrasting works from the following three choices: (1) a movement from a J.S. Bach solo sonata, partita or suite, or other Baroque work; (2) a movement from a 19th or 20th century sonata or concerto; (3) a work of the student’s choice.

As a supplement to your audition video(s) and interview, we would like to schedule a virtual lesson for you with the applied teacher of your instrument. This will be a great opportunity for you to get to know the teacher of your instrument and for you to learn more about what OU has to offer. We will work with you to schedule the lesson at a mutually convenient time some time before the virtual audition interview date.
Music Technology Requirements
Candidates for the Music Technology program will present a portfolio/resume of their work to the faculty via zoom interview, as well as submit a video audition on their major instrument.

The portfolio/resume should show previous experience using music technology, including live events, your own compositions and/or recording. Include any software and hardware you have used on these projects. The portfolio interview allows candidates to share their interests, previous work experience and career goals.
Please note, in addition to the portfolio/resume interview, candidates are required to submit audition video(s) on their major instrument. Please see the audition requirements for your major instrument.
Theatre

Theatre Program Audition Guidelines
At Oakland University, auditioning for the Theatre program is an opportunity for you to show your personality, your strengths and the traits that make you a unique performer/technician. The more prepared you are, the more confident and focused you will be. The faculty want you prepared and relaxed so they can see your best work.

Although we would love to see you shine in person, this year's auditions will still be held live, but virtually. Each program has different audition requirements. Please read below for the specifics for each program.

On your chosen audition date, please set aside the entire day. There will be a zoom welcome and information meeting at 9:00 a.m.(EST). Your zoom audition/interview with the faculty will be scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (EST). Candidates should dress as you would for a live audition or interview. Your zoom audition links with times will be emailed to you approximately one week before your audition date.

For additional guidelines and suggestions to assist in your audition preparation, please see the information below.

If you have any questions, please reach out to SMTD admissions at smtdadmissions@oakland.edu

The Musical Theatre Audition
The audition for the Musical Theatre Program consists of two parts: first, you will prepare a dance combination (video examples coming soon) to be submitted via video TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE; and second, a live zoom audition on your chosen audition date where you will present two songs and a monologue. See requirements below.

Within a week before your dance audition video is due, you will be emailed a link to a Google drive folder into which you will upload your audition video and supplemental documents (resume and headshot). YOU MUST UPLOAD YOUR MATERIALS TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR AUDITION DATE. See deadlines above.

Video Audition: A video of the dance combination will be available on this website in the near future. Record yourself performing the dance combination as demonstrated on the video. Candidates should dress in basic dance wear, rehearsal attire or clothes which allow for ease of movement. No bulky or oversized sweat-pants or sweatshirts please. Candidates should wear jazz shoes if they have them. Bare feet are also appropriate.

Live Zoom Audition: Candidates will prepare two contrasting songs chosen from the standard musical theatre repertoire. The selections must be cut to 32 bars. One selection should be a ballad (sustained legato line); the second should be “up-tempo” and provide a contrast in rhythm, mood, characterization, style and approach. Both songs must be memorized. You may use a live accompanist or a track. The app " Appcompanist" has a large library musical theatre accompaniments and due to Covid, has been offering a free 30 day trial.

The monologue should complement the songs and not exceed two minutes in length. The monologue must be memorized and should not be in a dialect.

On the audition date, your scheduled zoom audition will also include an interview portion, which will be a chance for for you to discuss your goals and interests with the faculty and to ask questions. Relax and be yourself. We want to see your passion and personality. We simply want to get to know you more!

Please see this document for your zoom setup and equipment recommendations: ON CAMERA HOME SETUP FOR ZOOM
The Acting Audition
The audition for the Acting Program will consist of a live zoom audition on your audition date where you will present two monologues and have an interview with the faculty. See requirements below.

Candidates will prepare two contrasting monologues (i.e. comic/ dramatic, classical/contemporary). They should not exceed 4 minutes combined. Candidates should select monologues that show different abilities highlighting the candidate’s strengths. Monologues must be memorized and should not be in a dialect.

The Design and Technology Portfolio Presentation
Candidates for the Design and Technology Program will electronically submit a portfolio of their work to the faculty two weeks before their scheduled audition date. See deadlines above. The portfolio should show your previous theatrical and artistic projects in a detailed and organized manner. An electronic portfolio (website of PowerPoint) is preferred. Photographs of any artwork that is an example of your creative process is encouraged.
The video interview on the scheduled audition date will allow the candidates to share their interests, previous work experience and career goals with the faculty.
Dance

Dance Program Audition Guidelines
Dance Program Auditions are held several times a year. Our program includes:

  • All levels of ballet, modern and jazz technique
  • Emphasis on performance, choreography and teaching
  • Courses in kinesiology, dance history, career planning and teaching techniques
  • Resident professional company, Eisenhower Dance
  • Resident pre-professional company, OU Repertory Dance Company
  • Many performance opportunities including two annual main-stage concerts
  • Apprenticeships available in the professional company

For Your Video Audition

You are required to submit videos as outlined below. You will also have a live zoom interview component on the audition date you have chosen. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your goals with the faculty and to ask your own questions.

You will be emailed a link to a google folder into which you will upload your audition video and supplemental documents (portfolio, resume, etc.). YOU MUST UPLOAD YOUR MATERIALS TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR AUDITION DATE.

See videos of the pre-recorded ballet and modern combinations as examples (coming soon)

  1. Dancer must record themself executing all pre-recorded ballet technique combinations as follows and in this order*:
    1. Ballet Barre I,II, III
    2. Ballet Center I & II
      *All ballet combinations must be performed on both the right and left side. (Note: feel free to add extra pirouettes, or extend legs higher where appropriate)

  2. Dancer must record themselves executing both pre-recorded modern technique combinations as followed and in this order. Modern combinations do not need to be performed on both the right and left side.
    1. Modern Combo I
    2. Modern Combo II

  3. Dancer must record a one minute solo in either ballet, modern or jazz.

Video Submission Guidelines:

  • Dress as you would for any professional audition (i.e. wear ballet shoes for ballet and barefoot for modern, no loose sweatshirts or pants, etc.)
  • Full body shots only. No close ups.
  • For your solo, provide credits so we'll know if it's your choreography or someone else's.