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. We are a NO FEE university so your application is FREE. 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. THERE IS NO FEE TO AUDITION.

Music Audition FormTheatre Audition FormDance Audition Form

AUDITION DATES FOR FALL 2022 ADMISSION:
We are planning on live, in-person auditions this year, which will be subject to change pending COVID restrictions. We welcome video auditions should you live too far from campus. Video auditions will be accepted on a rolling basis through March 12.

  • November 5, 2021: Dance Only
  • January 22, 2022: Theatre Only
  • February 5, 2022: Music Only
  • February 19, 2022: Music, Theatre and Dance
  • March 12, 2022: Music and Theatre Only

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

Music

Music Department Audition Guidelines

At your audition, you will meet the faculty and discuss your course of study. You will be evaluated on proficiency with your instrument or voice and considered for admission into the program. All programs will have an interview component. If you are applying to the music technology programs, there will be an additional interview as part of your audition. Please set aside the entire day for your audition.

Music Theory Placement Exam: As part of the audition day, you will be required to take a music theory placement exam. This exam has no bearing on whether you are admitted or not. It is just to place you into the correct theory course should you enroll in the music department.

Should you be auditioning via video, and you are accepted into the music program, you will receive a link in your email soon thereafter to take the music theory placement exam. 

Piano Placement Exam: You are not required to take a 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. Please contact Lois Kaarre at kaarre@oakland.edu.

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 (for video auditions, 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. Singers may bring their own accompanist or perform with one of our staff accompanists. Printed copies of the audition pieces must be in a 3-ring binder with a non-glare surface if our accompanist is utilized. A staff accompanist is provided at no charge for your audition. You may however, bring your own accompanist if you prefer.

PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT ALTERNATIVE FOR VIDEO AUDITIONS: You may use a track - these can often be found on YouTube or you may choose to pay for an app such as "Appcompanist" which has a very large library of classical and musical theatre accompaniments. With Appcompanist, you can change the tempo and the key. 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. Singers may bring their own accompanist or perform with one of our staff accompanists. Printed copies of the audition pieces must be in a 3-ring binder with a non-glare surface if our accompanist is utilized. A staff accompanist is provided at no charge for your audition. You may however, bring your own accompanist if you prefer.

Brass and Woodwind Audition Requirements

Please prepare a movement of a sonata or concerto or two contrasting etudes. The instrumental faculty would prefer you prepare your best solo pieces; no accompaniment required. However, if you would like to play with an accompanist, please bring your own.

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 the 21st century. All these pieces must be memorized at the audition.

Be prepared for sight reading and playing scales and arpeggios.

Bring with you a resume/CV and a list of previously learned repertoire to your OU audition.

Percussion Audition Requirements

Please prepare at least one mallet solo using 2 or 4 mallets, one snare drum solo at the rudimental or orchestral level, and one timpani solo. Be prepared for sight reading. If you do not have access to a mallet instrument and/or timpani, please let us know ahead of time by emailing smtdadmissions@oakland.edu.

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.

Music Technology Requirements

Candidates for the Music Technology program will present a portfolio/resume of their work to the faculty as well as an 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 presentation 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 perform an audition 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. This goes for pre-recorded auditions as well as in-person auditions. Relax and be yourself. We want to see your passion and personality!

All candidates must provide a headshot or recent photograph, as well as a single-page resume listing productions worked on, roles played and training. Scrapbooks, press clippings and videotapes will not be accepted (with the exception of Theatre Design and Technology auditionees).

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

Please read below for the specifics for each program.

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 will include two songs, a monologue, a group dance call and an interview with faculty. See requirements below.

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. An accompanist will be provided, but you may provide your own. Please bring sheet music in the correct key with all cuts and repetitions clearly marked. Music should be placed in a binder for the benefit of the accompanist.

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. The monologue should be from a play.

After the song and monologue portion of the audition, candidates will be asked to sit with the faculty and discuss their interests and career goals.

The dance call requires no prior preparation and will consist of a warm-up followed by some dance combinations. Each combination is taught to the entire group and is then performed in smaller groups. Candidates should dress in basic dance wear, rehearsal attire or clothes which allow for ease of movement. Women should wear character shoes or jazz shoes, leotards, tights, dance skirts or non-bulky warm-up wear. Men should wear jazz shoes, tights, jazz pants or shorts and a t-shirt. No bulky or oversized sweat-pants or sweatshirts are permitted. Street shoes may not be worn on the dance floor. Candidates should bring tap shoes if they have them.

The Acting Audition

The audition for the Acting Program will include two monologues, a group movement call and an interview with 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. Monologues should be from a play.

After the monologue portion of the audition, candidates will be invited to sit with the faculty and discuss their interests and career goals.

The movement call requires no prior preparation and will consist of a warm-up followed by a series of physical exercises led by a faculty member. Candidates should bring basic rehearsal attire that will allow for ease of movement. No bulky or oversized sweatpants or sweatshirts are permitted. Candidates should bring jazz shoes if they have them. Bare feet is also appropriate. Street shoes may not be worn on the dance floor.

The Design and Technology Portfolio Presentation

Candidates for the Design and Technology Program will present a portfolio of their work to the faculty. It may be in an electronic or hard copy format. The portfolio should show your previous theatrical and artistic projects in a detailed and organized manner. Any artwork that is an example of your creative process is encouraged.

The presentation allows candidates to share their interests, previous work experience, and career goals. Candidates should dress in a professional manner.

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 Audition

  • Dancers should dress in leotards and tights (women), gym pants and T-shirts (men). Please, no loose clothing.
  • Dancers should bring ballet and jazz shoes, and be prepared to dance in bare feet.
  • The audition will consist of ballet, modern and jazz combinations that will be demonstrated for you.
  • You are required to perform a one minute solo in either modern, ballet or jazz technique.
  • Please have the music for your solo on a mobile device.
  • You will have a brief private interview with the dance faculty.
  • Please allow approximately 3-4 hours to complete the audition process.