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

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 camps

Workshops and Camps

Music, Theatre and Dance at OU offers community members an opportunity to participate in workshops virtually for the time being, or in-person 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.

For workshops with a fee, 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. Exceptions: Honor Band and Honors Orchestra will issue refunds no later than one week before the first rehearsal.

For more information, please contact

Community Jazz Workshop with Regina Carter

Saturday, April 2 at 12 p.m.
Flagstar Strand Theatre for the Performing Arts
12 N. Saginaw Street in Pontiac

This interactive workshop will give students and community members an opportunity to engage with Regina Carter on the fundamentals of musicality and improvisation. Participates are strongly encouraged to bring their instruments as there will be opportunities to play.

To attend, RSVP via email to

Oakland University 2022 Piano Day Competition

Oakland University 2022 Piano Day Competition, sponsored by Evola Music

Registration Deadline: EXTENDED TO 03/10/2022: Register at OU Piano Competition Form

Registration Fee: $40 - to pay, contact Matt at Evola Music: email or call (248) 334-0566

Winners’ Announcement: Piano Day 03/13/2022 (should there be a significant improvement in COVID numbers, this event may be held in-person)

Piano Day: 03/20/2022 - OU Faculty will present masterclasses to competition participants based on judges' recommendations (should there be a significant improvement in COVID numbers, this event may be held in-person).

Competitions Rules: Virtual format with the possibility of some in-person events should COVID conditions significantly improve.

Each performance must include two contrasting works from different eras of classical repertoire (baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary) from memory. It is permissible for performances to go over the time limit. However, judges will not take more than the allotted time for each division to review. Each video must be continuous and unedited. Performers can choose to record both works at once or separately. Please label each video with the performer's name and the title of the piece. Select "Unlisted" for the videos so only those with a link can find it. For questions, please email Dr. Rebecca Happel (


  • Division I: Ages 10 and under: up to 10 minutes
  • Division II: Ages 11-14: up to 12 minutes
  • Division III: Ages 15-18: up to 15 minutes 


  • Cash Prizes
  • Virtual Winners Concert (may be held in person if COVID numbers significantly improve)
  • Masterclass with OU Faculty (may be held in person if COVID numbers significantly improve)
Releasing the Music Teacher “Pressure-Valve":  Reflecting, Renewing, Envisioning What’s Next

Saturday: April 9, 2022 
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Informal Lunch to Follow)
Lake Huron Room, Oakland Center (first floor across from the OU Bookstore)

In recent years, middle and high school music educators have faced many challenges—individually and collectively, in our classrooms and beyond. The COVID 19 pandemic, political tensions, social movements, a local school shooting, and other social phenomena have impacted teacher, student, and community well-being. For some, challenges have been exacerbated by a lack of resources and support. In such a context, it is necessary for music teachers to be provided with a psychologically safe and brave space to reflect, wonder, and share (ideas, potential solutions, triumphs)—together as a community. In terms of growth and development, it is important for in-service music teachers to engage in critical reflection and dialogue with others is the field. Fundamentally, music teachers today deserve time for respite. Here we will pause, reflect on, and discuss ways to navigate these turbulent times as we come to the end of this school year and prepare for the next.

Register at

Pay for SCECHs Here (3.5 available): 

OU Voice: Classical Cabaret April 18, 2022

Monday, April 18 6:30 p.m. Ann Toomey Cabaret

ANN TOOMEY, soprano, is a 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions national semifinalist and a 2019 Richard F. Gold Career Grant recipient. In early 2020, she made her European debut to critical acclaim as the title role in Suor Angelica at the Berlin Philharmonie under the baton of Kirill Petrenko. In the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Toomey will sing the title role of Korngold’s Die Kathrin with the Chicago Folks Operetta and return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as the cover of the Lady in Waiting in Macbeth.

This event will be followed by a talk-back and Q&A with Ms. Toomey immediately following the performances.

We are proud to celebrate the vocal arts in Michigan and hope you come join us on campus for this wonderful event.



High School Honors Orchestra November 19-21, 2021


For those who have been selected to participate in the OU 2021 High School Honors Orchestra, please register and pay the $40 dollar fee (includes t-shirt and dinner) here: High School Honors Orchestra 2021

(all selected students must show PROOF OF VACCINATION at check-in before chair placements)

November 19-21, 2021

Varner Recital Hall at Oakland University
371 Varner Drive in Rochester, MI

Oakland University 2021 High School Honors Orchestra will feature Zelijko (Bill) Milicevic, principal clinician and conductor in addition to OU String Faculty and members of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra.

SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS for Fall 2022 Admission to the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance (optional)
For any seniors who are looking at being a music major or minor at OU, we will be holding in-person scholarship auditions for the OU School of Music, Theatre and Dance before the festivities begin - Friday, November 19 beginning at 3:30 p.m. If you would like to audition, please email and put “OUHO Scholarship” in the subject line.

For scholarship auditions, be prepared to play 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.

Honors Orchestra Schedule

Friday, November 19
3:30 p.m. Scholarship Auditions (check in 3:00)
4:30 p.m. Check in for everyone else
5 – 6:45 p.m. – Chair Placement Auditions
7 – 9 p.m. – Rehearsal in Recital Hall (RH)

Saturday, November 20
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 21
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 Michelle Tschirhart at

For a complete list of performances, visit

High School Honor Band November 12-13, 2021

Presenting the Oakland University 2021 High School Honor Band.

If you have been selected for the OU 2021 High School Honor Band, please register and pay the $30 fee (includes lunch and a t-shirt) here: Honors Band November 2021.

Please note, participants will need to show proof of vaccination at check in.

When: November 12-13, 2021

Where: Varner Recital Hall at Oakland University
371 Varner Drive in Rochester, MI

Featuring: Dr. Andrea Brown, Associate Director of Bands from the University of Maryland will serve as the weekend's guest conductor. Students will also work with Oakland University faculty and hear a short performance of the Oakland University Wind Symphony as part of the event. 

Optional Scholarship auditions for fall 2022 admission to the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance. For any seniors who are looking at being a music major or minor at OU, we will be holding in-person scholarship auditions for the OU School of Music, Theatre and Dance before the festivities begin - Friday, November 12 beginning at 5 p.m. If you would like to audition for the scholarship, please email and put “OUHB Scholarship” in the subject line.

For scholarship auditions, be prepared to play a movement of a sonata or concerto or two contrasting etudes.

Honor Band Schedule:

Friday, November 12
5 p.m.  Optional Oakland University Scholarship Auditions (Check-in 4:30)
6 p.m. Check-in for everyone else
6:30 p.m. Rehearsal begins
9 p.m. Rehearsal ends

Saturday, November 13
9 a.m. Rehearsal (arrive at 8:30)
11 a.m. Sectionals with OU Faculty
Noon Pizza Lunch provided by OU
12:45 p.m. Rehearsal
2:30 p.m. Break
3 p.m. Pre-concert rehearsal
3:30 p.m. Concert 

Questions? Contact Michelle Tschirhart at

Percussion Day

Check back later for more information.

Virtual Clarinet Solo & Ensemble Workshop, January 17, 2021

Announcing the OU Virtual Clarinet Solo and Ensemble Workshop with Dr. George Stoffan.

January 17, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

High School Clarinetists and any mixed instrument ensembles are invited to perform pieces in preparation for Solo and Ensemble, or any other audition or performance. Oakland University Clarinet Professor Dr. George Stoffan will present the workshop. Benefit from playing for the group and one-on-one tips from Dr. Stoffan.

The clinic will be held via Zoom.

Completely Virtual and free.

Register for the Virtual Clarinet Solo & Ensemble Workshop.

Piano Pedagogy Workshop January 29-30, 2021

OU's Piano Area is honored to introduce the First Annual Piano Pedagogy Workshop
Sponsored by the Judd Family Endowed Fund
January 29 and 30, 2021

We welcome internationally renowned artists, including Helen Marlais, Logan Skelton and Robert Satterlee to present a series of lectures, masterclasses and concerts.

Teachers and pre-college students are invited to attend.

The clinic will be held via Zoom.

Completely virtual and FREE.

Register for the OU Piano Pedagogy Workshop here.

Schedule of Events:

January 29, 2021 Day 1 Presenter: Logan Skelton

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.: Logan Skelton Presentation
1 - 3:00 p.m.: Logan Skelton Masterclass
7:30 p.m.: Guest Concert

January 30, 2021 Day 2 Presenter: Helen Marlais

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.: Helen Marlais Masterclass with local pre-college students
1 - 3 p.m.: Helen Marlais Masterclass with OU students
7:30 p.m.: Solo Recital Presented by Robert Satterlee

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 an annual children’s play or musical. Stay tuned for more information regarding summer 2021. Learn how to bring this exciting production to your school by emailing

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.