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 campsProfessional Development

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 Honor Orchestra will issue refunds no later than one week before the first rehearsal.

For more information, please contact

Thoughts Along the Way: Methodologies, Practical Strategies and Successful Repertoire for Adolescent Voices

Saturday: October 15, 2022
Location: Varner Hall, Room 110
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Please register at

The clinic is free* to attend. 
*If you are interested in receiving 3 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs), you can pay $14.00 (payment link will be sent at a later date.)

Clinic Synopsis: Middle level music education is a passion for many music educators. It has been the mission of this presenter to share successful methods, strategies, choral repertoire, and philosophies with colleagues working at this level. Amidst challenging times, music educators can present our passion and bring about positive, fruitful experiences for choral music students. These experiences can be created with teaching methods, strategies, and repertoire that allows the adolescent singer to achieve success and self-expression.

Learning Outcomes:
• The participant will receive insight into the presenter’s philosophy of music education, methodologies, and approaches to
middle level choral music as well as practical ideas on how to approach the adolescent singing voice.
• The participant will receive practical teaching strategies and lesson planning ideas for implementation into the middle level
choral classroom.
• The participant will receive from the session, multiple resources including a list (reading packet) of successful middle school
choral repertoire for immediate use in their classroom.
• The participant will leave the session affirmed, challenged and with ideas for reflection and immediate implementation.

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)
High School Honor Orchestra November 18 - 20, 2022


For those who have been selected to participate in the OU 2022 High School Honors Orchestra, please register and pay the $45 dollar fee (includes t-shirt and dinner) HERE.

November 18 - 20, 2022

Oakland Center at Oakland University
Rochester, MI

Oakland University 2022 High School Honors Orchestra will feature Zeljko (Bill) Milicevic, principal clinician and conductor and Dr. Gregory Cunningham, conductor in addition to OU String Faculty and members of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra.

SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS for Fall 2023 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 18 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.

Honor Orchestra Schedule

Friday, November 18
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  

Saturday, November 19
4 – 5:15 p.m. – Sectional rehearsal with string faculty
5:15 – 6 p.m. – Pizza (provided)
6:15 – 8 p.m. – Rehearsal 

Sunday, November 20
2 p.m. - Dress Rehearsal for Strings 
2:30 p.m. - Dress Rehearsal for Strings and Oakland Symphony Winds, Brass and Percussion
4 p.m. - Concert

Questions? Contact Michelle Tschirhart at

For a complete list of performances, visit

High School Honor Band November 4-5, 2022

Presenting the Oakland University 2022 High School Honor Band.

If you have been selected for the OU 2022 High School Honor Band, please register and pay the $40 fee (includes lunch and a t-shirt) here: REGISTER HERE

When: November 4-5, 2022

Where: Oakland Center at Oakland University, 212 Meadowbrook Road, Rochester, MI. PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS NOT BEING HELD IN VARNER HALL DUE TO THE RENOVATION IN PROGRESS.

Featuring: Dr. Brant Karrick, Retired Director of Bands from Northern Kentucky University, 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 4 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 4
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 5
9 a.m. Rehearsal (arrive at 8:30)
11 a.m. Sectionals with OU Faculty
Noon - Lunch in the Oakland Center 
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.

Clarinet Solo & Ensemble Workshop

Check back later for more information.

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
Take Root's Dance for Parkinson's Disease Program provides a safe and inclusive environment, welcoming ALL participants, care givers and spouses, using dance to impact the lives of others.

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.

Saturdays from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. in Studio 109 in Varner Hall (371 Varner Drive in Rochester)
  • September 24
  • October 8
  • November 12
  • December 3
  • January 14
  • February 4
  • March 4
  • April 22
  • May 13
For more information visit:


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.