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.

Learn more about our Summer 2021 camps.

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.

For more information, please contact
Oakland University Piano Day Competition

Oakland University Piano Day Competition, sponsored by Evola Music


Registration and upload deadline: March 1, 2021

Winners announcement, masterclass and concert: Piano Day - March 21, 2021

Registration Fee: $35

Register at OU Piano Competition

  • Competition Age Groups:
    • 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
  • Prizes:
    • Total Cash Prizes totaling $1,500
    • Virtual Winners Concert
    • Masterclass with OU Faculty

Competition Rules:

Virtual Format.

Each performance must include two contrasting works from different eras of classical repertoire (baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary) performed 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(s). Upload to YouTube and select "Unlisted" for the videos so only those with the link can access it. Once completed, provide links on competition registration form.

Details regarding the Piano Day on March 21 to be emailed once registration closes.

For questions, please email Tian Tian at

Percussion Day

A feast of percussion from around the world, featuring workshops, group performances, and individual lessons with Sean Dobbins, Patrick Fitzgibbon, Sam Jeyasingham, Dan Maslanka, and Mark Stone.

Check back in 2020! Questions? Email

Collegiate Voice Audition Workshop, January 16, 2021

Collegiate Voice Audition Workshop or What Makes a Great Video Audition? Hint: It's Not Your Gear

January 16, 2021 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST (virtual)
This workshop is open to all high school voice students who are preparing audition videos for college.
Join Dr. Alta Boover and Oakland University voice students for an informative workshop on how to best present yourself for your college audition videos. The event will be followed by a Q&A session. This workshop is free to participate, however you must register for the event.

8 p.m. "Bon Appetit" One Woman Operatic Scene and Talk back
All those who attend the workshop are invited to be our special guests on that same evening - Saturday, January 16, 2021 - for a virtual performance of *Bon Appetit*, a one-woman operatic scene by Lee Hoiby based on Episode #228 of Julia Child's PBS television show "The French Chef". Join Dr. Alta Boover as Julia Child as she instructs Alta Boover herself on how to bake "Le Gateau en Chocolate L'Emminence Brûne." Stay for a Zoom talk-back after the 15 minute show and bake along with her with the recipe from Julia's first cookbook, which will be shared.

Inspire the Choir, February 6, 2021
Inspire the Choir Virtual Event
When: Saturday, February 6, 2021, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Who: Singers of all levels and experience AND Music Educators
Where: Online via Zoom
Featuring: Eric Whitacre and Stacey Gibbs

Additional Events to Include: Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance proudly presents a day of vocal music-making and inspiration for both students and music educators. Informative and educational sessions will be provided for both the student and educator tracks. See schedule below.

The educator track qualifies for SCECH's. Pay for Inspire the Choir - SCECH.

Completely Virtual and Free

Register for Inspire the Choir.


9 - 9:55 a.m. The Importance of the Spiritual Today with Stacey Gibbs

10 - 10:55 a.m. Yoga for Singers with Jaclyn Normandie Johnson

11 - 11:55 a.m. Virtual Masterclass: Working Together While Apart with Dr. Alta Boover and Professor John-Paul White


11 - 11:55 a.m. Voice Building for Young Men with Dr. Drake Dantzler

12 - 1 p.m. Lunch Break - informal Q&A with OU Students

1 - 2:30 p.m. Tell Me Something Good: Q&A and Talkback with Eric Whitacre about Virtual Choir and a Lifelong Passion for Music

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Investigating OU student meet and greet with the OU vocal/choral faculty


2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Investigating OU Graduate degree Q&A for music educators, with the OU music education faculty
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

High School Jazz Festival, April 6, 2021
Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance presents: The 2021 OU Virtual High School Jazz Festival

Tuesday, April 6, 2021
5:30 to 7 p.m. EDT
Free Admission.

Featuring a performance by OU's jazz faculty and a webinar with guest artist, Regina Carter.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 998 6060 2465
Passcode: OUJAZZ2021

All high school jazz students and teachers are welcome. For more information, email
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.