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

High School Honor Orchestra November 4-5, 2023

Information coming soon!

Questions? Contact Michelle Tschirhart at

For a complete list of performances, visit

High School Honor Band November 10-11, 2023

Information coming soon!Questions? Contact Michelle Tschirhart at

Woodwind Day - Sunday, October 8, 2023

Attention Flutists, Oboists, Clarinetists, Bassoonists and Saxophonists! Please join us for a day dedicated to all things woodwind with Oakland University faculty on Sunday, October 8, 2023. This day-long event is for woodwind players and educators of all ages and levels and will include workshops, performances, masterclasses, all-state rep, a woodwind ensemble reading session and vendors.






  • 8:30 - Check in at the Varner Recital Hall Lobby

  • 9:00 - Faculty Recital

  • 10:15 - Faculty Masterclasses for each instrument - warm ups, all state rep, and more

  • 11:15 AND 11:45 - Choose Your Own Adventure - each workshop is 30 minutes long and open to any instrument. They will be offered twice, so you can attend two different workshops:

    • How to build a practice schedule - Prof. Brandon LePage

    • Improvisation and playing by ear - Prof. Timothy Michling

    • Preparing for College Auditions - Prof. Michelle Tschirhart

    • Tech in the practice room - Prof. Ralph Skiano

    • Intro to Arranging - Prof. Cornelia Sommer

  • 12:15 - Lunch (pizza provided by OU), vendor time

  • 1:00 - Woodwind Ensemble Reading Session involving all attendees, OU woodwind students, and faculty - directed by Dr. Gregory Cunningham, and Dr. Pamela Klena (friends and family are invited to listen)

  • 1:30 - Meet and Greet with faculty and parents, vendor time

$20 registration covers registration and lunch.

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 holds regular events at Pontiac venues throughout the season, including the Pontiac Little Art Theatre 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 132 in Varner Hall (371 Varner Drive in Rochester)
  • September 16
  • October 14
  • November 11
  • December 9
  • January 13
  • February 10
  • March 2
  • April 10
  • May 11
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.

Oakland Youth Brass Band

The Oakland Youth Brass Band is composed of high school brass and percussion students looking to build a strong fundamental groundwork in the British Brass Band style. Weekly rehearsals and sectionals will take place on Sunday afternoons at Oakland University during the Winter term and repertoire will include lyrical pieces, marches, and test pieces that will build the necessary skills needed to succeed on upper level literature in this performance area. 

Questions? Please contact Dr. Kenneth Kroesche at