Mobile Navigation Menu Icon. 3 horizontal gold bars.

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

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.)

Workshops and Camps
Music, Theatre and Dance at OU offers community members an opportunity to participate in workshops 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.

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
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

Voice Day
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Workshop and Masterclass on Yoga for Singers with Dr. Evangelia Leontis
Free admission.   Register today!

1 - 2:30 p.m.
Group Yoga Workshop
Location: OU Recreation Center, Studio 919
(bring a yoga mat if you have one - there will be extras if you need one)

2:45 - 4 p.m.
Location: Varner Recital Hall

4 - 4:30 p.m.
Q&A for prospective students

7 p.m.
Oakland University Opera production of Dialogues of the Carmelites 
Up to 2 complimentary tickets available for Voice Day participants
Our Voice Day session with Dr. Leontis contains two parts: a group workshop with a hands-on, interactive introduction to proper alignment of the body using key concepts from yoga and yogic breathing techniques as they pertain to singing, and a dynamic application of these concepts to performance in a masterclass setting. The concepts of body alignment taught in yoga are extremely useful for singers as they encourage proprioceptive awareness and a tension-free stance.  The group will be led through a series of yoga postures specifically aimed at preparing the body to sing by eliminating tension and facilitating proper alignment. Pranayama breathing techniques will also be presented and are used to help singers become more aware of the movements of their breath, aid in developing breath control, and to help calm pre-performance nerves. This workshop will introduce these concepts to the entire group and then apply them to the performance of 2-4 Oakland University students in the Master Class portion of the day.

Concepts covered will include:
Yoga stretches and poses that prepare the body for singing
Finding your best body alignment for singing (and for life!)
Centering the mind and body for performance
Pranayama breathing techniques to expand and connect to breath

Evangelia Leontis, soprano, has extensive experience on the opera, concert and recital stages. She has been featured on the operatic stage in roles including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Frasquita in Carmen, and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, among others. Dr. Leontis won the Bel Canto Award in the 2015 Orpheus Competition, was a finalist in the 2015 Kentucky Bach Choir Competition, and a winner of the 2010 Greek University Women’s Club Music Competition. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM), Boston University (MM), and UNC Greensboro (DMA).  Dr. Leontis currently serves on the voice faculty of Keene State College and previously served on the faculties of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and Guilford College. 

Dr. Leontis completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Bali, Indonesia with YogaWorks and has a blog entitled Inner Voice: the Intersection of Yoga and Singing. She has presented this workshop at numerous schools and programs including the Boston Conservatory, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Manchester Music Festival, the New Music School, Greensboro College, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. More information can be found at

Clarinet State Solo and Ensembles Clinic

Sunday, March 8, 2020 from 1 - 4 p.m.
Free admission
Click here to register! Email with questions.

Clarinetists in grades 9-12 are invited to perform solo and ensemble works in preparation for State Solo and Ensemble, as well as any other auditions or performances. Oakland University clarinet professor George Stoffan will offer suggestions for soloists and ensembles. Clarinet ensembles, as well as mixed ensembles, are encouraged to perform. All will benefit from the opportunity to perform for all in attendance and from the feedback from Professor Stoffan.

Note: Parents and Teachers are welcome to attend!

Piano Day

Sunday, February 9, 2020
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cost: $40 for Piano Day and Competition (parents and teachers can observe for free!)

1. Click here to register.
2. Click here to pay
(after you've registered.)

  • Each student can choose a masterclass or mini-lesson session (please indicate preference on registration form) with an OU faculty. Participants will compete for cash prizes as well as scholarships to the OU Summer Piano Camp.
  • Competition Details:
    • Age Groups and Performance Times
      • Ages 12-14  |  10 minutes
      • Ages 15-18  |  12 minutes
    • Repertoire Requirements
      • Two memorized, contrasting solo works
    • Prizes
      • Winners in each group will receive cash prizes, scholarships to the OU Piano Camp as well as future performance opportunities

Questions? Please contact Dr. Tian,

High School Jazz Festival
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Oakland Center Banquet Rooms

Click here to register!
Click to PAY HERE

The OU jazz faculty hosts the Oakland University High School Jazz Festival on March 28, 2020. High school jazz bands (large and small) are welcome to perform and receive comments from OU jazz faculty. The deadline to register is February 1, 2019.

The rest of the day will include studio classes, a workshop entitled "Connecting With Your Band Through Improvisation","How to become a Grizzly" and a performance by the Oakland University Faculty Jazz Collective. The festival will conclude with an open jam session! This is a public event — anyone can participate in workshops and observe the performances.

Refunds will be given until March 21, 2020. Cancellations after March 21, 2020 will not be refunded.

Questions? Contact Sean Dobbins at
Piano Camp
June 15 - 19, 2020
Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Ages 12-17
Fee:  $395. Discounts available for return participants, siblings, 2020 Piano Day competition winners, and Oakland University faculty and staff.

Click here to register
Questions? Email

The piano program at Oakland University presents its 2020 Piano Camp for pianists 12-17 years of age. This camp is recommended for intermediate to advanced piano students. Younger pianists will be considered upon recommendation of the faculty.

Activities include:
  • Daily Lessons
  • Duet Classes
  • Composition Classes
  • Master Classes
  • Special Guest Presentations
  • Performance Opportunities
For more information, call (248) 370-2030 or email Tian Tian at .
Assembly Quartet Saxophone Workshop

Assembly Quartet Saxophone Workshop at Oakland University
June 22-26, 2020 

Faculty Artists:
Dr. Jeffrey Heisler, Oakland University
Dr. Ian Jeffress, Western Carolina University
Dr. Matthew Younglove, Tennessee Tech University
Dr. Adam Estes, University of Mississippi

Open to all College Undergraduate, High School, and Middle School Saxophonists! Lessons, Masterclasses, Seminars, Saxophone Quartets, Saxophone Choir, Jazz Improvisation, Recitals.

Questions: contact Dr. Heisler at
Click here to register!

Summer Theatre Camp

Monday - Friday
June 15 - 19, 2020
Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Varner Hall

Students entering 9th grade through graduating seniors

Description: OU’s Summer Theatre Camp presents a variety of classes geared toward students that want to take their theatre skills to the next level! You can register for the full camp (five days of five daily classes) or choose the individual classes that excite you the most. Either way, you will take away techniques and experiences that will tap into the best theatre artist you can be. Take a leap! We guarantee this will be the most fun you can have with the beginning of your summer!

Daily Schedule:
Audition Class | 9 - 10:20 a.m.
Unarmed Stage Combat | 10:30 - 11:50 a.m.
Lunch | 11:55 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
Acting the Song | 12:30 - 1:50 p.m.
Theatrical Lighting Design -OR- Improv (your choice) | 2 - 3:20 p.m.
Alexander Technique | 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.

Cost for the week: $90 per class or $395 for a full day (5 classes)

Click here to register! Questions? Email
Teaching Young Voices
June 22-23, 2020
Banquet Room A in the Oakland Center

Fee: $150 (includes registration and lunch)
Certified teachers who attend can receive SCECH credits (State Continuing Education Clock Hours)
Registration will be available January 17.

Workshop Description:
Teaching the developing voice is a relatively under-researched area. This two-day course will look at the growth and development of the voice from birth to adult. What we learn from this can then inform our expectations of singers at all stages of development. The session will include recordings of boys and girls at all stages of adolescence with simple ways to assess them.

This course will give music educators a firm foundation in the development of children’s voices, what they are capable of at each stage and the issues encountered during puberty. If you are a singing teacher, choral director, classroom music educator, or a musical theatre director – this course is what you need to know for nurturing young voices. The content is based on research evidence and a lifetime of experience in the field. Attendees will be given the tools to devise their own teaching strategies, while protecting and developing the growing voice.

About Dr. Jenevora Williams:
World-renowned Dr. Jenevora Williams from the U.K. will be presenting her first U.S. course at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Author of the book; Teaching Singing To Children and Young Adults, Dr. Williams has limitless enthusiasm for voices: singing, teaching singing and training singing teachers. Her particular interest is in health, and her teaching focuses on enabling the most efficient and easy ways of finding the best sound for the student. During her performing career she became concerned at the level and awareness of vocal technique and health issues among young singers. Combining this interest with her scientific background led Dr. Williams to a PhD investigating the vocal health and development of boy choristers in UK Cathedrals. She is now a leading global expert in both voice rehabilitation and pedagogy.

July 5-19, 2020
NewDANCEfest is a multidimensional festival, which brings artists at various levels of the profession together. Opportunities are provided for Established Choreographers, Emerging Choreographers and Dancers to create and study in a rich, rewarding and artistic environment. Choreographers are given time and space to create new works, and Dancers are given professional training and the experience of mentoring with some of the best professionals in the dance world. NewDANCEfest will provide daily technique classes in a variety of styles, choreography seminars, discussion forums, critique sessions, mentorship opportunities, informal showings and performances. The festival will be located in the beautiful city of Rochester, Michigan with classes for the Intermediate/Advanced Division (ages 10-15) held on the campus of Oakland University. Classes for the Advanced/Professional Division (ages 16 and up) will be held at The School of Eisenhower Dance Detroit located at 103 South Street. Housing for all participants is available on the Campus of Oakland University for an additional cost.

For more information and to register, visit
Golden Grizzlies Jazz Camp

July 20–24, 2020
9 a.m.–5 p.m. 
Ages: Students entering 9th grade through graduating seniors
Registration Coming Soon

The Golden Grizzlies Jazz Camp will allow students of all levels to expand their knowledge in improvisation, ensemble techniques and jazz fundamentals. Students will receive instruction from OU jazz faculty as well as mentorship from current OU students. This unique camp allows students to form small groups from their school (up to eight people) and perform as an ensemble. They can also register as an individual and be placed in an existing group. The camp will conclude with a performance at an area Detroit jazz venue.

Email with questions.
Honors Ensembles
Attention all high school band/orchestra directors. We’d love to have your students join us for two exciting ensemble events, as high school musicians from across the state come to the Oakland University campus to rehearse and perform with OU faculty and guest clinicians.

Membership in these ensembles will be based on teacher nominations. 

Find the appropriate ensemble below to submit nominations or to register.

Questions? Contact

Oakland University Honors Orchestra
November 15-17, 2019
Fee $40



Friday, November 15
5 – 6:45 p.m. – Registration and chair placement (String faculty)
7 – 9 p.m. – Rehearsal in Recital Hall (RH) 

Saturday, November 16
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 17
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

Oakland University Honor Band
with clinician Frank Tracz, director of bands at Kansas State University

November 8-9, 2019
Fee $25



Friday November 8
4:30 p.m. - Check-in begins (4 p.m. for those auditioning for the OU SMTD scholarships)
5 p.m. - Placement auditions begin
7 p.m. - Rehearsal begins
9 p.m. - Rehearsal ends

Saturday November 9
9 a.m. - Rehearsal begins
11 a.m. - Sectionals with OU Faculty
Noon - Lunch (provided)
12:45 p.m. - Rehearsal 
2:30 p.m. - Break
3 p.m. - Pre-concert rehearsal 
3:30 p.m. - Concert

Questions? Contact
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 a children’s touring show. In May and June, James and the Giant Peach will tour Metro Detroit Schools, libraries and other public venues. Learn how to bring this exciting production to your school by emailing or calling (248) 370-2030.

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.