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Monday, January 13, 2014 - Highlights of the Winter 2014 Performance Schedule

As ever, we have a schedule packed with music, theatre and dance performances by our students, faculty and guests. You can get full details of all the events in our season brochure, on our online calendar, and now on our new Web landing page at We hope you enjoy our new online performance schedule page, which is designed to be more user friendly than the old calendar format. Let us know what you think!

Here are just some January and February highlights. On Thursday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m. we will host guest performer Avner the Eccentric in his show "Exceptions to Gravity," which we expect to delight and mystify the audience. Avner Eisenberg is a master of physical comedy, an internationally-known vaudeville performer, clown, mime, juggler and sleight of hand magician, who has performed throughout the United States and around the world. “Exceptions to Gravity" is a perfect show for audiences of all ages and cultures. Avner defies the barriers of language as he weaves a spell of poetic simplicity in a show of hilarious predicaments. Get more details here.

Our artist-in-residence, Regina Carter, will be on campus to perform on Saturday, January 18 at 8 p.m. This year she will share the stage with both the Oakland Jazz Quartet and the Oakland University Chamber Orchestra in a night of jazz with an orchestral hue. The concert will include tunes from Regina's new record, which will be released in March. There will also be chamber jazz string arrangements and traditional African xylophone music. Something for everyone! Regina, an OU music alum, is a preeminent jazz violinist, a highly original soloist, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellow and an international touring musician. Get more details of this event hereAnd follow Regina on Facebook here.

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, the great Welsh poet. Our theatre program will be part of the international celebration as they stage Under Milk Wood, Thomas’s stellar work, originally written as a radio play and later adapted for the stage. It will run from February 6 through February 16. The beautifully poetic dialogue tells the stories of the colorful inhabitants of a Welsh coastal village, but these villagers who plot and laugh, hope and remember could be anywhere. Their stories are universal. Every performance will be shadow-signed for the Deaf and the hard of hearing by Synergy on Stage, turning what was once “a play for voices” into “a play for voices and hands.” Get more details about this production here.

One of the highlights of the dance year will be the two performances on February 7 and 8 when Take Root and The Leopold Group will share a concert. Take Root is the professional contemporary modern dance company co-founded and directed by OU dance faculty members Thayer Jonutz and Ali Woerner. They have a growing reputation in the Detroit Metro area as a company that thrives on collaboration and brings a multidisciplinary approach to concepts and movement. They are happy to work in non-traditional spaces and aim to reach their audiences directly. The Leopold Group is a Chicago-based dance company guaranteed to bring innovative movement creations to the stage, with a mission to create, promote, and produce modern dance performances that are an accessible, interesting and intellectual form of communication. Both companies push boundaries and limits. Prepare to be dazzled! Get more details about this dance event here.

The third concert in the Chamber Music Society of Detroit at OU series is on Sunday, February 9, when the Kyodai Brass Quintet will perform. The quintet, two sets of musical brothers - Conrad, Gary and Douglas Jones (trumpet, trombone and tuba), and Hayato and Hirofumi Tanaka (trumpet and horn) - is known for its eclectic programming, exciting performances, extremely diverse repertoire and commitment to educating audiences of all ages. You will find more details here.

One of the great highlights of our season every year is the annual David Daniels Young Artists Concert, featuring solo performances by the winners of the Oakland University Concerto Competition. They perform their competition pieces with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra. This year's event is on Sunday, February 16 at 3 p.m. The orchestra will also perform Overture to Oberon by Carl Maria von Weber; The Black Swan (after Brahms’ 6 Piano Pieces, Op. 118: No. 2, Intermezzo in A) by Bright Sheng; and All Things Majestic by Jennifer Higdon. Information is available here.

All these events are in Varner Hall on the Oakland University campus. The hall is surrounded by ample free parking. Maps are available at or by searching for "Varner Hall" on a smart phone. Additional information, including specific locations, is available on OU Music, Theatre and Dance's website at or by calling (248) 370-2030.

And don’t forget to check our season brochure or online calendar for other events. We’ll see you in the audience!

Top right: Regina Carter
Middle left: Under Milk Wood poster, art work by Jeremy Barnett
Middle right: Ali Woerner and Thayer Jonutz of Take Root
Lower left: The Kyodai Brass Quintet