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Ensembles

VOCAL
INSTRUMENTAL
STUDIOS

The Oakland University Symphony Chorus
The Symphony Chorus is made up of members of the Oakland Chorale and the University Chorus, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni. The group was formed in 2006 to perform major choral works with large instrumental ensembles. The Symphony Chorus appears most frequently with the Pontiac-Oakland Symphony and has recently performed the Levin edition of the Mozart Requiem in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of its composer, as well as the Durufle Requiem, the Daniel Pinkham Christmas Cantata, and the Debussy Nocturnes. In 2008 the Chorus joined forces with the Pontiac-Oakland Symphony to perform Guiseppe Verdi's Requiem at Detroit's historic Orchestra Hall in honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Oakland University.

The Oakland University Chorus
The University Chorus is open to all university students without audition. Prior musical and choral experience is recommended. The group performs great choral literature from the last 500 years and also enjoys a focus on multicultural music from around the world. The University Chorus was the first student choral group formed on the Oakland campus in the 1960s and has a long, proud history of making great music on the OU campus.

The Oakland Chorale
The Oakland Chorale is the elite touring choral ensemble in Oakland University’s Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Membership in the Chorale is open to all university students via competitive audition each fall. The Chorale maintains a busy concert schedule including frequent appearances with Oakland’s Resident Orchestra, the Pontiac-Oakland Symphony Orchestra, most recently performing the Verdi Requiem in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Oakland University at historic Orchestra Hall in Detroit. Recent Chorale Alumni have pursued graduate study in music at the University of Michigan, Indiana University, NYU, Manhattan School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and Julliard, among others, and include two Regional winners of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and a finalist in the 2008 Placido Domingo Competition. Chorale alumni are also pursuing professional musical careers in the US and Europe, and are teaching music in schools throughout the country. Past conductors of the Chorale include Walter S. Collins, Lyle Nordstrom, Suzanne Mallare Acton, and L.H. Brown. Michael Mitchell has been conductor of the group since 1997. In the spring of 2009 the Chorale completed a concert tour of Texas.

Oakland Opera and Opera Workshop
Opera and Opera Workshop (MUE 350/550) students perform scenes and full operas through out the year at Oakland. Every semester there is a production of either a complete opera with costumes, sets and orchestra, or a scenes program with repertoire picked specifically for the students in Opera Workshop.

Directed by Dr. Drake Dantzler, recent full productions have included works by Mozart, Menotti, Puccini, and Monteverdi, and scenes productions have been drawn from works that date from the early 17th century to exciting contemporary operas.

Oakland University Choral & Vocal Events
University Chorus and Oakland Chorale
St. Irenaeus Catholic Church
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8:00pm
Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 8:00pm
Michael Mitchell, conductor
$8 all seats

Opera Workshop
Varner Studio Theatre
Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 8:00pm
The Oakland University voice students present an evening of beautiful operatic scenes featuring music from across the genre.
Free admission

The Pirates of Penzance
Varner Recital Hall
Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 7:30pm
Friday, January 16, 2015 at 8:00pm
Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 8:00pm
Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 2:00pm
Gilbert and Sullivan's delightful 1880 masterpiece of theatre and wit comes to Varner Hall. Filled with charming tunes and comic banter, The Pirates of Penzance is a delight for all audiences. Follow the comical traits of Frederick as he attempts to escape his apprenticeship to the Pirate King in order to wed his new-found love Mabel.
$18 general, $10 students
Click here to purchase tickets.

Voice Day
Varner Hall
Saturday, January 17, 2015 
For more information, visit oakland.edu/mtd/workshops.

Opera Workshop
Varner Recital Hall
Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8:00pm
Oakland University voice students present an evening of beautiful operatic scenes featuring music from across the genre.
Free admission

Oakland Symphony Orchestra - A Detroit Residency with Oakland Chorale, Wind Symphony, Oakland Symphony, and Oakland Symphony Chorus
A Tribute to Morten Lauridsen

Orchestra Hall - Max M. Fisher Music Center
3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 7:30pm
The full majesty of Orchestra Hall will provide a fitting backdrop to the Oakland Symphony Orchestra’s final concert of the season.  This concert will feature the music of Morten Lauridsen in performances by the Oakland Symphony, Oakland University Symphony Chorus, and Oakland University Wind Symphony.
The featured works will be Lux Aeterna for orchestra and chorus, O Magnum Mysterium (arranged for wind ensemble), Sure on This Shining Night for chorus and piano, and more. Morten Lauridsen will attend.
Gregory Cunningham and Michael Mitchell, conductors
$20 general, $10 students
Click here to purchase tickets.

University Chorus and Oakland Chorale
University Presbyterian Church
Friday, April 17, 2015 at 8:00pm
Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 8:00pm
The Chorus and Chorale are two of OU's most exciting and inspiring choral ensembles. Their dynamic concerts always feature an eclectic repertoire.
Michael Mitchell, conductor
Click here to purchase tickets.


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Oakland University Bands

Oakland University Wind Symphony


The Wind Symphony (MUE 331) is Oakland University’s premier wind band
comprised of undergraduate and graduate student musicians selected annually through competitive audition. Under the direction of Director of Bands, Dr. Gregory Cunningham, the Wind Symphony maintains an active schedule of concerts both on and off campus, with most recent performance highlights that include a three-day Michigan mini-tour and conference performance at the 2009 Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Many Wind Symphony graduates have gone on to pursue graduate study in performance (with assistantships/fellowships) at such schools as the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, New Mexico State University and Northwestern State University (LA). Music education graduates of this ensemble are active music educators throughout the United States with positions at the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels.




Oakland University Symphonic Band


Founded in 2006, the Oakland University Symphonic Band (MUE 329)
is a concert band comprised of student musicians drawn from all majors within Oakland University, and is open to all university students without audition. The Symphonic Band, under the direction of Associate Director of Bands, Dr. Jeffrey Heisler, performs concerts on the Oakland University campus with repertoire drawn from the finest of contemporary and traditional band literature.







Oakland University Brass Band


Founded in January of 2010, the newest instrumental ensemble on Oakland’s
campus is the Oakland University Brass Band (MUE 374). Under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Kroesche, this traditional British brass band enjoys an active performance schedule, and was recently named the 2010 Winner of the National Brass Band Association competition (Section Three) held in Raleigh, North Carolina.







Golden Grizzlies Band


Comprised of over 100 students from the Oakland University campus community,
the Golden Grizzlies Band (MUE 332) performs at many university activities, including all Oakland University men’s and women’s basketball games. The Golden Grizzlies Band travels with the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s teams for annual conference tournaments and post-season play. In 2010, the Golden Grizzlies Band accompanied the men’s basketball team to the first round of the NCAA conference tournament (Western Region) in Milwaukee, WI. The Golden Grizzlies Band is under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth Kroesche.

Oakland University Chamber Orchestra and Ensembles

University Chamber Orchestra

Founded in January of 2010, the University Chamber Orchestra (MUE 376)
is open to all Oakland University students who play violin, viola, cello or bass, subject to audition and/or director approval. Under the direction of Professor Alan MacNair, Adjunct Instructor of Orchestral Ensembles, this chamber orchestra performs two concerts per semester with repertoire drawn from the past 350 years. Concerts take place at Varner Hall on the Oakland University Campus, and feature classics from the String Orchestra repertoire, the Chamber Orchestra repertoire, as well as alternative literature.






University Chamber Ensembles


The Department of Music Theatre and Dance offers a comprehensive list of
small ensemble offerings that serve as an integral aspect of the instrumental culture at Oakland University. Students interested in participating in these ensembles are asked to contact the instructor of record for further information.

Chamber Ensemble – mixed instrumentation (MUE 380, section 001)
Flute Ensemble (MUE 372)
Clarinet Ensemble (MUE 380, section 002)
Saxophone Ensemble (MUE 371)
Percussion Ensemble (MUE 373)
Guitar Ensemble (MUE 370)
Steel Band (MUE 346)
African Ensemble (MUE 345)

Oakland University Jazz
The Oakland University Jazz Program provides many opportunities for students. Our Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, and Contemporary Music Ensemble perform around the Metro Detroit area, and have featured such guest artists as Regina Carter and Doc Holladay. OU offers jazz classes in Jazz Theory, Jazz History and Analysis, and Arranging.
OU Jazz Calendar 2014-15 Audition Information
OU Jazz Band with special guest Joe Magnarelli
Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 7:30pm
Varner Recital Hall

OU Jazz Band and Jazz Singers
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 at 6:00pm
Varner Recital Hall

OU Jazz at Cliff Bell's Jazz Club
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 at 6 p.m.
2030 Park Avenue in Detroit

Regina Carter with the Oakland Jazz Quartet
The Music of Jimi Hendrix
Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Macomb Music Theater

OU Jazz Band and Jazz Singers
Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 7:30pm
Varner Recital Hall

OU Jazz Band with special guests Steve Wood and Michael Zaporski
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 at 7:30pm
Varner Recital Hall

OU Jazz at Cliff Bell's Jazz Club
Sunday, April 12th, 2015 at 6 p.m.
2030 Park Avenue in Detroit

OU Jazz Workshop featuring Regina Carter the Oakland Jazz Quartet
Saturday, June 13th, 2015
Sunday, June 14th, 2015
Varner Hall

Jazz Informational Meeting:

Thursday, September 4th. 4pm, Room 110

Are you interested in participating in the OUJazz program? If so, don't miss this informational meeting! We'll discuss jazz auditions,
combos, Jazz Singers, and everything else related to the OUJazz program for the 2014-2015 year.

Pizza will be provided.

Audition Days:
Monday, September 8th. 4pm-6pm
Tuesday, September 9th. 4pm-6pm

I'll ask you to:
Play a standard or jazz standard of your choice. You may also play a transcription of an improvised jazz solo, or a jazz etude.
Sight read a passage from a big band chart.
Improvise on a jazz tune. (optional)
If you need a tune recommendation or a lead sheet, please email me.

Rhythm section players are encouraged, but not required, to play the melody of the tune.

Drummers- please be prepared to play a medium tempo swing feel, a ballad (with brushes), and a groove of your choice.

There is a sign-up sheet on the OUJazz bulletin board outside of my office, Varner Hall Room 313.
The auditions will also take place in Varner 313.

Please don't hesitate to contact me at brown239@oakland.edu if you have any questions.
Looking forward to hearing you!

Professor Brown



Oakland Symphony Orchestra
The Oakland Symphony Orchestra is the orchestra-in-residence at Oakland University, serving both the academic mission of the university and the community at large. This ensemble provides the opportunity for Oakland students, faculty, and alumni to perform together with professional musicians from the region, performing the finest orchestral works in one of the region’s highly regarded ensembles.

The OSO performs a series of four concerts annually, three in Oakland's Varner Recital Hall and the final concert of each season in a venue such as Orchestra Hall at the Max. M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. For the series finale, the Oakland Symphony Chorus joins the orchestra to perform a major work for chorus and orchestra. The orchestra also holds an annual concerto competition that offers Oakland music students an opportunity to perform as soloists with the orchestra at the David Daniels Young Artists Concert, each February.

Having the Oakland Symphony in residence at Oakland University provides an exciting and unique experience for our students and for the community. View the OSO page for more information.

World Music Ensembles

The Oakland University African Drum and Xylophone Ensemble, known as Akwaaba, studies and performs drumming and xylophone traditions from Ghana and Uganda. 

The Oakland University Steel Band, known as Pan-Jumbies, studies and performs steel pan and drum traditions from Trinidad, other Caribbean Islands, and South America.

The Oakland University World Percussion Ensemble, known as Ngoma, is an auditioned group that studies and performs diverse global percussion music, including traditions from Africa, India, and the Americas.


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Piano Studio
The study of piano at Oakland University pairs talented young musicians with renowned Oakland University keyboard program
music educators, in a program that prepares students for careers on stage and in the classroom. 

Students enjoy small class sizes and significant performance opportunities in a variety of ensembles, in recital and master class settings.

Music students enjoy opportunities for collaborations and multi-discipline performance and training opportunities, in cooperation with the dance and theatre programs. Our music education program prepares teachers to be independent thinkers, decision-makers and innovators, providing them with tools for a lifetime of professional and personal growth.

Our faculty includes professional musicians who have achieved national and international reputations for their innovative ideas on teaching and musical understanding. Through coursework, fieldwork and internship experiences, students learn innovative principles and practices that apply across a variety of educational settings, preparing them to meet the professional challenges of the future. 

Meet our Keyboard Faculty
Dr. Rebecca Happel
, applied piano instructor, coordinator of accompanying, and chamber music
instructor, has performed as a soloist, duo-pianist, and collaborative pianist in the U.S. and Becky Happelin Europe. She is a frequent performer in chamber music recitals, on series including the Scarab Club and Meadow Brook Music Society Concert Series. Dr. Happel also teaches as part of the applied piano faculty at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she studied with the late Gyorgy Sandor, protégé of Bela Bartok. She also studied piano and holds certification from the Music Conservatory of Vienna, Austria. She trained in opera coaching at DePaul University, with renowned conductors Eduardo Muller and Jeffrey Tate. A frequent lecturer and adjudicator throughout the State, Dr. Happel also is coordinator of Oakland University’s annual Piano Day which attracts students across the State for mini diagnostic lessons and competition opportunities. Her students have won competitions and scholarships in the U.S. and abroad.

Piano Programs
Bachelor of Music in Performance — Piano
Designed for students who wish to perform at the professional level.With the guidance of artist faculty, students receive intensive performance experience in private lessons, master classes, and ensembles. Many graduates of this program go on to the nation's finest music schools to pursue graduate degrees and receive additional training.

Master of Music in Performance — Piano
Requires admission into the Graduate School. Students interested in this program must be able to demonstrate exceptional musical and technical skill on their chosen instrument. Admittance is contingent upon a successful audition and interview with members of the applied faculty.

Master of Music in Pedagogy — Piano
This program enables music education professionals to expand and extend their expertise in music and music education. Program plans are designed to meet students’ individual needs and interests. Courses are offered in evenings and summers to accommodate professional schedules. Students have opportunities for study, performance, research and apprenticeship.


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