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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

people seated in a circle with African drums, with two performers in the middle

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 one week prior to the event date. Cancellations within one week of the event date will not be refunded.

For more information, please contact
Percussion Day

Saturday, December 8, 2018
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Free Admission

Pre-register today.  

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.

Sign up your percussion ensemble for a morning performance or your jazz combo for an afternoon performance. Workshops are open to all ages and cover a wide range of percussion areas (see descriptions below). Private lessons with OU percussion faculty are available for ages 14 and up. Registration for group performances and private lessons is required in advance. Workshop participants may register at any time. Please bring a sack lunch.

  • Registration – 8:30 a.m., Varner Hall 1st floor entrance

  • Concert Percussion Clinic with Dan Maslanka - 9 a.m. to noon, Room 101 Varner
    Sign up your percussion ensemble for a group performance and receive feedback from Prof. Maslanka. Concert Percussion Fundamentals will be discussed with any remaining time.
  • West African xylophone music with Mark Stone - 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Room 134 Varner
    Learn to play the Dagara Gyil from Ghana in this hands-on interactive workshop. The gyil is the “grandmother” of our modern-day marimba. 
  • South Indian Drumming with Sam Jeyasingham - 10:30 a.m. to noon, Room 134 Varner
    Learn to play the South India Kanjera in this hands-on interactive workshop. Participants will learn both the split-finger Indian drum technique and “takadimi” rhythmic solfege.
  • Individual lessons with Patrick Fitzgibbon- 9:30am to 12pm, Room 101 Varner
    For students 14 and up who would like to develop any area of concert percussion and/or work on a solo and ensemble piece.

  • noon – 1 p.m. Lunch Break (bring a sack lunch)
  • Essentials of Jazz Drumming with Sean Dobbins – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Room 134 Varner
    Sign up your jazz combo for a group performance and receive feedback from Prof. Dobbins. Participants will gain knowledge in improvisation, group interaction, and repertoire.
  • Steel Drums with Patrick Fitzgibbon - 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Room 110 Varner
    Learn to play the Caribbean Steel Pan in this hands-on interactive workshop. The steel pan, original from the island of Trinidad, has become a global percussion instrument.
  • Individual lessons with Mark Stone – 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Room 106 Varner
    For students 14 and up who would like to develop hand drum skills or an area of world percussion.
  • Individual lessons with Dan Maslanka - 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Room 101 Varner
    For students 14 and up who would like to develop any area of concert percussion and/or work on a solo and ensemble piece.
  • Group Discussion, Pursuing a Career in Percussion - 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Room 110 Varner
    Discuss degree and career options in the field of percussion with Oakland University’s percussion professors, open to students and their parents.

Questions? Contact Professor Mark Stone at

Note: Parents and Teachers are welcome to attend!

Voice Day
Saturday, January 12, 2019

Oakland University is pleased to invite you to join us at the School of Music Theatre and Dance for our annual Voice Day. This year's Voice Day will feature Assistant Professor of Voice, Dr.  Alta Marie Boover who will present on "Uses of Technology to Create, Track, and Communicate SMART Goals." Best practices in Business and Sports Psychology show that the most effective goals are  SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Singers and Teachers have always worked together to create goals for peak performance, however with the pervasive use of smartphones, we have a series of new tools which are highly capable of implementing, measuring and tracking these goals. Dr. Boover will take us through useful apps which will help us define, discuss, and measure our practice goals.

1 - 2:30 p.m. - Presentation
2:45 - 3:15 p.m. - Voice and Music Education at OU: Q&A with OU voice faculty and students
3:15 - 5 p.m. - Performance Workshop with OU voice faculty. To participate, ask your voice teacher to send an email nomination to
7 p.m. -  Street Scene (up to 2 complimentary tickets per high-school registrant)

Free admission.  Register today!
Clarinet Solo and Ensembles Day

Sunday, January 13, 2019 from 1 - 3 p.m.
Free admission
Register today!

Clarinetists in grades 9-12 are invited to perform solo and ensemble works in preparation for Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Oakland University clarinet professor George Stoffan will offer suggestions for soloists and ensembles. Clarinet ensembles, as well as mixed ensembles, are encouraged to perform.

Even if students have already performed in a Solo and Ensemble Festival, this session can help in preparation for performances at the state level. 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 3, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.
Cost: $35 for Piano Day; $40 for Piano Day and Competition (parents and teachers can observe for free!)

Online registration is now closed. Please contact

  • In our new format, every student (ages 12–18) will have a private mini-lesson with an Oakland University piano faculty member and have the option to participate in the Oakland Piano Day Competition. 
  • Piano Day repertoire requirement: 1 solo work. Memory encourage, but not required.
  • Competition Details:
    • Age Groups and Performance Times
      • Ages 12-15  |  10 minutes
      • Ages 16-18  |  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,

Piano Camp
June 18 - 22, 2018
Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Register now for Piano Day!

Ages 12-17
Fee:  $395. Discounts available for return participants, siblings, 2018 Piano Day competition winners, and Oakland University faculty and staff.

Request the workshop poster.

The piano program at Oakland University presents its 2018 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 Rebecca Happel at or Tian Tian at .
Golden Grizzlies Jazz Camp
June 18-22, 2018
Monday through Thursday 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Varner Hall on the campus of Oakland University  |  Friday evening performance off-campus

Join the Oakland University jazz faculty for the inaugural Golden Grizzlies Jazz Camp. This week-long camp will give young jazz students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in jazz combos and to attend workshops in composing/arranging, jazz concepts and styles, improvisation, jazz ensemble techniques, entrepreneurship and leadership. Students will learn a variety of genres including straight-ahead jazz, Latin, funk and more. Request the workshop flyer.

Ages: students entering 9th – 12th grade

  • Sean Dobbins (director)
  • Scott Gwinnell (instructor)
  • Marion Hayden (instructor)
  • Mark Stone (special guest, world music)

Audition Procedure:

  • Record audio or video of yourself performing one jazz excerpt that best demonstrates your playing abilities.
  • Email that file to by Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
  • Our jazz faculty will review the files, and you will be notified by email if you have been chosen for this year’s Grizzly Jazz Camp.
  • If you have been accepted, you will be emailed a registration link. Tuition for the Golden Grizzlies Jazz Camp is $200.

Questions? Email Danny DeRose at

Honors Ensembles
Attention all high school band/choir/orchestra directors. We’d love to have your students join us for three 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. Nominate your students today!

Find the appropriate ensemble below to submit nominations.

Questions? Contact

Oakland University Honors Orchestra
November 16-18, 2018
Fee $40

​Submit your nominations now!
Nomination deadline is Monday, October 15, 2018

  • Serenade for Strings by Antonín Dvořák, mvts. 1 (Moderato) and 5 (Finale)
  • Three Cornered Hat, by Manuel de Falla, mvt. 3. (Final Dance-Jota) with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra winds and percussion.


Friday, November 16
5 – 6:45 p.m. – Registration and chair placement (String faculty)
7 – 9 p.m. – Rehearsal in Recital Hall (RH) (Alan MacNair)

Saturday, November 17
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 18
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
November 9-10, 2018
Fee $25

​Click to nominate your students!
Nomination deadline is Monday, October 1, 2018


Friday November 9
4:30 p.m. - Check-in begins
5 p.m. - Placement auditions begin
7 p.m. - Rehearsal begins
9 p.m. - Rehearsal ends

Saturday November 10
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.