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
smtd@oakland.edu

image of one dancer with her leg extended and four dancers in the background

Admissions and Auditions

There are two steps to becoming a Major in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance:

  1. Apply and be accepted to the University through Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions. Prospective students should complete this application (all application materials submitted) at least two-weeks prior to your audition date. Apply to the University here: https://www.oakland.edu/futureoustudents/

  2. Present a successful audition for your prospective area. Click on your area below to register for an audition.

AUDITION DATES FOR FALL 2021 ADMISSION:
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will be conducting  virtual auditions via video upload  until August 16*. On August 16, we are planning on live, in-person auditions which will be subject to change pending COVID restrictions.

*EXCEPTIONS: Live Percussion Auditions - see below, and Music Technology and Theatre Design and Technology majors will have a zoom interview to share their portfolios.

  • Rolling Auditions/Admissions Throughout the Spring/Summer until August 16 for Music (except percussion - in-person only on August 13) Theatre and Dance
  • August 16, 2021 (August 13 for Percussion) For Music and Dance Only - we are planning on live, in-person auditions for music and dance. Theatre auditions will only be via video through August 16.

Transfer Students
To transfer into the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, follow Steps 1 and 2 as outlined above. Pending a successful audition and admission to the University, please contact SMTD admissions at smtdadmissions@oakland.edu to schedule a meeting for testing and previous coursework.

International students
Most international students are required to pass the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). For more information about requirements for international students, visit the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) website.

Audition Requirements
Audition requirements and format vary by area of study and degree program. For comprehensive requirements by area, click on the tabs below.

Music

Music Department Virtual Audition Guidelines

The following guidelines pertain to all instruments EXCEPT PERCUSSION - which will have live, in-person auditions.

Auditioning students will submit a recorded video audition on a principal instrument or voice. Please submit video audition without edits. You will be evaluated on proficiency with your instrument or voice and considered for admission into the program. If you are applying to the music technology program, there will be an additional portfolio/resume zoom interview as part of your audition.

Please upload your audition videos to YouTube as "unlisted" links. You will then email your links, along with your resume, to: smtdadmissions@oakland.edu. Please label your email as follows:

Last Name, First Name, Music Audition - Your Instrument. If you are a music technology applicant, please list that in the email subject line as well.

PLEASE SEE THE VIDEO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES AND RECORDING SET UP FOR MUSIC AUDITIONS DOCUMENT.

All those admitted into the undergraduate music program will be required to take an online music theory placement exam. If you are accepted into the music program, you will receive a link in your email soon thereafter regarding the music theory placement exam. 

Undergraduate applicants are are not required to take the piano placement exam. However, if you would like to place into a higher level of piano techniques class, you may take the piano placement exam. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to SMTD admissions at smtdadmissions@oakland.edu

Undergraduate Theory Placement Exam Information
Piano Placement Exam Information

Voice Audition Requirement
Undergraduate Auditions:
Present two songs in contrasting styles which will demonstrate a range of emotional and musical styles. The songs should be memorized and sung with piano accompaniment (please see Piano Accompaniment Alternative below). Classical song literature and folksong arrangements such as those listed in the MSVMA Solo and Ensemble list and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) high school audition requirements would be considered appropriate. Foreign language songs are also appropriate, but not required. A musical theatre selection may be substituted for one of the above, if it is a strong suit for the singer. 

PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT ALTERNATIVE: You may use a track - these can often be found on YouTube or you may choose to download the app "Appcompanist" which has a very large library of classical and musical theatre accompaniments. With Appcompanist, you can change the tempo and the key. Due to COVID-19, they are currently offering free 30 day trials. ALTERNATELY, you can sing unaccompanied.

Graduate Auditions:
Present  four songs or arias from memory in a variety of styles and languages (typically English, Italian, German, and French) which show the voice to its best advantage. See Piano Accompaniment Alternative above.
Brass and Woodwind Audition Requirements

Please record a movement of a sonata or concerto or two contrasting etudes. The instrumental faculty would prefer you prepare your best solo pieces. You are free to perform pieces that require an accompanist, however, no accompanist required for your audition. Please submit without edits.

As a supplement to your audition video(s), we would like to schedule a virtual lesson for you with the applied teacher of your instrument. This will be a great opportunity for you to get to know the teacher of your instrument and for you to learn more about what OU has to offer. We will work with you to schedule the lesson at a mutually convenient time some time after we receive your audition registration.

Piano Audition Requirements
Present one selection from the Baroque era, one first-movement from a classical sonata and one free choice from the Romantic through 21st century. All these pieces must be memorized and recorded without edits.

For any in-person or zoom auditions, be prepared for sight reading and playing scales and arpeggios.

With your audition video(s), please upload a resume/CV and a repertoire list into the Google folder.
Percussion Audition Requirements
Percussion auditions will be held in-person on May 8 and August 13, 2021. Please prepare at least one mallet solo using 2 or 4 mallets, one snare drum solo at the rudimental or orchestral level, and one timpani solo. Be prepared for sight reading. If you do not have access to a mallet instrument and/or timpani, please let us know ahead of time.
String Audition Requirements
Please prepare at least two contrasting works from the following three choices: (1) a movement from a J.S. Bach solo sonata, partita or suite, or other Baroque work; (2) a movement from a 19th or 20th century sonata or concerto; (3) a work of the student’s choice.

As a supplement to your audition video(s), we would like to schedule a virtual lesson for you with the applied teacher of your instrument. This will be a great opportunity for you to get to know the teacher of your instrument and for you to learn more about what OU has to offer. We will work with you to schedule the lesson at a mutually convenient time some time after we receive your audition registration.
Music Technology Requirements
The audition for the Music Technology program consists of two parts: 1) You will submit a video audition on your major instrument (see the audition requirements for your major instrument); and 2) Shortly after receiving your video(s), we will work with you to schedule a live zoom interview with the music technology faculty where you will present a portfolio/resume of your music technology work.

The portfolio/resume should show previous experience using music technology, including live events, your own compositions and/or recording. Include any software and hardware you have used on these projects. We are primarily looking for any media that you have produced or projects on which you have collaborated, with a written document detailing your contributions. The portfolio may consist of .mp3 audition files or .mp4 video files if you have any. If you do not have any media to share, a detailed resume is perfectly acceptable. The portfolio interview allows candidates to share their interests, previous work experience and career goals.
Theatre

Theatre Program Audition Guidelines
At Oakland University, auditioning for the Theatre program is an opportunity for you to show your personality, your strengths and the traits that make you a unique performer/technician. The more prepared you are, the more confident and focused you will be. This goes for pre-recorded auditions as well as in-person auditions. Relax and be yourself. We want to see your passion and personality!

Please read below for the specifics for each program.

If you have any questions, please reach out to SMTD admissions at smtdadmissions@oakland.edu

The Musical Theatre Audition

The audition for the Musical Theatre Program consists of two songs, a monologue, a dance combination and interview questions.

Once you have registered for an audition, you will be emailed detailed instructions on how to submit your videos as well as a link to the dance combination instructional videos. If you have registered and have not received the link within a week of registering, please email mtschirhart@oakland.edu.

Candidates will prepare two contrasting songs chosen from the standard musical theatre repertoire. The selections must be cut to 32 bars. One selection should be a ballad (sustained legato line); the second should be “up-tempo” and provide a contrast in rhythm, mood, characterization, style and approach. Both songs must be memorized. You may use a live accompanist or a track. We would like to encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to have your accompaniment recorded for you by our staff accompanist. If you would like to use our staff accompanist, please email Cat Menzies at cmenzies@oakland.edu well in advance.

The monologue should complement the songs and not exceed two minutes in length. The monologue must be memorized and should not be in a dialect.

Your video audition will also include an interview portion. The interview questions will be emailed to you after you have registered for an audition. Relax and be yourself. We want to see your passion and personality. We simply want to get to know you more!

The Acting Audition

Candidates will prepare two contrasting monologues (i.e. comic/ dramatic, classical/contemporary). They should not exceed 4 minutes combined. Candidates should select monologues that show different abilities highlighting the candidate’s strengths. Monologues must be memorized and should not be in a dialect.

Actors with a dance background are welcome to submit the dance video file (which will be provided shortly after you have registered for an audition), however, it is not a requirement for auditioning for the BFA Acting.

The Design and Technology Portfolio Presentation
Candidates for the Design and Technology Program will prepare a portfolio of their work to present to the faculty on their scheduled audition date. The portfolio should show your previous theatrical and artistic projects in a detailed and organized manner. An electronic portfolio (website or PowerPoint) is preferred. Photographs of any artwork that is an example of your creative process is encouraged. The video interview on the scheduled audition date will allow the candidates to share their portfolio along with their interests, previous work experience and career goals with the faculty.
Dance

Dance Program Audition Guidelines
Dance Program Auditions are held several times a year. Our program includes:

  • All levels of ballet, modern and jazz technique
  • Emphasis on performance, choreography and teaching
  • Courses in kinesiology, dance history, career planning and teaching techniques
  • Resident professional company, Eisenhower Dance
  • Resident pre-professional company, OU Repertory Dance Company
  • Many performance opportunities including two annual main-stage concerts
  • Apprenticeships available in the professional company

For Your Video Audition

You are required to submit videos as outlined below. You will also have a live zoom interview component which will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time shortly after your audition videos have been received. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your goals with the faculty and to ask your own questions.

Please upload your audition videos to YouTube as unpublished links and email those links, along with your resume and headshot (if you have one) to: smtdadmissions@oakland.edu. In the subject line of your email, please use the following format:

Last Name, First Name, Dance Audition

A link to the instructional videos of the pre-recorded ballet and modern combinations will be sent to you within one week after you register for an audition.

  1. Dancer must record themself executing all pre-recorded ballet technique combinations as follows and in this order*:
    1. Ballet Barre I,II, III
    2. Ballet Center I & II
      *All ballet combinations must be performed on both the right and left side. (Note: feel free to add extra pirouettes, or extend legs higher where appropriate)

  2. Dancer must record themselves executing both pre-recorded modern technique combinations as followed and in this order. Modern combinations do not need to be performed on both the right and left side.
    1. Modern Combo I
    2. Modern Combo II

  3. Dancer must record a one minute solo in either ballet, modern or jazz.

Video Submission Guidelines:

  • Dress as you would for any professional audition (i.e. wear ballet shoes for ballet and barefoot for modern, no loose sweatshirts or pants, etc.)
  • Full body shots only. No close ups.
  • For your solo, provide credits so we'll know if it's your choreography or someone else's.