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Summer Workshops and Intensives 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014
Summer Workshops and Intensives 2014

Our performance season is not quite over. Our children’s theatre show Freckleface Strawberry, based on the popular books by actor Julianne Moore, will be touring throughout May and June but you can see it at one of three performances in Varner Recital Hall. There is both a morning and an evening show on May 16, and an afternoon performance on May 18. There is also a World Music concert on the patio of the Oakland Center on June 19, but much of the other summer activity in and around Varner will be devoted to fueling the fire of young people with a passion for the performing arts. Once again this year, Oakland University is throwing open its doors to offer camps and intensives with our dedicated faculty to those not yet old enough to enroll in college. Young musicians, actors, designers and dancers can experience a specially tailored class that melds rigorous standards with excellent teaching and the kind of relaxed atmosphere best suited to a summer experience.

Of course, we don't want to deter adults interested in the performing arts. We have jazz and theatre workshops open to those already done with college!

New this year is Piano Camp, which runs from June 23 to June 27. Our current piano students and alumni have won several awards and honors recently. Please read our May News article to find out just how Alex Kopitz,  Hannah Bossner, Joe Walters, Rhys Burgess, Ronaldo Rolim and Sara Chiesa have distinguished themselves. Serious piano students aged between 8 and 17 can expect a fantastic experience. Everyone will participate in theory classes, master classes, choir and workshops. Click here to see or print a flyer.  Online registration is open now.

The first workshop of the summer is Brass Day on May 17. High school brass players are invited for a day of playing and performing music for Brass Ensemble. OU's acclaimed brass faculty will provide informative clinics and sectionals for participants. The culmination of the day will be a concert with the OU Brass Day Band and the Oakland University Brass Band, which is one of the finest bands in the country. In April they took first place in the 1st Section at the 2014 North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) Championships. The $10 cost includes lunch and a t-shirt!  Registration is open until Wednesday, May 14. You can register online here.
Five different theatre arts workshops will be offered between June 16 and June 20 and all are open to adults and students over the age of 16. Choose from Stage Management, Stage Properties, Wire Work Jewelry, Auditions and/or Acting Scenes. You can view and print the flyer here. Online registration is open now.

Every year one of the highlights of the summer is the visit of our artist-in-residence, famed alumna and jazz violinist Regina Carter. She will be on campus the weekend of June 21 and 22 and, together with the music faculty who make up the OU Jazz Quartet, she will offer a Jazz Workshop. All musicians aged 12 and over are welcome to attend, and non-traditional jazz instruments are welcome. The two days of activities will include combo rehearsals, listening classes, steel drum sessions and more. The workshop will conclude on Sunday with a free concert open to the public. This year the registration fee has been lowered to only $20! Online registration is open now. 

From July 7 to 18 experienced dancers age 16 and up will have the opportunity to work with guest artists Meg Paul and Darby Wilde at the Great Lakes Dance Festival, which is hosted by Eisenhower Dance. Online registration is open.  There is a discount for those who pay their tuition before June 1. For more information about this dance intensive, see and print the flyer here or contact Barbara at or call the Eisenhower Dance studio at (248) 609-0370. 

From July 14 to 18 young musicians will have two opportunities to expand their horizons without picking up their instruments. Dr. Jenine Brown will teach both Music Theory Bootcamp and Creative Computer Music Composition, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is possible to register for one or for both. Students aged 12 to 17 are welcome to sign up.

Music Theory Bootcamp is specially designed for high school students interested in studying music at the college level. The concepts taught will help students succeed in their music classes, and will also prepare students for music theory placement exams typically administered to incoming freshmen by most collegiate music programs. Students will learn about key signatures, scales, intervals, triads, triad inversions, and Roman numeral analysis. Topics will be reinforced through sight-singing exercises, dictation, and score analysis. Online registration is open.

In Creative Computer Music Composition, students will create compositions that may sound more like pop music than classical pieces, using free web-based tools. The class will meet in the university's music computer lab and students will work on their own composition, which they will be able to continue working on at home. Students will also learn about editing a composition, looping sounds, and recording live music. Finally, students will learn how to record and edit their own performances, which can be used for auditions or scholarship applications. No prior knowledge of music software programs or music theory concepts is necessary. 
Online registration is open.

Finally, dance faculty Thayer Jonutz and Ali Woerner are offering Take Root: The Intensive from May 16 to 18. The dance ensemble Take Root has a multidisciplinary approach to concepts and movement. Their first annual dance intensive will offer a schedule of core classes including: Modern Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Partnering Technique, Improvisation, Choreography/Composition, Hip Hop, Pilates and Yoga. During the first day of classes, the artistic directors will place students in groups to ensure a well-rounded experience for all students. Composition classes, taught by Ali and Thayer, will feature material to be performed in Oakland University’s Lab Theatre on the final day of the intensive. Following the performance, students, family and friends will engage in a question and answer session in which students, company members and artistic directors will discuss the intensive experience, choreographic processes, past experiences and life as a professional dancer. You will find a variety of registration options here.  On May 18 there will also be Take Root apprentice auditions. Visit here for more information.

We look forward to welcoming your young performing arts student this summer. If you have questions please check our website,, call (248) 370-2030 or email Deneen Stapleton at

Top right: Great Lakes Dance Festival 2012, photo by Scott Lipiec 
Lower left: A stage management class, photo by Rick Smith