May 18, 2024  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Music, Theatre and Dance Department of Music

School of Music, Theatre and Dance Department of Music

School of Music, Theatre and Dance
Department of Music

207 Varner Hall • (248) 370-2603 • Fax (248) 370-2041  (map)


School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Interim Director:
Deborah Vanderlinde

Music Department Chair:
Deborah VanderLinde
304 Varner Hall

Professors emeriti:
Robert Facko, ED.D., Columbia University
Marvin D. Holladay, M.A., Wesleyan University
Flavio Varani, M.M., Manhattan School of Music
Distinguished professor:
John-Paul White, Dipl., Curtis Institute of Music

Distinguished professor emerita:
Jacqueline H. Wiggins, Ed.D., University of Illinois,

Gregory M. Cunningham, Ed.D., University of Illinois,
Kenneth R. Kroesche, D.M.A., University of Michigan
Michael A. Mitchell, D.M.A., University of Missouri,
   Kansas City
Amy Tully, D.M.A., University of South Carolina

Associate professors:
Drake Dantzler, D.M.A., University of Texas
Jeffrey Heisler, D.M.A., Bowling Green State University
Melissa Hoag, Ph.D., Indiana University
David M. Kidger, Ph.D., Harvard University
Jessica Payette, Ph.D., Stanford University
Joseph L. Shively, Ed.D., University of Illinois,
George Stoffan, D.M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mark A. Stone, M.M., West Virginia University
Tian Tian, D.M.A. Eastman School of Music
Deborah J. VanderLinde, Ph.D., Oakland University

Assistant professors:
Catherine Bennett, Ph.D., University of Miami
Alta Boover, D.M.A., University of Texas, Austin
Jennifer Oliverio, D.M.A, University of Missouri,
   Kansas City

Visiting assistant professor:
Enrique Rios-Ellis, D.M.A., University of Southern
Pamela Klena, D.M.A, University North Carolina

Adjunct assistant professor:
Edith Diggory, D.M.A., Indiana University

Regina Carter 

DSO affiliate applied faculty:
Una O’Riordan (cello)
Marcus Schoon (bassoon)
Sharon Sparrow (flute)
Jeffrey Zook (flute)


Special lecturers:
Tim Blackmon, Patrick Fitzgibbon, Ben Furhman, Scott Gwinnell, Bret Hoag, Lois Kaarre, Jennifer Kincer Catallo, Victoria Shively, Michele Soroka, Kristen Tait,  Phyllis White

Chinelo Amen-Ra, Jay Balan, Laura Blanchard, Barbara Bland, Anthony Bucilli, Dennis Curry, Rebecca Happel, Marion Hayden, Terry Herald, Lauri Hogle, Sam Jeyasigham, Brandon LePage, Mark Kieme, Roman Kosarev, James Long, Melissa Maloney, Daniel Maslanka,  GayeLynn McKinney, Stephanie Michaels, Tim Michling, Zelkjo Milicevic, Stephen Mollina, Una O’Riordan, Niki Rose, Elizabeth Rowin, Marcus Schoon, Alex Sellers, Angela Theis, Carly Uhrig, Nadine Washington, I-Chen Yeh, Jeff Zook.

Applied music instructors:
Brass: David Denniston (French horn), Kenneth Kroesche (low brass), James Long (tuba), Jennifer Oliverio (trumpet)
Woodwind: Jeffrey Heisler (saxophone), Brandon LePage (flute), Timothy Michling (oboe), Marcus Schoon (bassoon), Sharon Sparrow (flute), George Stoffan (clarinet), Jeffrey Zook (flute)
Strings: Roman Kosarev (viola), Stephen Molina (double bass), Una O’Riordan (cello), Elizabeth Rowin (violin)
Percussion: GayeLynn McKinney, Daniel Maslanka, Mark Stone
Guitar: Bret Hoag
Keyboard: Rebecca Happel (piano), Tian Tian, (piano), I-Chen Yeh (piano), Jeremy Tarrant (organ), Scott Gwinnell (jazz piano), Dennis Curry (carillon)
Voice: Barbara Bland, Alta Boover, Drake Dantzler, Edith Diggory, Melissa Maloney, Stephanie Michaels, Angela Theis, Nadine Washington, John-Paul White
Jazz: Anthony Buccilli (trombone), Gayelynn McKinney (percussion), Scott Gwinnell (piano), Marion Hayden (bass), Mark Kieme (saxophone), Timothy Blackmon, Jr. (trumpet),
World Music: Chinelo Amen-Ra, Patrick Fitzgibbon (Caribbean percussion), Sam Jeyasingam (Indian percussion), Mark Stone (African and Caribbean percussion)

Composition: Benjamin Fuhrman

Collaborative Pianists: 
Hyekyung Sia Lee, Rudolf Ozolins, Amanda Sabelhaus, Hannah Watson, I-Chen Yeh (instrumental accompanying coordinator)

OU Community Music: Elizabeth Medvinsky, Director                                                                         




 Graduate Certificates

Initial certification as a music teacher

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree and wish to obtain initial music teacher certification must enroll in a second undergraduate degree program in music education. Contact the Music Education Program Coordinator or the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office for information on qualifications and admission. Students wishing to enroll in a music teacher certification program must audition for the music program faculty. For details, see the Undergraduate Catalog or

Professional development

The school offers a full complement of courses and workshops designed for performing arts professionals.

  • The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance offers summer workshops in a variety of special topics in both theatre and dance. For information about current offerings, go to
  • All graduate music courses and workshops offered by the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are open to qualified professional development students. These offerings are advertised in our annual graduate brochure (available at For eligibility to enroll, go to and complete a graduate application checking the Professional Development category.

Ensemble auditions

Auditions for music are held during the first few days of each semester. Auditions for other groups are announced throughout the year.

Study abroad Opportunity

Through the course Global Arts Study Abroad (MUS5435), the OU School of Music, Theatre, and Dance offers opportunities for artistic and cultural immersion in international performing arts traditions. Prior study abroad programs have included the study of traditional music and dance of Ghana at the Dagara Music Center in Medie, Ghana as well as the study of Steel Band music and related Caribbean traditions in Laborie, St. Lucia.


All programs offered by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Outreach, partnerships, and opportunities

  • OU Community Music
    The Department of Music offers music programs to the community through OU Community Music, 302 Varner Hall, (248) 370-2034. OU Community Music offers private studio lessons in voice, piano, guitar, and all orchestral instruments for elementary and secondary school students and adults, as well as classes in music theory, early childhood music, creative music for children, and piano readiness.

    OU Community Music also provides lessons for undergraduate students who wish to study an instrument or voice but do not have enough prior experience to study for college credit. Visit

Affiliated professional organizations

  • Take Root (dance company in residence)
  • Eisenhower Dance
  • Patterson Rhythm Pace Dance Company
  • Meadow Brook Theatre Ensemble

Partners in the performing arts

  • Chamber Music Society of Detroit
  • Oakland University Cooperative Orchestral Library (OUCOL)
  • Oakland Youth Orchestras (OYO)

School honors and awards

The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance offers honors and awards for students, alumni, and community supporters. School honors are awarded for a combination of academic achievement (minimum 3.3 GPA), artistry in the major area of study, and contribution to the operations of the school. Alumni Arts Achievement Awards are presented in dance, music and theatre. The school also awards a Distinguished Community Service Award and an Outstanding Student Service Award.

The school confers a Distinguished Musicianship Award as its highest honor in music and Outstanding Student Awards to students who distinguish themselves in performance, music education, chamber music, and jazz. The Joyce Weintraub Adelson Memorial Award for Piano Ensemble honors the memory of an Oakland University piano instructor, and the Jennifer Scott Memorial Award honors the memory of an Oakland University piano student.

The school confers a variety of awards, including Outstanding Student Awards in choreography, dance performance, musical theatre, and theatre design and technology. The Gittlin Theatre and Gittlin Achievement Awards are scholarships offered to theatre students of promise and outstanding ability.