Performing Arts

Performing Arts Gallery

Performing Arts Gallery

Performing Arts at Ottawa University Arizona in Surprise
Ottawa University Arizona in Surprise launched its new Performing Arts program in Fall 2018. OUAZ’s vision is to provide opportunities in music and drama for all interested students, to offer degree programs in the performing arts for students pursuing careers in the arts, and to build connections with the local community by enriching the arts culture of greater Phoenix. Firmly grounded in Ottawa University’s 150-year, nation-wide academic tradition of excellence, and enhanced by the flexibility of a newly-formed residential campus in the city of Surprise, Ottawa University Arizona is an outstanding choice for a student who wants individualized attention from outstanding faculty committed to their success while living in the Valley of the Sun.
Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance
OUAZ will launch its new BMus in Vocal Performance in Fall 2019, and more degrees will be added soon. The BMus in Vocal Performance is for a student who desires to develop the knowledge, skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to the professional life of the musician grounded in a liberal arts education. At OUAZ, the voice major will receive the foundation for a career in solo concert performance, membership in a professional choir, church music, private studio teaching, or continued study in a graduate school. Voice majors will have the unique opportunity to sing in the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, performing numerous professional concerts each year with the eminent Phoenix Symphony orchestra. For more information about this program or to schedule an audition, contact Dr. Thomas Bookhout.
Scholarship Money
Regardless of one’s chosen major (e.g. Business, Biology, Music, etc.), any student who wants to regularly participate in the performing arts at OUAZ is eligible to receive a scholarship of up to $11,000 per year. To qualify, a student should have prior successful experience in the activity and must schedule an audition/interview with the appropriate OUAZ faculty. Students can receive this scholarship by participating in Concert Choir, Pep Band, theater productions, or other ensembles.
Thomas Bookhout, DMA, is Director of Performing Arts and Associate Professor of Music at OUAZ. He also is Chorus Master for the Phoenix Symphony, where he prepares the Symphony Chorus for concerts throughout the year and has conducted them in performances in Carnegie Hall, Vienna, Salzburg, and Poland. He earned his DMA in Choral Music from Arizona State University, his MM in Choral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and his BMus in Vocal and Instrumental Education from Houghton College. Previously, Bookhout has been Director of Choral Activities at the University of Charleston, WV, Chorus Master for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Director of Fine Arts at Scottsdale Christian Academy, Pastor of Music Ministries at Camelback Bible Church, Music Director of the Taghkanic Chorale in New York, and Director of Music at the renowned boarding school the Stony Brook School. Additionally, he has served as head of a private K-12 school and has been a high school principal. He is a member of the Council for the Von Promnitz Palace Center for the Arts in Zary, Poland; has served on the executive board of the AZ ACDA; and is a member of numerous professional organizations, including NATS, ACDA, NAfME, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Southwest Liederkranz.

Performing Arts Groups

Concert Choir

Students at OUAZ can join Concert Choir as a class for credit or as a club (enrolling for zero credit). Interested students should have previous successful experience in a choir and need to complete a simple, non-threatening vocal interview. The Concert Choir rehearses during the academic day several times each week and gives performances throughout the school year.

Pep Band

Students at OUAZ can join the Pep Band, which performs during athletic competitions, particularly Football and Basketball games, and other activities throughout the year. The Pep Band will form the nucleus of a new instrumental music program at OUAZ. Initially, the University is seeking brass, woodwind, and percussion players to launch this program.


Students at OUAZ can participate in extracurricular activities in Theater throughout the year.

Other Perfroming Activities

When sufficient interest is expressed, new music ensembles performing arts activities can be added at OUAZ, both as clubs and classes for credit.