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APPLICATIONS for the upcoming auditions are now open.  Use this link for applying and information about the application process. The deadline to apply for Colgan is December 14, 2021. Students must select Colgan as their first choice to receive an audition and select the 1 concentration the student wishes to audition for. 

On the application portal you will see your submitted application. Next to that, there is a link where you may upload or attach any documents needed such as the CFPA Intent form, CFPA Qualifications forms, videos, and slide presentations.

Now open for applications

NEW TO PWCS and seeking an AUDITION?  New students to PWCS have 30 days from when they register at their base high school. To arrange an audition contact Mrs. Karyn Riddle for Performing Arts concentrations ([email protected]) or Mrs. Vicki Burns for Fine Arts concentrations ([email protected]).  For questions about the transfer process contact Mrs. Martin ([email protected]) if Colgan is not your base high school. For specific questions about each concentration area contact  the instructor in that area via email. They are:

Band: Mr. Magee at [email protected]

Creative Writing: Ms. Dyche at [email protected]

Dance: Ms. Howes at [email protected]

Music Technology and Piano: Mr. Mills at [email protected]

Orchestra: Mr. Bernstein at [email protected]

Piano:  Dr. Klontz at  [email protected] 

Theatre: Mr. Warkentien at [email protected]

Visual Arts: Mrs. Burns at [email protected]

Vocal Music: Mrs. Staley at [email protected]

TRANSFER Bus stop information for 2021-22 school year:

ALVEY ELEMENTARY                                          45 KYLE WILSON PARK 71
ASHLAND ELEMENTARY                           38 LAKE RIDGE MIDDLE                                 50
BENNETT ELEMENTARY                                24 MINNIEVILLE  ELEMENTARY                  53
BRISTOW RUN ELEMENTARY                   34 MONTCLAIR  ELEMENTARY                      54
BULL RUN MIDDLE                                    39 OCCOQUAN ELEMENTARY                         8
CEDAR POINT ELEMENTARY                    33 PENN ELEMENTARY                                   19
FRED LYNN MIDDLE                                  51 RIPPON  MIDDLE                                          5
GEORGE HELWIG PARK                            22 RIVER OAKS ELEMENTARY                         3
GRAHAM PARK MIDDLE                              1 SIGNAL HILL ELEMENTARY                      42
HAMPTON MIDDLE                                      52 SPRINGWOODS ELEMENTARY                  11
BEL AIR ELEMENTARY                                 55 LAKE RIDGE ELEMENTARY                      49
BELMONT ELEMENTARY                          68 LEESYLVANIA ELEMENTARY                      4
COLES ELEMENTARY                                 21 MARSHALL ELEMENTARY                         41
DALE CITY BOYS' & GIRLS' CLUB             69 MT. VIEW ELEMENTARY                           36
DALE CITY ELEMENTARY                         13 NOKESVILLE SCHOOL                 32
DUMFRIES BOYS' & GIRLS' CLUB             70 PARKSIDE MIDDLE                                     46
ENTERPRISE ELEMENTARY                      59 POTOMAC VIEW ELEMENTARY                 6
FAIRMONT PARK 88 ROCKLEDGE ELEMENTARY                        9
GAINESVILLE MIDDLE 77 SAUNDERS MIDDLE                                   56
GRAVELY ELEMENTARY 47 SUDLEY ELEMENTARY                              30
HAYMARKET ELEMENTARY 82 SWANS CREEK ELEMENTARY                                      2
JAMES LONG PARK                                    37 T. CLAY WOOD ELEMENTARY 25
JOHN JENKINS ELEMENTARY 86 TYLER ELEMENTARY                                 35
KING ELEMENTARY                                   48 WILLIAMS ELEMENTARY 62
KYLE WILSON ELEMENTARY 85 WOODBRIDGE MIDDLE                              60


Colgan CFPA Mission and Vision

The mission statement for Colgan High School is “Preparing and inspiring students for their future.”  Ours is a state of the art facility specifically designed to support students involved in the arts.  Our vision is to encourage and develop creativity, self-expression, academic achievement and critical thinking in the young artist in a nurturing environment.  Upon graduation, students will have mastered a common core of learning that supports the broader education of the artist and promotes a respect for cultural diversity and artistic expression.  As a result of this training, the student will have the skills necessary to be successful in a college or university arts program and to become an active consumer, strong advocate, and valued participant in the larger arts community.

As part of the Prince William County Schools Specialty Programs, any student who resides in Prince William County may apply to attend Colgan High School as a participant in CFPA.  The application process includes an audition and/or the submission of a portfolio of works and grade transcripts.  Students who would like to pursue a more in-depth study in the areas of creative writing, dance, instrumental music, music technology, piano, theatre, visual arts or vocal music are encouraged to apply.  Any student new to Prince William County after the deadline has 30 days from the official date of residence to request an audition for the program

In addition to the five required credits in the particular art concentration (6 required credits for Band students), students in the CFPA program maintain a rigorous academic load.  Colgan High School offers multiple Advanced Placement courses and, with careful planning, CFPA students are able to successfully complete an advanced track of course work that includes the required arts electives.

The staff and faculty of CFPA seek to create and maintain a nurturing environment that allows for intellectual and artistic creativity and expression.  To this end, we encourage both individual and ensemble activities that sustain and support the contributions of the arts to the human spirit.

The Goals of CFPA

  • To provide students with opportunities for arts-integrated learning
  • To encourage critical and creative thinking through complex problem solving
  • To promote a supportive atmosphere conducive to artistic freedom and expression
  • To provide cultural enrichment activities
  • To prepare students for entry into college or university arts programs and careers
  • To offer quality curriculum and instruction which promotes the development of the complete student
  • To encourage partnerships with local artists and arts organizations

CFPA Student Expectations

The Center for Fine and Performing Arts is a rigorous course of study that includes both academic and fine arts components.  The program strives to prepare students for entrance into the college and/or professional arena with complete portfolios and solid core academic skills.  Students who do not meet the requirements will be notified at mid-semester.  Student’s year-end, overall GPA must be a 2.0 ‘C’ or better. Student’s year-end grade in their concentration must be a 3.0 ‘B’ or better. Students must also adhere to the PWCS Code of Behavior and a student who receives disciplinary referrals/actions could be subject to dismissal from the program. Concentration teachers will assist these students by developing an improvement plan and monitoring progress.  Any student who has not demonstrated progress by the end of the final marking period may be removed from the program.  If the student is a transfer, he or she must return to the base school for the ensuing year.

Students will choose one area to specialize in for the diploma, but are welcome to explore other classes in the arts as electives.

In addition to attending master classes each year, students are required to complete participation activities.  These vary by concentration and the requirements for each area can be found in the handbook under the specific concentration description.  


CFPA Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do first if I want to apply to Colgan

Fill out the PWC Specialty Program Application. Links to this application can be found on our CFPA page on the Colgan Website.

Why do you have to make Colgan your FIRST choice selection

Because of sheer volume of applicants, we can only offer auditions to those who make Colgan their first choice.

Why does Colgan have a different due date for their application?

The Colgan deadline for applications is December 7th at 11:59 PM. Other Specialty Programs in PWC have a deadline in February. We are audition based, so we need time to review auditions before the February deadline.

How many students do you accept in your program?

There is no set number of students we accept. In the past 4 years, we have averaged between 45%-65% overall acceptance rate. It depends on the total number of applicants, space available in the school, and classroom size for the different concentrations.

Will transportation be provided for my student if we do not live in the Colgan district?

The PWCS Transportation Department offers Express Bus transportation for transfer students in Specialty Programs. The pickup points are usually elementary or middle schools and may not be in your neighborhood. See our CFPA main page for more information. Students zoned for Colgan HS will take their neighborhood bus.

Can my student audition for more than one concentration area?

Students choose ONE area to audition in that will be their primary focus during their time at Colgan. However, many students choose to also take elective classes in other arts areas if their schedules permit.

Do we need to submit letters of recommendation and evidence of our grades?

No. Acceptance into the program is based solely on the student’s audition.

Are there special requirements my student will have to meet to be part of the program?

Yes. Each concentration area has requirements that may require your student to spend time after school to complete. There are also Masterclass requirements, performance/exhibition requirements, and performance attendance requirements. More information on each concentration area can be found in the CFPA Handbook, which can be found on the CFPA Documents webpage. Students must also maintain a “B” or better grade in their concentration classes and a “C” average overall.

If my student is a transfer, will they still be eligible to play sports under VHSL rules and guidelines?

Yes. Transfer students for Specialty Programs are eligible to play VHSL sports.

How will I receive confirmation about my audition?

Students will receive an email this year prior to winter break with their audition letter and the information they need for submitting their requirements

Can a student apply who is currently a junior/rising senior?

We do not accept seniors into the program since they are unable to complete all the requirements of the program.

Can a student reapply if they auditioned last year and were not accepted?

Yes.  All students who are currently in 8-10th grade can apply for an audition.

CFPA Band 

Colgan CFPA Band Concert

Mr. Magee, Band Director

Mr. Magee
- Band Director

[email protected]


The band concentration is a four year program designed to prepare students for collegiate music study and the discipline and attitude expected of the professional musician. Students will focus on areas of musicianship, music theory and history, keyboard knowledge and solo and chamber ensemble performance. Three levels of string ensembles and concert bands are available to provide students with ample opportunity for real life performance experience.

CFPA Creative Writing

Siren Cove Creative Writing

Ms. Dyche, Creative Writing

 Ms. Dyche
- Creative Writing   
[email protected]

Creative Writing

The goal of the Charles J. Colgan Sr., High School Creative Writing Program is to support burgeoning writers in their craft and facilitate access to a variety of platforms to showcase their work. Coursework will focus on craft, process, and the major traditions within fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, and creative nonfiction. These areas of focus will also serve to develop skills in critical and creative thinking, and in written and oral communication. Instructors will engage students in a variety of writing experiences: classes, workshops, conferences, readings, and collaborations with other arts and disciplines.

CFPA Dance

CFPA Dance
Ms. Howes, Dance Director

 Ms. Howes
Dance Director
[email protected]


The Dance Concentration Area is a four-year program designed to provide dancers the opportunity to study dance technique in various genres including ballet, modern dance and jazz dance. Students are placed in class according to grade level and move up as a result of mid-year adjudication. In addition to dance technique students also study dance composition, skeletal/muscular anatomy, and dance history and dance production.

CFPA Dance

Colgan Music Tech
Mr. Mills, Music Tech

 Mr. Mills
Music Tech Director

[email protected]

Music Tech

The Music Technology concentration aims to prepare students to make music on a diverse array of platforms. Students will develop necessary skills for lifelong music making and further education. In addition to other requirements for this concentration, Music Technology and Advanced Music Technology courses emphasize original music production, composition, aural skills and digital media. Daily lessons will include student creativity and cross-curricular music production. Large scale creative projects serve as benchmarks for class units and assessment.

CFPA Orchestra

CFPA Orchestra

Mr. Bernstein, Orchestra

 Mr. Bernstein
- Orchestra Director

 [email protected]

The Orchestra Music Concentration is a four-year program designed to prepare students for collegiate music study and the discipline and attitude expected of the professional musician. Students will focus on areas of musicianship, music theory and history, keyboard knowledge and solo and chamber ensemble performance. Three levels of string ensembles and concert bands are available to provide students with ample opportunity for real life performance experience. Private instruction, while not required, is highly recommended.

CFPA Piano

CFPA Piano

Mr. Mills, Piano Mr. Mills- Music Tech & Piano    Director

 [email protected]

Dr. Klontz, Piano Dr. Klontz- Vocal & Piano    Director

 [email protected]

The piano concentration is a four-year program for students seeking a comprehensive music education through piano classes, performances, masterclasses, music electives, and other studio activities.

CFPA Theatre

Colgan Theatre, Sweeney Todd

Ms. Nelson, Theatre Ms. Nelson- Performing Arts    Director

 [email protected]

Mr. Warkentien, Theatre Mr. Warkentien- Theatre    Director

 [email protected]

The Theatre Concentration Area is a four-year program designed to provide both technical theatre and performance opportunities. Students will focus on all areas of theatre including acting in various styles and genres, musical theatre, theatre history, directing, and the business of theatre. All students will explore elements of technical theatre, while students with a defined interest in production work will have the opportunity to focus on stage management, make-up and the design areas of sets, costumes, lights, and sound. Seniors will complete a Senior Exit Project in their chosen focus area.

CFPA Visual Arts

CFPA Visual Art

Ms. Burns- Visual Arts Director

[email protected]

The Visual Arts Concentration area is a four-year program designed to train and expose students to all facets of the fine arts. In addition to the required fine arts courses: CFPA Art I, CFPA Art II and Art Portfolio Prep, students will explore media studies in two and three dimensional design in painting/printmaking, sculpture/ceramics, photography or computer art. Students seeking rigorous advanced levels of production are encouraged to study one of the three A.P Studio Art courses offered their senior year: A.P. Drawing, A.P. 2-D Design, or A.P. 3-D Design. Students are expected to prepare and exhibit their artwork within the school and the extended community as well as participate in contrasting competitions offered throughout the year. Seniors are expected to prepare, assemble and present a personal exhibition that reflects breadth and depth in their artistic productions in a Senior Showcase.

CFPA Vocal Music

CFPA Vocal Concert

Ms. Staley, Vocal Ms. Staley- Vocal Director

 [email protected]

Dr. Klontz, Piano Dr. Klontz- Vocal & Piano    Director

 [email protected]

The Vocal Music Concentration is a four-year program designed to allow intensive development in the areas of vocal production, choral music theory, piano, music history and musical theatre. Whenever possible, vocal students will be given opportunities for access to and interaction with professional performers. Vocal students will have opportunities for solo and ensemble performances beyond the normal choir class standards.