Auditions

Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School - Center for Fine and Performing Arts

Audition Information for the 2024-25 School Year

 

*Results will be communicated by Prince William County Public Schools, mid-late February*

 

 Audition requirements current as of October 26, 2023.

Applications can be found on the PWCS Specialty Programs Website starting November 1st, 2023.

Online applications must be submitted by December 14th, 2023 at 11:59 pm.

Important Note:

**On the application you must select Colgan Center for Fine and Performing Arts your #1 choice.

**You may only audition for ONE concentration.

**You must be a resident of Prince William County.

Due to the high number of applicants, we can only schedule auditions for students who make Colgan their primary choice.

If you are interested in another speciality program, ie: IT Program at Forest Park, you can choose that as your second choice and if you are not chosen for Colgan, you name will still be entered in their lottery.

Applicants for the Center for Fine and Performing Arts will:

  • Complete the online application and submit by December 14, 2023 at 11:59 pm. The application will open on November 1st, 2023.
  • Participate in an in-person audition or portfolio review.

Auditions will be held on January 6th (Band, Visual Arts, Piano, Orchestra, and Dance) and 13th (Theatre, Choir, Creative Writing, Music Technology) with a snow date of January 20th. Please click on the buttons for each concentration for specific information. Auditions times will vary by concentration.

Questions?  Please contact the CFPA Coordinator, Mrs. Yeh. yehal@pwcs.edu

Start Here - Specialty Program Application

The PWCS Specialty Program application is an online application that will open on November 1st. The application must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, December 14th.  

Please visit the PWCS Specialty Programs page for application instructions.

Band

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Band Audition Requirements
January 6, 2024

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 concert bands are available to provide students with ample opportunity for real life performance experience.

Band Music Audition Requirements

Rising 9th Graders: Wind Instrument

  1. Major Scales (20% of total score)
    Perform the following major scales from memory: Concert B flat, E flat, A flat, C and F (horns only do not perform C concert scale as it cannot be played within the range requirement).

  2. Chromatic Scale (20% of total score)
    Two octave chromatic scale. Must be memorized and played slurred ascending and tongued descending.

  3. Prepared Etude (30% of total score)
    Students perform the prepared etude for their instrument from the link below.  Please click the link that says, "Etudes Rising 9th graders".

  4. Perform a sight reading selection provided by the judges (30% of total score)
    Students are given one sight-reading exercise. Students are given 30 seconds to study the exercise prior to performing.

Rising 9th Graders: Percussion Instrument

  1. Major Scales (20% of total score)
    Perform the following major scales with mallets : Concert A flat, B flat, E flat, C and F.

  2. Perform 6 rudiments on snare drum (20% of total score)
    Long roll, 5 stroke roll, 7 stroke roll, ruff, flam, paradiddle. Play each rudiment for 15 seconds, use open-close-open method and these rudiments are to be memorized.

  3. Prepared Etude (30% of total score)
    The required etude for your instrument is the VBODA etude. You can acquire this music from your instrumental teacher, or contact Mr. Magee at mageede@pwcs.edu to get a copy.

  4. Perform a sight reading selection provided by the judges (30% of total score)
    Students are given one sight-reading exercise. Students are given 30 seconds to study the exercise prior to performing.

Rising 10th & 11th Graders: Wind and Percussion Instruments

  1. Major Scales (20% of total score) Please note the following scale requirements:
    • All major scales are required and must be memorized.
    • Scales are called by key name not concert pitch.
    • Scales are to be played in as many complete octaves as possible on the instrument except for percussionists.
    • Articulation is legato tongue up and down.
    • Tempo is MM = 100 for wind players, MM = 160 for percussionists.
    • The following rhythm pattern will be used for all octaves: quarter note (tonic) followed by eighth notes.
  2. Snare Drum This section is used for rudimental score. Rudiments will be selected from the Percussive Arts Society Standard 26 Rudiments. Each rudiment will have a 15 second time limit and should be played open to closed. Students may use their own snare drum or one provided by the audition site.

    Timpani This section is used to evaluate tuning skills. Students may use a pitch pipe, tuning fork, or mallet instrument as a pitch source. Students are allowed 45 seconds for tuning and study of the sight-reading.

  3. Chromatic Scale (20% of total score) Please note the following scale requirements:
    Slur ascending, tongued descending (except trombones and percussion). Instruments play their chromatic scale in sixteenth notes at the tempo given below. (Quarter note = one beat) All tempos given are the required MINIMUM; students may play faster.

    • Piccolo: D below staff to altissimo C (2 octaves + 7th) MM = 120
    • Flute: C below staff to altissimo C (3 octaves) MM = 120
    • Oboe: C below staff to E above high C (2 octaves + 3rd) MM = 120
    • English Horn: C below staff to D above staff (2 octaves + 2nd) MM = 120
    • Bassoon: Bb below staff to high Bb one octave above staff (3 octaves) MM = 96
    • Eb Clarinet: Same as Bb Clarinet (see below)
    • Bb Clarinet: E below staff to G above high C (3 octaves + 3rd) MM = 120
    • Bass Clarinet: E below staff to C above the staff (2 octaves + 6th) MM = 120
    • Contra Clarinet: E below staff to G# above staff (2 octaves + 3rd) MM = 96
    • Alto Saxophone: Bb below staff to F above staff (2 octaves + 5th); hold high F for two counts prior to descending. MM = 120
    • Tenor Saxophone: Same as Alto Saxophone (see above)
    • Baritone Saxophone: Same as Alto Saxophone (see above) MM = 96
    • Cornet/Trumpet: G below staff to C above staff (2 octaves + 4th) MM = 120
    • Horn: F below staff to Bb above staff MM = 120
    • Tenor Trombone: Low F to 4th ledger line Bb (2 octaves + 5th); legato tongue ascending, staccato tongue descending. MM = 96
    • Bass Trombone: C below staff to F above staff (2 octaves + 4th); legato tongue ascending, staccato tongue descending. MM = 96
    • Euphonium TC: G below staff to C above staff (2 octaves + 4th) MM = 120
    • Euphonium BC: Low F to 4th ledger line Bb (2 octaves + 5th ) MM = 120
    • Tuba: Lowest F to highest Bb (2 octaves + 4th) MM = 112
    • Mallets: 3 octaves ONLY; minimum tempo MM = 144
    • Snare Drum: Long roll (30 second time limit), concert roll, sustained sound, pp-ff-pp (15 second time limit)
  4. Prepared Etude (30% of total score)
    Students perform the prepared etude for their instrument from the link below.  Please click the link that says "Etudes Rising 10th/11th graders".

Perform a sight reading selection provided by the judges (30% of total score)
Students are given one sight-reading exercise. Students are given 30 seconds to study the exercise prior to performing.

Creative Writing

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Creative Writing Audition Requirements
January 13, 2024

The Creative Writing audition process will include a portfolio submission, a written reflection, and an impromptu writing exercise. 

 Portfolio Review 

The portfolio is due by 11:59pm on January 13, 2024 and should consist of pieces written or revised within the last year. Students should include written artifacts representative of their writing interests and abilities and showcase their best work. Quality will be valued over quantity; however, applicants should be sure to submit enough writing so that their writer's voice is clear. The portfolio should consist of no more than ten pages of original work. Be advised, these pieces will not be returned. 

Portfolios will be uploaded to Dropbox.  The link will be available on this page starting November1st.  Please make sure that you set permissions on your files so that anyone can view them. 

 The portfolio should include one example of each of the following four forms of creative writing: 

  • Short Fiction (realistic fiction preferred). 
  • Poetry. 
  • Script (ex. a scene written for live performance, screen, or broadcast, including podcasts). 
  • Creative Nonfiction limited to personal, narrative, review, editorial, and travel essays. 
  • Note: Academic essays, news writing, speeches are not considered Creative Nonfiction and will not be scored. 

Note: If an applicant includes more than one piece per genre, only the first piece of that genre will be scored. The ten-page limit is a strict limit; any pieces after the first ten pages will not be scored.  

 In addition to the examples, portfolios must include: 

  • One written reflection on a piece of the applicant’s choice. The reflection does not count against the applicant’s ten-page limit for the portfolio.
This reflection should: 
  • Explain how the piece developed throughout the writing process. 
  • Explain rationale for choices made during the writing process.
  • Explain what was learned or gained from the writing process. 
  • Explain your motivation to apply for the CFPA Creative Writing program at Colgan.

Guidelines for Portfolio Submission: 

  • 12 point, Times New Roman. 
  • Single spacing for poetry and script. 
  • Double spacing for short story and creative nonfiction.  
  • Black ink.
  • One-inch margins. 
  • NO graphics or images. 
  • Left-align all pieces except script. Script should be center-aligned. Poetry should be left-aligned. Do not center-align poetry.  
  • Numbered in the upper right corner of each page.  
  • Title and label each piece with the genre (ex: “Title” Poetry). 
  • Cover page that lists: 
    • Name (Note: The applicant’s name should not appear on the original work) 
    • Email 
    • Current Grade  

In-Person Audition: 1 hour 

What to expect: All applicants will be asked to participate in a series of writing exercises which may include writing a short story, poem, or essay in response to a prompt, an artifact, a piece of music, a dance. Reading and analyzing a piece of creative work, and/or participating in a group discussion. 

What to bring: Laptop, printed copy of portfolio 

FAQ’s: Please email Ms. Dyche at dychej@pwcs.edu if you have questions about the audition requirements. 

Dance

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Dance Audition Requirements
January 6, 2024

Part 1- Dance Class

Applicant will participate in a dance technique class consisting of classical ballet barre and center which will include movement patterns in ballet, jazz and modern dance techniques.

Part 2- Dance Solo

Applicant will perform a solo in the genre of their choice. The piece should be no less than one minute in length and no more than one and a half minutes. Applicant will bring their own music. Music will be played using a bluetooth sound system.

Part 3- Interview

The panel will execute a brief interview with each applicant after the performance of solo work.

 Audition Attire:

Students should arrive in proper dance attire. Leotards and tights are preferred for female presenting applicants. Male presenting applicants should wear form fitting work out wear or jazz pants. Appropriate footwear is requested- ballet slippers, jazz shoes, and bare feet for modern. Hair should be pulled back and securely fastened. Please refrain from wearing jewelry or baggy clothes.

Music Technology

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Music Technology Audition Requirements
January 13, 2024

Before Audition Day 

Create and Submit Original Music 

  • Create an original piece of music of at least 30 seconds in length. It may be produced using any program such as
    • notation software (Finale, Sibelius, Noteflight, etc.). 
    • digital audio workstation (GarageBand, ProTools, FL Studio, etc.). 
    • any other digital audio recorder (voice recording apps).  
  • Submit PDF and/or audio file/s to dropbox (link will be posted on Nov. 1).
  • Project files (.mus, .musx, .band, .logicx, .mid, etc.) are not accepted. 

All files must be submitted to dropbox before entering Colgan High School on audition day.

On Audition Day

Perform
  • Perform approximately one minute of music on a band or orchestra instrument, voice, or piano. This should be approximately one minute in length.  Examples of what you could perform include 
    • an original song, playing and singing. 
    • solo piece on your band or orchestra instrument, voice, or piano. 
    • a piece you wrote for your instrument. 
  • Sight-read a short piece of music on your band or orchestra instrument, voice, or piano. 

Other Information

  • The following equipment will be available for students to use during their audition.
    • piano 
    • guitar and bass amplifiers (for students accompanying their own voice) 
    • xylophone 
    • snare drum 
  • Performances will be evaluated based on criteria that match the student’s ensemble. For example, a student playing flute would be evaluated using the band audition rubric; a student singing would be evaluated using the chorus audition rubric, etc.  

Orchestra

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Orchestra Audition Requirements
January 6, 2024

Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass

  1. Perform the following scales in at least two octaves (Bass players only need to play one octave). Tempo should be Quarter Note = 96-120 bmp. Scales should be memorized.
    • MAJOR - C, G, D, A
    • Melodic or Harmonic Minor - a, e, b, d
  2. Perform one short (two minutes or less) prepared piece that best represents the student’s current skill level and musicianship. Partial selection of a longer piece is suitable.
    • Music does not need to be memorized but must be well-prepared.
    • Students may use their own piano accompanist.  Colgan does not provide a pianist.
    • The student must provide a copy of the music performed in the audition as part of the application.
  3. Perform a sight-reading selection for the judges. Music will be provided at the audition.

Harp Audition Requirements

  1. Interview. Be prepared to answer questions regarding your
    • Background with harp performance and private lesson experience.
    • Specific interests in our program.
    • Current musical skills.
  2. Audition
    • Perform one prepared piece of music that best represents your current skill level.
    • Provide a printed copy of each selection for the panel.

Piano

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Piano Audition Requirements
January 6, 2024

  1. Audition 
    1. Select and perform one of the pieces from the link below that best represents your current skill level.
    2. Perform a piece of your choice that best represents your current skill level.  This piece should be between two to five minutes long.
    3. Bring a printed copy of your choice piece to your audition. 
  2. Perform two, two octave major scales.  Scales will be randomly chosen at the audition.  Scales should be played in eighth notes at 120 bpm. 
  3. Perform a sight-reading selection for the judges. Music will be provided at the audition.  Sight reading will be taken from books similar to, "Essential Piano Repertoire, Level One" by Keith Snell.
  4. Interview.  Be prepared to answer questions regarding your background with piano performance and private lesson experience, specific interests in our program and your current musical skills. 
 

Theatre

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Theatre Audition Requirements
January 13, 2024
The applicant will self-select, memorize and perform two monologues, of their choosingfrom published plays that are contrasting in nature. All students should dress comfortably in non-restrictive clothing.  

Monologue Performances  

  • The monologues should be selected to show range and contrast. Contrast can be shown by classical (non- Shakespeare)/contemporary, urban/rural, serious/comedic, etc.).  
  • Each monologue should be no more than one minute in length.
  • Students should be familiar with the play from which the monologue is selected.  
  • Do not perform with an accent. Do not use costumes or props. A chair will be provided.  
  • Material should be appropriate for the applicant’s age and experience.  
  • Students should strive to find work that is unique and representative of who they are as a performer.  Students should avoid overdone monologues by playwrights such as D.M. Larson, Kelly Powell, and Alan Haehnel.   

Visual Arts

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Visual Arts Audition Requirements
January 6, 2024

Bring to Audition 

Applicants will compile a portfolio to include three components: portfolio, sketchbook and letter of intent.  

1. Portfolio

  • Compile your artists’ portfolio with seven original works of art. The portfolio should reflect a variety of subjects and media (examples of subject and media types seen below).  Portfolios must include one three-dimensional work of art and one observation from life drawing. No anime, cartoons, fan art, or character drawings will be accepted. 
  • Media: graphite, pen/ink, charcoal, pastels/oil pastels, marker, paints, printmaking, collage, mixed media, ceramics, found objects sculptures, wire, assemblage, digital drawings 
  • Subjects: portraiture, figurative, landscape, interior/exterior spaces, still life, observational, imaginative

2. Sketchbook
Bring in your physical sketchbook that cohesively demonstrates a variety of subjects as well as a variety of media and processes.  

3. Writing Component: 
Candidates will type a formal letter addressing their desire to be selected as part of the Visual Arts concentration as well as how they would like to grow as an artist. Discuss the applicant’s desire to be accepted into the program, how they would like to grow artistically, their strongest media and a media they are looking forward to learning more about. This letter should be solely typed by the applicant in their own words including proper sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. 

During Audition: 

1. Still Life Drawing:  

  • Candidates will create an observation drawing, in person, as part of their audition.  Candidates should bring their own drawing materials to include pencils, erasers and blending tools.  They will be provided with drawing paper and a regular number two pencil (if needed).  Each candidate will receive a paint palette, clear container with water, shell, paint brush, and blank paper to arrange their own still life composition to draw from.   
  • Candidates will create a drawing on a solid white piece of paper using pencils and erasers to capture the still life through observation. This full-page drawing should demonstrate accuracy of drawing, engaging use of space, shading of values, and creativity. During the candidates' 90-minute audition they will receive a minimum of 60 minutes of drawing time.  

2. Interview: 

  • Candidates will be interviewed by two judges and discuss their sketchbooks and portfolios.
  • Candidates are expected to discuss their intent and personal meaning of their work while using art vocabulary.  Candidates should present themselves and their portfolio with self-confidence by wearing professional attire and making eye contact with the judges.  Interviews will last approximately 5-8 minutes per candidate.   
*Rubric updated October 26, 2023

Voice

Center for Fine and Performing Arts 
Voice Audition Requirements
January 13, 2024

 1. Vocally Perform, "How Can I Keep From Singing"

  • Choose the voice part that is best for you.
Soprano – A Major

Alto – D Major

Tenor – Bb Major

 Bass – F Major

2. Vocally perform 16-32 measures of song of your choice.

  • This can be a musical theatre song, folk song, art song, R&B, etc. Please make sure the choice best shows off your voice and demonstrates what you bring vocally to the CFPA department.

Please note: Students must be prepared to sing both prepared pieces from memory and must sing with piano accompaniment. Students can sing along with a recording (many are found on Youtube, or choose to have a live accompanist play with them. Please clearly indicate the measure numbers of your second song in the sheet music.

 3. Sing an 8-measure sight singing exercise.

  • Do-Ti, mostly steps with skips between Do-Mi-Sol (They will hear the tonality & starting pitch, have 30 seconds to practice, then hear tonality and starting pitch before singing the exercise for a score.)

 4. Students should be prepared to respond to this question:

  • “How would participating in the Colgan CFPA Voice Program impact you as a musician and as a person?”