Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School 

Center for Fine and Performing Arts

Audition Information for the 2024-2025 School Year


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


Audition requirements are 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



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 Public 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 (a C or better). Student's year-end grade in their concentration must be a 3.0 (a 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.

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 14th 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.