Did you miss the PWCPS Specialty Program Information Sessions?

Information about ALL PWC High School Specialty Programs and the Specialty Program Application can now be found here:



PLEASE NOTE: Information is constantly changing and fluid this year.  Please check back regularly for updates. 


CFPA Auditions for 2020-21

Audition packets for each concentration are available here . Please review the packet for the concentration area you wish to audition for. Audition requirements, judges rubrics and enrollment forms are in each packet.

Important dates for auditions:  

 Colgan High School CFPA VIRTUAL Information Night

On November 16th a virtual presentation will be made available for all interested parties. Parents and students will be able to view the video at their leisure. There will be a main presentation by one of our Administrators to talk about the school , some CFPA Frequently Asked Questions answered by the CFPA Coordinators, and each concentration area will have a video presentation to discuss auditions, FAQ, and their program. Specific questions can always be answered by emailing the content teacher.

 Band- Mr. Magee   MageeDE@pwcs.edu 

Creative Writing- Ms. Dyche   DycheJ@pwcs.edu

Dance- Ms. Howes HowesJK@pwcs.edu

Music Technology- Mr. Mills MillsJE@pwcs.edu

Orchestra-Mr. Bernstein BernstRB@pwcs.edu

 Piano- Mr. Mills   MillsJE@pwcs.edu and Dr. Klontz  KlontzM@pwcs.edu

 Theatre- Mr. Warkentien  WarkenL2pwcs.edu

Visual Arts- Mrs. Burns  BurnsV T@pwcs.edu

Vocal Music- Ms. Staley  StaleyKC@pwcs.edu and Dr. Klontz  KlontzM@pwcs.edu

Specialty Program Application available online on or about November 1

You can find the link here and it will be live on November 1.

IMPORTANT NOTE: On the application you must make Colgan Center for Fine and Performing Arts your #1 choice. Due to the high number of applicants, we can only schedule auditions for students who make Colgan their primary choice. If you are also interested in the IT Program at Forest Park, you can choose that as your second choice and if you are not chosen for Colgan, your name will still be entered in their lottery.

CFPA Application Deadline December 7, 11:59 PM

You will be given instructions on how to submit your online audition via email once all applications  are received by us from the county.

 Students choose to audition in ONE of our nine specialty  concentrations. 

If you have additional questions, please email Vicki Burns for Visual Arts and Creative Writing at BurnsVT@pwcs.edu or Kristina Nelson at Nelsonkm@pwcs.edu for Performing Arts

CFPA Auditions for Theatre, Vocal, Orchestra ,Band, Creative Writing, Dance, Music Technology, Piano and Visual Arts applicants
All auditions will be completed virtually. Additional information on the requirements and procedures for submitting the audition materials can be found in the audition packets. Dropbox links will be sent to all applicants via email once we have received the information after the deadline.

Acceptance results can be obtained by logging in to your application on
February 18.
Acceptance letters will be mailed with necessary paperwork on February 18. 

March 9th- Paperwork needs to be returned to Colgan

Specialty Program Transportation Information

  1. Purpose: To provide information regarding bus transportation for students attending Specialty Programs.
  2. Facts:
    1. In-Boundary Specialty Program Students are students who live within the host school’s boundaries.
      1. Student may use the nearest regular bus stop.
      2. Student may be required to walk up to one mile to the bus stop or school.
      3. Unless the parent or school notifies the Office of Transportation Services, a regular bus stop can be eliminated if not used for five (5) consecutive days
    1. Out-of-Boundary Specialty Program Students are students who live outside the host school’s boundaries but within the specialty school’s boundaries.
      1. It was not envisioned or intended that Specialty Program Students would, in all cases, be able to walk safely to and from express bus stops. Parents are responsible for the student’s safe transport to and from the express bus stop.
      2. Buses will stop only at established express bus stops.
      3. No special or neighborhood bus stops will be established.
      4. Student can use any established in-boundary express bus stop or a host school’s regular bus stop.
      5. Unless the parent or school notifies the Office of Transportation Services, an express bus stop can be eliminated if not used for five (5) consecutive days.
    1. Express bus stops will be established at express bus stops where six or more students have selected the stop. If your Specialty Program Coordinator has not contacted you by June regarding the express bus stops established for the 2020-21 school year, you should contact the Specialty Program Coordinator.
    1. Students who move outside of the specialty school’s boundary area after school begins must use an established in-boundary express bus stop, host school’s regular bus stop, or be taken to the school by the parent. Express bus stops will not be established outside the specialty school’s boundaries.
    1. During the two weeks before and after school starts, no express stops will be added that will change the route or schedule by five (5) minutes or more.
  3. Definitions:
    1. Regular Bus Service – consists of neighborhood bus stops and routes within the host school’s boundaries.
    2. Express Bus Service – consists of bus stops at selected schools, libraries, or other School Board/County facilities outside the host school’s boundaries but within the specialty school’s boundaries.
  4. The Office of Transportation Services point of contact is Mary Hayes, Specialty Program Computer Scheduling Technician, 571.402.3916.


What is Summer Residential Governor’s School?

Visual and Performing Arts (VPA): Program Description

The VPA program includes classes, workshops, individual/small group activities, lectures, and independent study in a variety of subjects from the visual and performing arts. Students may have some interdisciplinary classes that focus on the integration of the arts with other disciplines.

Students in the VPA program may apply for one area of study (Visual Art, Dance, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, or Theatre). In each area, students in interdisciplinary teams will study the techniques, materials, media, language, and conventions of that form, related to the program's theme. Students may participate in interdisciplinary courses designed to stimulate thinking on a number of topics that influence the arts. The focus of study will be the symbiotic relationship between art and society, and the societal and individual opportunities and responsibilities of the thinking artist. Outside reading and preparation for their courses is expected of all students. Their study will be facilitated through small group and ensemble work. Works in progress by faculty, guest artists, staff, and students are shared in order to enrich individual perceptions related to the arts.

Recreational activities and sports activities, as well as free time, are built into the student's schedule. The Governor's Schools provide some of the most rewarding and enriching experiences available to high school students anywhere, since they require students to set their own learning goals and structure their own evaluation standards. One of the most valued acquisitions will be the friendships that Governor's School students develop and that will continue to evolve throughout time. For more information, visit the Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts home page at http://www.radford.edu/content/gov-school/home.html

What is the timeline for the application process?

SRGS Governor's School Timeline 2020

October 5-23: Sign-up for local audition times; complete preliminary application (both online)

Preliminary application link is http://tinyurl.com/PreliminaryApplication 

Local Audition time link is http://tinyurl.com/SRGS-Auditions

 Early October: DOE releases applications and guides

October 23: Last day for students to sign up for local audition time

October 26-30: Audition times and links sent to students

November 2: Virtual Auditions

Mid-November: Students notified of local audition results

November: Requests sent to state for audition times (Karen)

November 16: Recommended soft deadline for students to notify you they are applying and request teacher recommendations (Academics)

Mid-December: State audition times mailed to county and students (Karen)

Dec 1 - 11: Recommended time frame for testing (get permission) depending on Covid

December 10-17: Arts and Academic applications due to school resource teachers/advisors

December 18: All applications due to KLC. If you are new to this (or just want a second person to review applications), you can request a time earlier in the week that we can review your applications when you are turning them in. Be sure to photocopy and keep the copy of the application at your school.

January 2 or 9: Anticipated date of state auditions at GMU FAIRFAX CAMPUS (alternate auditions: Jan 11 Radford, Jan 17-18 Norfolk)

January 15: Academic Reading KLC 3011 8:00-3:00

January 21: Arts Reading KLC 3001 1:00-3:00

January 26 & 27: Reading Snow dates

Early February: State audition results sent to PWCS

February 5: Final date to submit corrections for applications moving to state

Mid February: Applications due to state (Karen)

Early March: State nomination selection results mailed to students

Mid-April: Students notified of state results

Late June- July: Program Dates

Mid-August: Shred Applications

County Quotas: We can send 18 students in each art area to the state auditions.

What are the requirements for Visual Arts?


1. Applicants will present a portfolio containing seven physical pieces of original artwork from among the following media: Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture, Installation, Collage, Assemblage, Video and New Media. Note: students will need ten physical pieces of original artwork at State auditions

a. Core Portfolio: Five artworks should share a common media, working method or theme. Note: students will need 6 artworks for state auditions

b. Supplementary: Two artworks should differ from the Core Portfolio, to show variety, experimentation and growth. Note: students will need four artworks for state auditions to supplement their core portfolio

2. Digital versions of artwork will be presented to the judges for virtual auditions.

3. Applicants will be adjudicated on the following criteria:

a. Design (cohesiveness of composition)

b. Expression (communicative quality)

c. Originality (novel or unique solutions)

d. Fluency (number of ideas and concepts)

e. Flexibility (variety of work and ideas)

f. Elaboration (stretching or expanding imagery)

4. Applicants will be asked to discuss and explain their art.

These are the criteria for the November audition process for Governor’s School in Prince William County.

Criteria for the January audition process for Virginia Governor’s School will include some additional requirements. Please review those criteria if you are selected in November to audition in January.


What is required for the Theatre Auditions at the local level (Prince William County – State auditions may require more)


1. Applicants for Governor’s School will perform one memorized monologue* approximately two minutes in length.

* For these auditions, the term monologue is defined as “a solo passage from a play.” Poetry that is not from a play, and other non-dramatic literature, may not be used. Nor may the selection be taken from a book of monologues or from any unpublished work (including original materials). Students must have read the entire play from which the monologue has been selected. Please avoid selections from period plays such as Shakespeare, Moliere, and Marlowe.

2. Applicants are encouraged to select monologues portraying characters close to the applicant’s own age. Performance will be done in comfortable rehearsal clothes, not in costumes. Props and/or sets (other than a chair) will not be used. Applicants must do a vocal and physical warm-up on their own before auditioning.

3. Applicants will be adjudicated on the following:

§ Vocal Ability – Did the performer demonstrate effective vocal control over variables, such as rate, pitch, force, and tone?

§ Physical Ability – Did the performer demonstrate effective control of physical variables, such as gestures, movement, business, and non-verbal behavior? Was the body well used?

§ Preparation for the Audition – Did the performer select appropriate audition materials? Did the performer appear well rehearsed? Did the performer appear to have a thorough understanding of his/her character’s objectives and functions in the play and of the style and mood of the dramatic literature being performed?

§ Performance Decisions – Did the performer choose, or create, good points of emphasis, personality attributes, performance rhythms, etc. to create a believable character? Was the performer a creative risk taker?

§ Overall Impression – Did the performer demonstrate stage presence, confidence, spontaneity, and creativity?

4. Applicants will be asked questions in reference to their art form.

These are the criteria for the November audition process for Governor’s School in Prince William County.

Criteria for the January audition process for Virginia Governor’s School will include some additional requirements. Please review those criteria if you are selected in November to audition in January


What is required for Music Auditions (Instrumental and vocal)?



Applicants will read and be familiar with the program description for the Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts. Applicants from diverse background with ability in classical and/or commercial/jazz genres are encouraged to apply. Applicants should be sure that their compositions are legal to use under copyright law. Numerous Web sites make available public domain art songs which can be printed freely. Three such sites are http://www.cpdl.org  and http://artsongcentral.com  and http://imslp.org/

For music (vocal and instrumental): Students will submit a video/audio of their prepared performance. With their audition time, they will be sent a link to a OneDrive folder where they will submit the prepared piece with a copy of the music. The sight reading will take place during the live audition.

1. All music applicants will perform two (2) contrasting prepared selections (2-3 minutes each) and a brief sight- reading exercise. The use of any form of accompaniment for instrumental music will not be allowed. Vocalists must provide their own recorded accompaniment and should not perform unaccompanied. Memorization of music is encouraged but not required. Applicant must furnish a set of music for the judges prior to the audition. Directions will be given for sharing the music. The repertoire should be set at a medium level of difficulty or higher. Compositions for auditions will be selected by the applicant from the standard solo repertoire for his/her instrument or voice within the following guidelines:

Instrumentalists may select materials from the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association's (VBODA) Manual Solo Listings in grades IV, V, and VI; however, selections are not limited to those on these lists. In addition, applicants will be required to perform three (3) scales selected by the judges from the twelve major and twelve minor scales (any form of minor will be acceptable). All scales should conform to the practical playing range of the applicant's instrument.



Classical/Symphonic Percussionists will be required to present one of their two (2) prepared selections on a mallet instrument, to perform three (3) scales from the twelve major scales on a mallet percussion instrument, and to play snare drum rudiments. Large percussion instruments will be furnished ONLY upon request. Percussionists who are able to perform the commercial/jazz audition requirements are encouraged to do so.


Commercial/Jazz Percussionists will be required to perform the following grooves on drum-set: rock, funk, swing, jazz waltz and a 1-minute improvised drum solo. Sight-Read of standard drum set chart is included to gain a sense of the percussionist drum set chart reading ability. In addition to the commercial/jazz audition, percussionists who are able to perform the classical/symphonic audition requirements are encouraged to do so.


Classical Pianists, Guitarists (acoustic), and Harpists should select two (2) pieces representative of two different style periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century, original composition). In addition, applicants will be required to perform three (3) scales selected by the judges from the twelve major and twelve minor scales (any form of minor will be acceptable). Pianists will perform scales hands together, four (4) octaves. A short sight-reading excerpt will be performed. Commercial/Jazz pianists and Guitarists (electric guitar and bass) will be required to perform a jazz standard from a lead sheet and will improvise at least one chorus on the selection. Sight-Reading of a standard chord chart (lead sheet) is included to gain a sense of commercial/Jazz reading ability. In addition to the commercial/jazz audition, Pianists and Guitarists who are able to perform the classical/symphonic audition requirements are encouraged to do so.



Vocalists should select material from the Art Song (standard recital literature), Opera, or standard "Broadway Show" repertoire. Applicants should select two (2) songs of contrasting style periods and moods. In addition, applicants will be required to perform a series of vocal exercises (including scales) provided by the judges. Sopranos and altos must indicate voice part I or II on the application where indicated. Vocalists must provide their own accompanists/accompaniment and should not perform unaccompanied. The use of pre-recorded accompaniment is allowed. The applicant must provide their own CD/MP3/Cassette player with clear sound production. Memorization of music is not required.

2. Scales for instrumentalists will be requested by key name, not concert pitch, and should be played at the following tempo:

Wind Instruments:

MM = 60 performed in eighth note patterns (slur up, tongue down)

String Instruments:

MM = 60 eighth note patterns. Ascending: 2 slurred, 2 martelé; Descending: 4 slurred. Piano

MM = 80, 4 octaves, parallel in sixteenth note patterns Melodic Percussion

MM = 60, 2 octaves performed in eighth note patterns

3. Auditions are scheduled for ten (10) minutes.

4. Instrumentalists will be judged on technique, interpretation, tone, intonation, sight-reading, and scales.

5. Vocalists will be judged on technique, interpretation, tone, intonation, musical effect, sight-reading, and diction.

6. Applicants will be asked questions with reference to their art form.

These are the criteria for the November audition process for Governor’s School in Prince William County.

Criteria for the January audition process for Virginia Governor’s School will include some additional requirements. Please review those criteria if you are selected in November to audition in January.


What are the requirements for Dance Auditions?


Applicants will read and be familiar with the program description for the Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts.

Applicants will be asked to prepare and perform one dance 1 - 11/2 minutes maximum in length. The dance may be any form or genre. The applicant must design the choreography, but coaching by teacher or instructor is permissible during preparation. The student determines accompaniment for the dance.

Students should wear professionally appropriate dance attire. Basic leotards, tights and other attire for active movement are suggested. Costumes are not recommended.

If dancers do not have space accommodation to perform the dance during the virtual audition, the dance can be recorded in advance. The recording of the dance should begin with the dancer explaining on the recording that “This audition is for Summer Residential Governor’s School.”

Applicants will be asked questions with reference to their art form. Applicants from diverse backgrounds with ability in diverse dance genres are encouraged to audition.

Applicants will be judged on the following criteria:

1. Technique (specific skills)

1. Alignment (the body)

2. Musicality/Rhythm

3. Finished Movement (follow-through)

4. Strength

5. Flexibility

6. Varied Movement Vocabulary

2. Stage Presence (prepared work)

1. Presentation (presenting oneself)

2. Carriage

3. Display of Confidence

4. Body Language

5. Facial Expression (before and after prepared work)

6. Dynamic (energy)

7. Attire

3. Performance of Movement

1. Interpretation of Movement

2. Connecting/Flow of Movement

3. Use of Technique

4. Execution (individual style, clarity through space [shape], time [rhythm], and effort [energy])

5. Musicality (relationship to accompaniment)

6. Interview responses to questions related to applicant's art form

These are the criteria for the November audition process for Governor’s School in Prince William County.

Criteria for the January audition process for Virginia Governor’s School will include some additional requirements. Please review those criteria if you are selected in November to audition in January.

What is the CFPA Program?


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 Master Classes


Need a Master Class? Check here for classes you can take. This list will be updated as we get the information. 

(Contact Don Magee at mageede@pwcs.edu for more information)

(Contact McKenna Stenson at Stensomm@pwcs.edu for more information)
All Choir Master Classes are held in the Choir Room from 2:30-4:00 unless otherwise noted

Musical Theatre Masterclass- CNU

Creative Writing
(Contact Jessica Dyche at Dychej@pwcs.edu for more information)

(Contact Jamie Howes at howejk@pwcs.edu for more information

SEMESTER 2 Master Classes
Friday, January 10th - Modern Master Class with Tommy Scrivens of Parsons Dance and Marymount Manhattan Professor of Dance
Wednesday, February 12th- Fosse Jazz/Musical Theatre with Shawna Hallinan of Signature Theatre
Monday, March 16th- Yoga Master Class with Sarah Jayne Bleiweis (open to everyone)
March (Date TBD)- Modern Master Class with Roger Jeffrey
April (Date TBD)- Ballet Master Class with Robin Sturm
Friday, May 15th- Weight Training & Conditioning Master Class with Stephen Howes

(Contact Lanny Warkentien at WarkenL@pwcs.edu for more information) 


            (Contact John Mills at millsje@pwcs.edu or Dr. Klontz @ klontzm@pwcs.edu for more information)
All Piano master classes will be held in the piano studio unless otherwise noted
Music Technology
Sound Design Master Class with Professor Kevin Dunayer
Tuesday, Feb. 11 2:30-3:30 Room 1623
Audio Mixing with SFC Jonathan Seipp
Tuesday, February 25, 2;30-4:00 Room 1623
Piano Masterclass with Mrs. Rudene Jones
Thursday, March 5, 2:30-3:30 Room 1623
Studio Piano with Mr. Luke Denton
Wednesday, March 26, 7:30 AM-2:10 PM
Songwriting & Production
Thursday, March 27, 7:30 AM-2:10 PM
Music Improvisation
Tuesday, April 28, 2:30-4:00

  (Contact John Mills at millsje@pwcs.edu for more information)

(Contact Ben Berstein at bernstrb@pwcs.edu for more information)

Visual Arts

(Contact Lauren Braney at braneyl@pwcs.edu for more information.)


Picture of CFPA logo

Want to participate in and plan CFPA events? Other CFPA activities? Find out what is going on in CFPA? This group is for you! New members ALWAYS welcome!



Each meeting will be held in room 1201 from 6:30-7:30 PM
Please park by the Amphitheatre and enter through door 35

Are you interested in the happenings in the various concentration areas? Visit their webpages, or follow them on Twitter!

Colgan Choir
Twitter: @colganchoir

Colgan Theatre
Twitter: @ColganTheatre

Colgan Orchestra
Twitter: @colganorchestra

Colgan Dance
Twitter: @ColganCFPAdance

Colgan Band
Twitter: @colganband

Music Technology
Twitter: @MrMillsCCHS

Twitter: @MrMillsCCHS

Creative Writing
Twitter: @colgansirenwrite@gmail.com

Visual Arts
Twitter: @colganvisarts

Questions about the CFPA program can be directed to Vicki Burns at Burnsvt@pwcs.edu for Visual Art and Creative Writing queries and Kristina Nelson at nelsonkm@pwcs.edu for Performing Arts.

Upcoming Events

No events available.