Music Tech Week at Colgan High School

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Students in the School Division’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) specialty program rocked out to celebrate spring. The weeklong event gave students a chance to showcase their incredible music skills.

The CFPA is hosted by Colgan High School. Music teacher John Mills described some of the week’s indie fest, “We had a jam-packed week of events, including guest artists, master classes and we had tons of jam sessions in these incredible spaces.” The outdoor amphitheater was a great spot for student-bands to perform, many of which rocked out on ‘FinFest’ Friday. The title ‘FinFest’ is a nod to the Colgan High School’s mascot, a shark. “We have all student-produced music playing in the hallways. It was a really great week of student creativity, and just a lot of diverse music-making here at Colgan High School,” he said.

Mills described Colgan High School’s Music Tech Week as “designed, organized and produced by students and staff of CFPA’s music technology program.” Professional guest artists Todd Wright, Emma Rowley, Luke Denton and Maggie Hagy played and presented in the ‘Music Tech Workshops For All’ on Monday night as well as during school hours in music technology classes. The guests helped students build connections to music and the music technology industries. The workshops also taught invaluable lessons about songwriting, music production, performance, and much more.

The week also included events such as ‘Colgan Tiny Desk LIVE,’ a student-produced television series featuring original music and cover songs, all performed by students. Colgan High’s administration and staff supported students through jam sessions, amphitheater performances and collaborations with various other departments. The collaborations included an album art project with CFPA’s visual arts program and an acoustic music and poetry slam with CFPA’s creative writing program.

During a ‘FinFest’ amphitheater jam session, Colgan High senior Peyton Weil belted out covers and original songs with bandmates in ‘tyler plazio.’ Weil kept up with studying, test prep and rehearsals for ‘FinFest,’ while collaborating with Mills on yet another side project, co-teaching music to special education students who are non-verbal. Extracurricular creativity is strongly encouraged at Colgan High School.

“Music technology is really a program that is open to all students that are interested in music and have a love of music. It really helps them create their own music and share it with the world,” Mills concluded. “We’ll be back next year – bigger and better!”


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