Put on your dancing shoes … break out in song … take a seat at the piano bench. Fairmont’s Music and Dance Academy is now enrolling! The program, open to students in 6th through 12th grade, provides an opportunity for children to pursue their passions in the performing arts AND receive an esteemed Fairmont education — all during the course of their regular school day.


We recently spoke with  DJ Clovis, Fairmont Music and Dance Academy Director, who shared about how the program came to be, our partnership with OC Music & Dance (OCMD), and what students can expect from Fairmont’s innovative new program.


How did you become involved with the new music and dance program?

Last year, I was approached by Mr. Jackson and the team from OCMD. I started working on creating a plan to help build a new Pre-Conservatory program.


What prompted the creation of the program?

We saw a need for a high level (pre-conservatory) music and dance program. We believed that bringing together Fairmont and OCMD was a great way to offer that program. Both programs are experienced at what they do and we felt the collaboration was a natural fit. 

How will the program differ from other performing arts programs/schools?

First, our current Visual and Performing Arts Program is second to none. We have some of the best art/music/drama/dance teachers around. This program will not only bring new students to our campuses, it will also help elevate options for our current students.

We have the ability of being selective about the types of students we take. Our performing arts students will not only be strong on their instrument or field of choice but also as students.


How will the program benefit students?

Students who have a drive for the performing arts will be able to concentrate more on their craft during a normal school day. Most performing arts programs are offered after school. This program will be offered during the normal school day, allowing them to be better performers and more well rounded people.


How will the program benefit parents?

Conservatory programs and large universities are extremely competitive. This program will help elevate these students’ abilities and make them more prepared for auditions. It will also benefit parents because the students will be able to spend more time at home and less time at outside programs after school.


What are you most excited for about the program?

As a musician, I believe it is important to build appreciation and support for the arts. Fairmont and OCMD teachers will have so much to offer our students both in and outside of the classrooms. I believe that our program will be able to compete with any performing arts high school in the country. 


What is your background in performing arts?

My BA and MA are in bass trombone performance. I have been playing music for the past 25 years. It has always been, and will always be, my first passion. I love giving students tools in order to become musicians and performers. But what I love most is getting students to appreciate the gifts that they didn’t know they had. 


What will the audition look like for students?

The students who audition for this program will first apply to Fairmont Schools. After doing so, they will fill out a questionnaire and submit a video of them performing for submission to OCMD.


What advice do you have for students auditioning?

If you want to audition, go for it. But remember that there are a lot of talented performers out there. If you don’t make it on the first try, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it in the future. Also, practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. If you put your mind to it, anything is possible.


Anything else you’d like to add about the program?

This program is in a growing phase and will take time to become all that we envision for it. But once we start getting some traction, the sky really is the limit. I believe in the relationship with OCMD and I know that they will be a great addition to the Fairmont family. 


To learn more about this exciting new program, reach out to Mr. Clovis at dclovis@fairmontschools.com.