Junior LIFT Clarinet Academy

Junior LIFTThe Junior Lift Clarinet Academy is an action-packed five day journey, designed for students ages 12-17 who are seeking to expand their clarinet study within a supportive and engaging musical environment.

The Junior Lift Clarinet Academy is dedicated to building on the knowledge that each individual student has acquired previously in their school and lesson settings. Junior Lift emphasizes a well-rounded curriculum including daily classes on how to practice more effectively and peer collaboration on projects, combined with clarinet-specific topics such as finger technique, articulation, and musicality. By supporting each musician’s unique strengths, we foster collaborative learning, musicianship, and creativity.

Each student will receive a daily private lesson, group instruction, and will participate in classes relating to fundamentals, performance, and personal growth. The festival will culminate with a group recital and an individual project that showcases each musician’s unique self.  

You’ll leave feeling like you’ve received the musical boost you’re looking for!



Junior LIFT is open for students currently ages 12-17.


Junior Lift is not audition-based and is first come first served. Students will audition for placement in ensembles on the first day of the festival. Students who wish to perform a solo work on the closing concert should be prepared to play this for the audition.

Core Curriculum
  • Daily private lessons
  • Daily topic classes such as intonation, practice techniques, musicality, research, and composition
  • Solo and collaborative performance opportunities
  • Individualized projects
  • Evening activities
  • Student recital
  • Faculty recital
Sample Schedule

7-9 a.m. - Breakfast and Warm-Up Time
9-10 a.m. - Group Warm-Up Class
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Lessons and Practice Time
12-1:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:30-2:30 p.m. - Practice Techniques Class
2:30-4 p.m. - Lessons and Practice Time
4-5 p.m. - Clarinet Choir Rehearsal
5-6:30 p.m. - Dinner
6:30-8:30 p.m. - Social Outing/Recreational Activity


$300 - For a daily commuter (accommodation and meals not provided)

$550 - Includes tuition, plus room and board (on campus)

  • All meals provided on campus at Ram’s Horn Dining Hall
  • Accommodation on campus in Summit Hall supervised by a Junior Lift Clarinet Academy camp chaperone
  • Check-in day is Monday June 19 and check out is Friday June 23
  • It may be possible to make arrangements to stay an additional night prior to and following the official dates.
Application and Registration
  • The application due by May 26, 2017
  • Click here to register online.
  • Participants will be notified by Dr. Wesley Ferreira once registration has been submitted.


Dr. Wesley Ferreira - Program Director

Wesley FerreiraOne of the prominent clarinetists of his generation, Wesley Ferreira has been praised by critics for his “beautiful tone” and “technical prowess” (The Clarinet Journal) as well as his “remarkable sensitivity” (CAML Review). Fanfare Magazine notes, Ferreira is “clearly a major talent.”

As a recital clarinetist, his performances continually engage audiences, provoking the Artistic Director of one recent concert series performance to remark that Ferreira “showcased a potent synthesis of serious musicianship, technical ferocity, and bravery of programming that was effectively tempered by a dynamic flair for showmanship. With this performance Ferreira proved not only is he an artist of some consequence, but also a consummate showman capable for presenting even the most challenging works with the ease and fluency of a world-class player.”

Represented by Price-Rubin & Partners artist management, Ferreira leads an active and diverse career performing worldwide as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, and as an engaging adjudicator and clinician. Equally at ease performing the masterworks as well as contemporary pieces. He has been featured soloist with numerous wind bands and orchestras in North America and Europe, and has been broadcast nationally on both Canadian and Australian Broadcasting Corporation's. Recent performances have taken him to Canada, China, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Portugal. Upcoming engagements include performances in Spain and Poland.

Ferreira’s discography now totals six, including the 2013 East Coast Music Award winner - Classical Recording of the Year, for Beyond the Shore and the Ships with soprano Helen Pridmore (Centrediscs label). His debut solo album entitled Madison Avenue (Potenza label), was released in 2014 to critical acclaim and features the premiere recordings of noteworthy North American composers.

As a means of artistic growth and furthering scholarship, Ferreira demonstrates avid support for new music by frequently commissioning and premiering works. Of note, upcoming commissions include works by prominent Portuguese composers for a forthcoming album slated for release in 2016. This advances his doctoral research project of curating works that feature the clarinet and which include Portuguese folk elements. Indeed, Ferreira continues to champion Portuguese music in North America. He was awarded winner of the 2015 International Portuguese Music Awards in the Instrumental Category.

Born in Canada to parents of Portuguese heritage, he received his musical training at the University of Western Ontario (B.M) and Arizona State University (M.M and D.M.A) studying with Robert Riseling and Robert Spring, respectively. Following four years in the position of single-reeds instructor at Mount Allison University, he joined the music faculty at Colorado State University in 2011 as Assistant Professor where he maintains a thriving clarinet studio.

Ferreira is a dedicated music educator and pedagogue. Passionate about teaching, he mentors students towards the achievement of their career goals, with emphasis placed on striving for professional and personal growth. His innovative teaching methods are acclaimed, including the development of the breath support training program for musicians, Air Revelation ®.

Ferreira is frequently invited to give performances, workshops, and masterclasses at high schools, colleges and universities throughout North America. In addition, he has been invited to perform at national and international academic conferences including the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFest seven times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). He is the co-founder and artistic director of the Lift Clarinet Academy, a summer music festival and training ground which attracts students from around the world.

Ferreira’s industry endorsements include positions on the Performing Artist rosters of Selmer Paris where he performs exclusively on the new Privilege clarinets, and with D’Addario, performing on the Reserve model mouthpiece and reeds.

To learn more about Wesley Ferreira, please visit his website: www.wesleyferreira.com.

Emily Kerski

Emily Kerski_webA 2013 recipient of the Colorado Creative Industries Jumpstart grant for entrepreneurial artists, Emily Kerski is a dynamic clarinetist based in Northern Colorado. Emily is currently studying clarinet performance at Colorado State University and previously studied clarinet performance and pedagogy at the Royal Academy of Music in London. While in London, she performed frequently as a freelance orchestral clarinetist in several ensembles and served as principal of the All Souls Orchestra on their UK tour. In Fort Collins, Emily can be seen performing in a wide variety of projects, from the Ralph Opera Center Orchestra to the it could be anything New Music Ensemble. As an educator, Emily in her eighth year of maintaining a thriving, innovative private studio for of beginning- to- advanced students of soprano and bass clarinet. Her students have achieved high placements in many Colorado regional and state honor bands, including the High School All-State Symphonic Band. She has also coached clarinet sections of band programs in the Poudre School District and was a visiting music workshop leader for the Tottenham Hale School District in the 2014-2015 academic year. Her ongoing research involves the effectiveness of arts-integrated education in primary and secondary schools. She is thrilled to be part of the Junior Lift faculty. For more information please visit emilykerski.com.

Lara Mitofsky Neuss

Lara MN_webClarinetist Lara Mitofsky Neuss continually shows her passion for varied genres of music through her clarinet playing. Most recently Lara performed a complete 21st Century Clarinet Recital, consisting of music written in the past ten years for clarinet, bass clarinet, and electronics. Following her solo recital, she was a performer and fellow for three weeks at the Bang on a Can Contemporary Music Festival. Other performances range from performing principal clarinet in the Colorado State University Orchestra and Wind Symphony, performing e-flat and bass clarinet in her single reed quartet “Oxidize” and a performance by her wind trio of the music of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, complete with choreography and electronics. Lara is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Colorado State University, studying with recital clarinetist Wesley Ferreira. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and attended the Mannes College of Music in her high school years. Passionate about mentoring and teaching the next generation of musicians, Lara maintains a private studio of all ages in Fort Collins, Colo., and is a coach for the Colorado All-State Orchestra. In the Summer of 2016 she will be on the clarinet faculties of Junior Lift Clarinet Academy and Michigan Performing Arts Camp. When not playing her clarinet, Lara enjoys teaching, studying Mindfulness and meditation techniques, and she is certified in Reiki.

Anthony Aguayo

anthony-aguayoClarinetist Anthony Aguayo, a native of Grants, N.M., is currently completing a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance at Colorado State  University. At CSU he is a student of  Dr. Wesley Ferreira. He currently holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Eastern New Mexico University where he studied with Dr. Jennifer Laubenthal. Anthony has also taken lessons and played in masterclasses for Kristina Belisle-Jones, Diane Barger, Robert Spring, Keith Lemmons, Jana Starling, Leigh Miller, Anthony Costa, Todd Waldecker, and Wesley Ferreira.

Mr. Aguayo is an active performer and teacher. At ENMU, he performed three solo recitals and was the principal clarinetist of the ENMU Wind Symphony, under the direction of Mr. Dustin Seifert, for six consecutive semesters. He also played bass clarinet regularly with the Roswell Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest Symphony. He is currently the Eb clarinetist of the Colorado State University Wind Symphony, under the baton of Dr. Rebecca Phillips. He is also a member of Quarthot, the CSU Graduate Clarinet Quartet, which performs regularly at the University and throughout the community.  

Anthony has also been a member of the 2015 and 2016 CBDNA Intercollegiate Bands as well as the 2013 and 2015 Kappa Kappa Psi National Intercollegiate Bands. He has performed under the batons of many highly regarded conductors since the start of his career; Dustin Seifert, Gary Lewis, Ray Cramer, Anthony Maiello, Joseph Herman, Robert Jorgensen, and James Keene. In 2015, Anthony was a finalist in the Kappa Kappa Psi Solo Competition, for which he played Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsody, in Lexington, Ky.

He has been a member of ensembles that have premiered works by John Mackey, Franklin Piland, Mark Dal Porto, and Julie Giroux. He can be heard as an ensemble clarinetist on two albums: (Redacted) (2013) and Of Blood and Stone (2015), both of which can be found in the Naxos Music Library.

Mr. Aguayo is a faculty member of the Junior Lift Clarinet Academy in Fort Collins, Colo.. At the academy he strives to educate and inspire young clarinetists from various states. Teaching clarinet to young musicians is one of his greatest passions. Many of his former students have achieved high placements in the New Mexico All-State Orchestras and Bands.

For more about Mr. Aguayo, click here.


June 19-23, 2017


University Center for the Arts
Colorado State University
1400 Remington Street
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523