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.

Lara Mitofsky Neuss

Lara MN_web

Lara Mitofsky Neuss is a clarinetist, educator, and administrator.  Her work focuses on creating an innovative and engaging environment for the world of music, one that bridges the gap between classical music and other mainstream genres.  Mitofsky Neuss draws excitement from the emotional connection between audience and performer as this relationship enhances each performance and is key in promoting and energizing classical music into the future.  Mitofsky Neuss’ most recent dive into the submersion of musical genres included programming and producing "She Walks to the Beat,” a full clarinet program consisting of three world premieres and five genres. This concert was an example of melding genres and intentional welcoming of performer and listener interaction. She has organized and performed many exciting workshops and recitals, including “The 21st Century Clarinet,” a solo recital consisting of all music written in the past ten years, and a workshop titled “Electroacoustic Endeavors,” in which she brought in talented teachers and musicians to The Music District in Fort Collins.
Mitofsky Neuss maintains a private teaching studio in Fort Collins, Colorado with dedication to mentoring the next generation of musicians and artists. She administrates and teaches at the Junior Lift Clarinet Academy during the summer, where they offer daily lessons and classes focusing on each student's unique personal growth. As a clarinetist, Mitofsky Neuss has performed as a member of a variety of ensembles and festivals including Bang on a Can Music Festival, Opera Parallele, New York Youth Symphony, Domaine Forget Music Academy, Brevard Music Festival, and Eastern Music Festival, among others. As a soloist, Mitofsky Neuss was the winner of the Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition, and has been a finalist and semi-finalist in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition and the William C. Byrd International Competition, respectively. She has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Alice Tully Hall, Munchner Philharmoniker, and Weill Recital Hall.  In the summer of 2017 Neuss will be attending and performing at the Banff and Orford summer residencies in Canada, as well as the Selmer Clarinet Academy at Michigan State University and the Lift Clarinet academy here at Colorado State University.  
Mitofsky Neuss is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at Colorado State University where she is the Graduate Teaching Assistant to Recital Clarinetist Wesley Ferreira. She obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she was the recipient of the Clark D. Fobes Presidential Scholarship. Mitofsky Neuss is certified in Reiki and studies Mindfulness, both which guide her personal and supportive approach when working with students, fellow musicians, and peers.


Anthony Aguayo

Clarinetist 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, Colorado. 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 visit, anthonyaguayo2012.wix.com/clarinetist

Javier Elizondo

Clarinetist is a recent graduate of University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where he obtained his Bachelor of Music alongside Randall Griffin, principal clarinet of the Houston Ballet Orchestra. Elizondo's passionate playing can be heard on the American Premiere of Leroy Osmon's The Garden of Earthly Delights as well as on the University of Houston's Wind Ensemble Wind Classics CD under the Naxos label. He frequently subs with groups in the Texas area, including the Texas Medical Center Orchestra and the McAllen Symphonic Band. In addition, for the past two years he has held the position of treasurer of the international music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha – Omicron Upsilon. 

Elizondo is a passionate teacher and clinician, having taught private lessons and masterclasses across East Texas. He is frequently hired as a judge for the Texas Music Educators Association All-State ensembles and is on the faculty of the Junior Lift Clarinet Academy, a summer festival in Fort Collins, Colorado which brings in students from across the United States to hone their skills.

An active member of the clarinet community, Elizondo is a member of the International Clarinet Association as well as the Texas Music Educators Association. In the Fall of 2017 he will begin pursuing his Master of Music in clarinet performance at Colorado State University, studying with Wesley Ferreira.


Camp: June 18-22, 2018

Final Concert: Friday, June 22, 5 p.m., Organ Recital Hall

Join us to mark the end of the week-long Junior Lift Clarinet Academy. This concert will feature camp participants (aged 12 - 17) performing together in clarinet quartets and in a large clarinet choir. Featuring some of the best middle school and high school clarinetists in Colorado and abroad.


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