Report by Jade Bliss.
The Clarinet Journal - Volume 46, No. 1
From June 11-15, the 2018 Lift Clarinet Academy was held in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado. Hosted by Wesley Ferreira of Colorado State University and Jana Starling of Western University, this annual program helps aspiring young artists take their clarinet playing to the next level. This year, Lift had the privilege of welcoming Kimberly Cole Luevano of the University of North Texas as the guest artist, with a guest appearance from renowned performance psychologist Noa Kageyama, founder of the Bulletproof Musician blog.
The faculty at Lift started off the week with a virtuosic performance featuring various works from Devienne to Bach. Throughout the week, students were given the opportunity to participate in clinics, performance master classes, private lessons, chamber rehearsals and a final recital. Students were also able to take some time away from their clarinet and spend time at the Horsetooth Reservoir and Old Town Fort Collins.
Lift is an individualized program, allowing clarinetists to focus on areas they would like to improve. Students had a personalized schedule that was tailored to each of their goals. Clinics covering technique, tone production, articulation, contemporary techniques, musical career paths and professional development provided students with specialized learning experiences. Luevano, Ferreira and Starling also gave engaging master classes focusing on fingers, internalizing rhythm, phrasing, musicality and the importance of the right clarinet setup. Special guest Noa Kageyama held a masterclass on how to cope with performance anxiety, and a great warm-up class was given by Starling.
Lift ended an amazing clarinet week with a final recital featuring student soloists, chamber groups and a clarinet choir showing off all the hard work these students accomplished. The fifth year of the Lift Clarinet Academy proved to be a success; students were able to grow musically and make friendships that go beyond the clarinet. We look forward to next year!