By: Allison Flowers, EC Scholar and Honors College Junior
During the week of June 15 through 19, I had the opportunity to visit Colorado State University to take part in the Lift Clarinet Academy. The Lift Clarinet Academy is an annual intensive that invites aspiring professional clarinetists from around the country to study with notable clarinetists and improve their own playing. I was one of 24 clarinetists selected from universities throughout the Unites States and Puerto Rico to attend the intensive. The goal of the academy is to “take your playing to the next level” through a variety of group and individual activities tailored to fit your needs as a musician, and I feel that I have benefited greatly as a clarinetist by taking part in this opportunity.
While attending the Lift Clarinet Academy, I was able to take private lessons from its distinguished faculty, which consisted of clarinetists Dr. Wesley Ferreira, Dr. Jana Starling, and Dr. Diane Barger. During the intensive, I also participated in a clarinet quartet, attended seminars and concerts, networked with fellow clarinetists, and performed in a masterclass. Through all of these experiences, I was able to learn more about my abilities as a clarinetist and also improve my musicianship by increasing my knowledge of practice and performance techniques.
Though I was able to take away a lot of useful information from the activities I participated in during the Lift Clarinet Academy, the activity that I enjoyed the most was performing in a masterclass for Dr. Wesley Ferreira and my peers. All in all, this was my favorite experience of the week because I was able to perform one of my favorite pieces for clarinet, “Rhapsody” by Willson Osborne, and receive advice on how I can improve my performance abilities. This was such a satisfying experience in that I was not only able to do something I love–performing–but was also able to learn how to better myself in the process.
In addition to participating in the musical aspects of the Lift Clarinet Academy, I was also able to attend social outings and do some sightseeing of my own. Colorado State University is located in the town of Fort Collins, Colorado, which is a charming medium-sized city outside of Denver. During the week that I stayed in the city, I was able to explore “Old Town,” which is Fort Collins’ picturesque downtown area. Through an outing with the faculty and students of the Lift Clarinet Academy I also visited the Horsetooth Reservoir, which is a man-made lake nestled at the foot of the nearby Rocky Mountains. While visiting Horsetooth, we were able to hike alongside the lake and observe the stunning natural beauty of the mountains and the water. Towards the end of the week, I visited Cheyenne, Wyoming, which was the sightseeing highlight of my week in Colorado.
All in all, I am very happy that I had the opportunity to experience the Lift Clarinet Academy. Attending the academy helped to improve my skills as a clarinetist as I worked with its faculty and my peers. I received advice that I can use to continue my growth musically and professionally as I further my studies at East Carolina University and prepare to pursue a career of my own. Making friends with clarinetists who attend universities across the United States and getting to visit new places created memories that I will never forget. The Lift Clarinet Academy helped to take my clarinet playing to the next level, and I look forward to pursuing musical opportunities like it in the future.