Board & Staff
Clarinetist Erika Block hails from Annapolis, Maryland. She was appointed Executive Director of the Bellingham Festival of Music beginning in January 2023. Prior to this appointment she was a board member of the BFM beginning in 2017 and has been a member of the orchestra since 2013.
As an active member of the Bellingham music community, Erika serves as vice president and performs with the Bellingham Chamber Music Society, and as principal clarinet with the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra. As a featured soloist, Erika has performed concertos with the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, Skagit Symphony, WWU Wind Symphony and Whatcom Wind Ensemble. Erika served as senior instructor of clarinet and chamber music at Western Washington University from 20016-2023. While at Western, she was a founding member of the Fifth Inversion wind quintet, which has performed at international and national conferences across the US and Canada.
Erika received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in clarinet performance at Boston University. She studied with Thomas Martin (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Ricardo Morales (Philadelphia Orchestra) and Gregory Raden, (Dallas Symphony Orchestra). She attended Brevard, Tanglewood and Kinhaven music schools in the summers.
In addition to performing, Erika is the host of the classical music podcast, Inside the Notes. She interviews musicians from all areas of the classical music field to discuss their career and favorite memories in classical music. This podcast aims to educate younger generations of musicians with first-hand accounts of important performances and experiences.
Before moving to Bellingham, Erika was the director of marketing and artist relations at Backun Musical Services, in Vancouver, BC. She spent several years touring the US and Europe, helping artists with their equipment and attending conferences and instrument trade shows. She helped with the marketing campaigns of the Leblanc by Backun, Bliss and Backun protege series clarinets.
Erika moved to Bellingham in 2012 with her husband, jazz guitarist, BJ Block, and two children, Weston and Ava. When not working and performing, Erika can be found in the garden or wielding power tools as she works on endless renovations around the house.