Artfully Edmonds: Local boy makes good with Seattle Symphony, plus ’tis the season for arts events

Benjamin Lulich
Benjamin Lulich (Photo courtesy Classical Underground)

Edmonds Prodigy Benjamin Lulich

World-class clarinetist Benjamin Lulich is still remembered by those who follow the trajectory of his career, and Edmonds roots, if a note from My Edmonds News reader Wendy Kendall is any indication.

It was Kendall who alerted us last month that Lulich, (who spent part of his youth in and around Edmonds) had attained the status of Principal Clarinet in the Seattle Symphony.

An Edmonds-Woodway High School student in 1998, Benjamin Lulich won the Tacoma Concert Band Solo Competition that year. From there he went on to attend high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where he won the concerto competition and both the Fine Arts and Young Artist awards.

In its official announcement regarding Lulich’s successful audition, Seattle Symphony says of the gifted musician:

“Benjamin Lulich joins the Seattle Symphony from Pacific Symphony, where he was Principal Clarinet. Previously, he held positions at the Colorado Music Festival, Hollywood Studio Orchestras, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Sunriver Music Festival.

He has performed regularly with The Cleveland Orchestra, Festival Mozaic, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera Pacific, Pasadena Symphony and Riverside Philharmonic.

Lulich has won the concerto competitions of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Interlochen Arts Academy, Marrowstone Music Festival and Music Academy of the West.

He earned his Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Franklin Cohen, and continued his studies at the Yale University School of Music, where he was a student of David Shifrin.

Lulich is also a former student of Seattle Symphony clarinetist Laura DeLuca.”


Of course Artfully Edmonds (AE) is eager to bring Mr. Lulich’s achievements to the attention of art and music lovers – so here is Benjamin Lulich (BL) on topics of his hometown, his achievements and personal moments of inspiration:

AE: Tell us about your Edmonds (and beyond!) performance experiences, please.
BL: When I lived in Edmonds, I performed with the College Place Middle School Band and the Edmonds-Woodway High School Orchestra (both with conductor Meg Dezell).

I also played with the Seattle Youth Symphony. I once performed a student recital at the Seattle Opera House (before a Seattle Symphony concert) and performed a solo concerto with the Tacoma Concert Band. I also attended Marrowstone Music Festival for several summers.
– – –
AE: Do you still have ties in Edmonds? Do you come back often?
BL: I don’t have many ties in Edmonds any more. [But] I did visit Edmonds my first week back in Seattle, just to see the town and visit some favorite old places like Brackett’s Landing. I’m hoping to visit again soon.
– – –
AE: You indicated in an interview recently that by the eighth grade you knew that playing the clarinet was what you wanted to do for the rest of your life. What was happening in your musical career at that point that so inspired you?
BL: One of the first moments I knew I wanted to be a musician and play in orchestra was when I first heard one of the orchestras in the Seattle Youth Symphony. My family was new to the Seattle area, so I showed up to a rehearsal to learn about the youth symphonies and audition for the group. I listened to the orchestra rehearsing The Barber of Seville Overture by Rossini and loved the sound the full orchestra produced. I joined the group the following year and enjoyed being in the middle of all that great music.
– – –
AE: Do you happen to recall what pieces you were playing by the time you entered high school?
BL: By the time I was in high school, I was playing Hindemith’s Sonata, Weber’s Concertino and his two concertos. As a freshman, I was playing Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations.
– – –
AE: For those middle and high students who may not want to practice for hours every day, in similar moments, what inspiration, admonishments, or bribes drove you to open your clarinet case and play?
BL: I loved the clarinet and I loved playing music from an early age. I loved learning new pieces, But I also had to practice scales, arpeggios, and etudes (which are not the most fun things to practice). But the more I practiced, the better I got and the more I enjoyed playing the clarinet. I was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher (Laurie DeLuca) who encouraged me and helped motivate me. Another thing that got me practicing was the fun of playing duets with my brother, who played violin at the time.
– – –
AE: So far, what has been your most thrilling performance moment?
BL: I’ve had many thrilling performances throughout my life. A few of the most memorable are playing at Carnegie Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra, playing at Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary performance with Elton John, and performing alongside my former teacher with the Seattle Symphony.
– – –
AE: How much do you travel, and where has your career taken you?
BL: I have had the opportunity to travel across the country and abroad to perform. I have traveled with The Cleveland Orchestra for performances in Miami, New York, Boston, and San Francisco; with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to San Francisco, Kansas City, New York, DC, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Singapore; I spent a summer in Japan at the Pacific Music Festival, performed at ClarinetFest in Italy and Louisiana, and many other places across the USA.
– – –
AE: Well, we are certainly pleased that providence brings you back to Seattle so that you can visit Edmonds as your performance schedule allows. Thank you very much, Benjamin, for visiting with us and from My Edmonds News we wish you well.
~ ~ ~ ~

1a Holiday Use MENewsHoliday Calendar

What a perfect place to spend the holidays – Edmonds! With the avenues and streets strung with lights that twinkle, store fronts that glitter and our Centennial Plaza Holiday Tree set to begin its seasonal sparkle it’s the perfect place to invite friends and relatives home for the holidays.

And there’s plenty happening to keep everyone entertained, regardless of age, throughout December and into the New Year. Galleries filled with the work of such historical luminaries as Mark Tobey, Guy Anderson, and Morris Graves; Edmonds’ own “Nutcracker Suite” staged by our Olympic Ballet; and choirs and symphonies to attend represent only some of the “Artfully Edmonds” dazzling events I would like to bring to your attention this week.
~ ~ ~ ~
Northwest School Artists
at the Edmonds Art Festival Foundation Gallery
Through Friday, Dec 12
Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.

Certainly one of Edmonds’ points of pride is the wide array of gallery space the city enjoys, including those tucked- away spaces that are cherished by the community – as is the gallery located at the Frances Anderson Center.

Thanks to the generosity of art collectors and guest curator Marni Muir, and the collaborative efforts of the Edmonds Art Commission and the Edmonds Art Festival Foundation, the work of the founders of the Northwest School movement — Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan and Guy Anderson — are available for viewing.

The Northwest School movement, which took root in the 1930s and 1940s. also influenced the work of Pacific Northwest artists James Martin and Helmi Dagmar Juvonen, whose work in included at the gallery. Art of the Northwest School movement reflects the effect of the Pacific Northwest Native American culture and Asian traditions on the art world.

This exhibit is a major achievement in art circles, and the lifelong dream of curator Muir. I’m sure you don’t want the collection to slip away before you take the opportunity to come see the exhibit.

More details about the collection are covered in My Edmonds News.

David Benoit
David Benoit

David Benoit
~ Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown
Monday, Dec. 1 ~ 7:30 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)
410 4th Ave. N.

David Benoit’s impressive body of work includes several prominent Charlie Brown related projects (including Here’s To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years and the star-studded 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas). These productions reflect Benoit’s lifelong passion for the music of original Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi.

During his ECA performance, a children’s choir, comprised of students from the Edmonds School District, will join Mr. Benoit on stage.

What could be a more endearing start to a family’s holiday celebration?
For tickets visit the ECA online ticket outlet here.
~ ~ ~ ~
Miracle on 34th St.
(Based on the Twentieth Century Fox
Motion Picture)

Driftwood Players

Friday, Nov. 28
thru Dec. 21
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays ~ 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday matinees ~ 2 p.m.
Wade James Playhouse
950 Main St.

The Driftwood Players, under the direction of Nikki Fey-Burgett, is staging this sweet tale of generosity, compassion, and understanding.

Edmonds Today video magazine will feature stage-production highlights of “Miracle on 34th Street” and fun behind-the-scenes interviews with husband and wife actors Jason Gingold and Molly Hall (who play the parts of Fred and Doris) starting Dec. 1. You’ll want to watch for those interviews, which will be aired on My Edmonds News TV in early December.

When you come to the Wade James Theatre, remind your Little Ones to bring with them their letters for Santa’s Mail Box, which is located at the steps of the theatre.

Just a reminder: This is the first time “Miracle on 34th Street” has been produced in Edmonds; it promises to be a memorable production, and tickets are going very quickly!

Here is your link to the online box office.
~ ~ ~ ~
ImageProxy.mvcHallelujah Girls
by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope & Jamie Wooten
Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave.
Firdale Village

Show Runs
Friday, Dec 5 Thru Dec 21
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays ~ 8 p.m.
Sundays ~ 2 p.m.

Thursday, Dec 4 ~ 8 p.m.
Open Dress Rehearsal

Who plays Crystal Hart? Who plays Carlene? That’s what I want to know as I read through the synopsis of The Phoenix Theatre’s holiday production, “Hallelujah Girls.”

It’s Crystal who, every Friday night, entertains the women who gather at the SPA-DEE-DAH! Salon by singing Christmas carols featuring her own twisted lyrics (Mondegreens!)

The story line centers around salon owner Sugar Lee, who is in jeopardy of losing her salon to an arch rival; Charlene, who has given up on romance after being widowed three times, and Nita who is a neurotic mess because of her son’s run ins with his probation officer. All try to pitch in with suggestions to help Mavis as she babbles on over her stagnant marriage.

The comic tension mounts when a sexy, ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, just as the women rally to overcome their obstacles and each one vows to begin a new, improved life.

The action is rockin’ – and that’s exactly what we want when we go to The Phoenix Theatre where their specialty is “comedy without all the drama.”

The Phoenix Theatre now serves wine before each performance, and at intermission. Select seating is now available when you purchase your tickets.

Get tickets online here.
~ ~ ~ ~

GetAttachment.aspx“Gifts of the Season”
Holiday Art Exhibit
Gallery North
401 Main St.

Exhibit Opens Sunday, Dec. 7

The public is invited to two special events at Gallery North during December: as artist reception Sunday, Dec. 7, from 1-4 p.m.; and a reception during Art Walk Edmonds! on Dec. 18, from 5-8 p.m.

In December, the artist members of Gallery North will display their holiday best in the exhibit, “Gifts of the Season.” The work of over 20 local artists will be available. In addition to the members’ fine art and skilled craft, there will be wonderful artist-made gifts, seasonal cards, and ornaments. The gallery members invite you to come, browse, listen, chat, sip, snack and enjoy the imaginative locally-created art at Gallery North.

Gallery North is pleased to feature the festive harp music of member artist Anne Prather for these two reception events.

Gallery North is open seven days a week. The gallery is open late on Thursday and Friday nights through Dec. 19 for your holiday shopping convenience.

For more information, call 425-774-0946 or visit the gallery website.
~ ~ ~ ~

As the holidays prance through December, dinner parties are planned and relatives arrive on your doorstep, “Artfully Edmonds” will bring you joyous, exciting and even hilarious entertainment options each week. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Emily ~ Square jPeg— By Emily Hill

Emily Hill, a long-time resident of Edmonds, is the author of two novels and one short story collection. She is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or venue featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at

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