Michael P. Underwood

Dr. Michael Underwood celebrates his tenth season as principal trombone of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and his seventh year as professor of music theory and low brass at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He graduated cum laude from Lawrence University, earned two master’s degrees from Bowling Green State University, and a DMA from the University of North Texas.

Michael is very active as a performer, composer, and arranger. He completed a three-state recital tour of Midwest universities this fall. He also is a regular featured artist at the Afterthought Jazz Club in Little Rock. He has spent past summers as a participant at the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Improvisation Camp as well as a Fellow Performer for the Joseph Alessi Trombone Seminar. His trombone quartet, the ACME Trombone Company, was featured at the Stephen F. Austin State University 2010 summer artist series. In addition, he has been a featured soloist with the Little Rock Wind Symphony and Natural State Brass Band. He has performed principal trombone with the Monterrey Mexico Symphony and won the University of North Texas concerto competition. He served in the United States Air Force “Band of the Golden West,” and was featured soloist on two concert band tours and principal trombone on two compact-disc recordings. Michael is the composer, arranger, and editor for the Arkansas all-state jazz etudes for trombone. This summer Joseph Alessi Publishing published his arrangements of three Debussy piano works for trombone quartet. His arrangements have been performed by the ASO, at the Joseph Alessi Trombone Seminar, University of Arkansas Monticello Jazz Camp, and twice at the Big 12 Area Trombone Conference.

Michael has studied with Little Rock native, Nicholas Keelan, Vern Kagarice, Paul Hunt, and John Kitzman. He has performed in master classes for Christian Lindberg, Jay Friedman, Ralph Sauer, John Kitzman, and Ben Van Dyk. In addition, he has performed with Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Hamlisch, J. J. Johnson, Yo Yo Ma, Wayne Newton, Frank Sinatra Jr., Diane Schurr, Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, and Jiggs Whigham. Michael resides in Little Rock, where he is married to Karla Fournier, second clarinetist in the ASO, and enjoys traveling, running, pizza, and reading presidential history

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