Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Thomas Sleeper

Second Committee Member

Dale Underwood

Third Committee Member

Robert Carnochan

Fourth Committee Member

Lansing McLoskey


The purpose of this project is to document the extensive performing career of Dale Underwood during his tenure as Navy Band saxophone soloist. Through meticulous research in the Navy Band archives and Dale Underwood’s personal collection, many performances are brought to light and arranged chronologically – sectioned by Navy Band leaders. Dissertations, journal articles, and newspaper clippings were also consulted. Specific appearances discussed include solos at major conferences such as the American Bandmasters Association Conference, Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference, College Band Directors National Association Conference, World Saxophone Congress, the International Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. Interviews with Underwood and other musicians provide a glimpse into Underwood’s early music studies and document his influence in the Navy Concert Band. Additionally, several humorous experiences reveal the camaraderie and rapport which Underwood helped create among the band members. Unpublished personal correspondence from composers (such as Paul Creston, Vincent Persichetti, and Karel Husa), conductors (such as Arnald Gabriel), and other saxophonists (such as Donald Sinta, Lynn Klock, and Fred Hemke) further provides evidence of Underwood’s musicianship and his place in the classical saxophone community. This essay also serves to document the contributions Underwood made to the saxophone repertoire. Through the unparalleled exposure Underwood received as Navy Band soloist, numerous new works were elicited from notable composers. Many of these pieces, and how they originated, are mentioned in the body of the text but a complete listing of compositions written for Underwood during his Navy career is included as Appendix A.


Dale Underwood; Alto Saxophone; Navy Concert Band; Saxophone Solo; Fantasia