William Junius Underwood III, is a native Detroiter, classically trained flutist, performing artist and fashion enthusiast. He began playing the flute at Alonzo W. Bates Academy, School for the Gifted and Talented (Detroit, MI), under the direction of Mr. David Berry. In the sixth grade, William won a three year scholarship to study privately with Cheryl West at Marygrove College. William went on to attend Cass Tech (Detroit, MI), a college preparatory high school that required students to choose a specific discipline. Naturally, William chose music as his designated curriculum path. In 2007, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (Tallahassee, FL) became William’s home for collegiate studies. In the fall of 2012, he received a Bachelor of Science in Music from this illustrious, Historically Black University. William enrolled at Wayne State University in 2014 and earned a Master’s Degree in Instrumental Performance.
At Wayne State, William studied privately with Sharon Sparrow, Assistant Principal Flutist – Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He received the David Kaplan Detroit Federation of Musicians Scholarship and became an Evangeline Dumesnil talent scholar. This rigorous two-year program encouraged William to continue on his pursuit to become a professional flutist. Needless to say, William became even more serious with his flute studies. In the fall of 2014, William won The Wayne State University Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition; he performed the 1st movement of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. As a result, he was afforded the opportunity to perform the Nielsen Flute Concerto with the Orchestra on several occasions. In the same semester, William became an inaugural member of the Graduate Student Ambassador Program and delivered an oral presentation at the inaugural Master’s Presentation Showcase. After a successful first year of graduate school, Maestro Douglas Bianchi invited William to perform as a soloist with the Wayne State Wind Symphony. During William’s final semester, he performed Doppler’s Hungarian fantasy from memory with the Wind Symphony in the winter of 2016.
Upon graduation, William received an offer to perform as the understudy for the lead flute role in the 2016 version of the Emmy and Tony award winning show, “Blast! The Music of Disney!” This adventure landed William a tour, which traveled from Nashville to Japan in the summer of 2016. During this exciting time (June 2016 – September 2016) William performed 12/30 shows as the flute lead in a theatrical portrayal of Walt Disney’s journey to artistic success. Performing for 1000’s of people every night enlightened William on the importance of consistency and flawless execution.
William’s goal: to encourage the youth to pursue the arts, continuously demolish stereotypes and bring people together through musical performance and fashion.