Hailing from British Columbia, Canada, Janet Underhill has been a bassoonist, teacher, conductor and administrator in the Boston area for over 25 years. Currently she is the director of Preparatory Winds for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and Director of Senior Wind Ensemble for Community Music Center of Boston. As an administrator, Underhill is the Director of Private Lessons and Instrumental Music for St. Mark's School of Southborough. She is also a bassoon instructor at Northeastern University, Boston College and South Shore Conservatory. A nationally recognized teacher, she was the recipient of the Kay Login Chamber Music America Award for excellence in chamber music teaching in 2001.
Underhill is a founding member of Arcadian Winds, a woodwind quintet specializing in contemporary music that has commissioned and premiered more than 50 works. As a soloist she has performed at the International Double Reed Conference in Minneapolis, the Fromm Series at Harvard University, the Gaudeamus Competition in Rotterdam, Holland, The Women's Avant Festival in Chicago, The Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival in Vermont, The Outoftowners series in New York City, CrossSounds in Alaska and Soudwaves in St. Petersburg, Russia. Also interested in archival projects, she has developed a cataloguing system for entire recordings with composer Martin Bartlett, and has organized Gunther Schuller's personal collection. Solo and chamber works written for Underhill are included on CDs of composers Julian Wachner, Stefan Hakenberg, John Holland, Timothy Melbinger and Neil Leonard.