Shane Underwood: My Musical Journey

As a RAF musician the uniform gives you a real sense of pride, that you’re doing something not just for yourself but for everybody in the country.

Music can open doors to unexpected places. Bassoonist and RAF serviceman Shane Underwood’s musical journey began traditionally enough playing clarinet at school. But a chance encounter with Youth Music’s Endangered Species scheme brought him into contact with the instrument that would shape his future: the bassoon. Knowing he wanted to make a career out of music – “I’d do it regardless of whether I was getting paid” – Shane studied at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music and later at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

It was after completing his studies that Shane decided to join the RAF, where he got a place to train with the Band of the Royal Air Force College. Service, performance and pride, both musical and military, are all tied up together in a career that so far is proving extremely rewarding. “Although you’re a musician, you’re also serving the country. To wake up in the morning and put on your uniform: it gives you a real sense of importance that you’re doing something not just for yourself, but for everyone.”

Part of our 20th anniversary project: My Musical Journey

Share this post