An accomplished teacher and nationally recognized scholar, Dr. Saunders has served the University and The Hartt School in a variety of administrative positions and has twice acted as Interim Dean. Dr. Saunders, Professor of Music Education since 1998, received his Ph.D. from Temple University in 1984 and a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Prior to coming to the University of Hartford, Dr. Saunders taught at The University of Maryland at College Park (1986–1992) and Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA (1984–1986). From 1978 to 1981 he was Band Director and instrumental music teacher at Washingtonville High School, Washingtonville, NY.
Dr. Saunders has pursued a research agenda related to methods and procedures for the valid assessment of music performance skills. He has completed a series of studies that demonstrate useful techniques for the measurement of student growth of music skill learning. Additional research projects have focused on the cognitive processing of sounds as melodies. Articles related to his work have appeared in the Music Educators Journal, General Music Today, CMEA News, Early Childhood Connections, Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Update, and The Quarterly.
Dr. Saunders was instrumental in creating the Ph.D. Program in music education at the University of Hartford and served as its director from 1994–2005. Well respected across campus, he has been a member of many important campus committees including the Presidential Commission on Full-time Faculty Compensation, Foundation for the Future - Academic Task Force, Strategic Plan - Goal I Solution Team, Annual Faculty Evaluation Working Group, dean search committees and the Provost Committee on Promotion Tenure and Academic Freedom. He also is also a member of the National Association of Schools of Music Accreditation Commission