I first encountered Dr. Dave and The Wedge at the ITG Conference in Banff, Alberta, in June of 2008. Within a few minutes of our introduction I had a Wedge mouthpiece in my trumpet and there's been no looking back...I actually played the Night of Principals concert that same evening on the Wedge.
What are the advantages of the Wedge? How about EVERYTHING! Better sound, better pitch, better response, and better endurance. The innovative design gets the mouthpiece out of the way of embouchure function and helps the artist in your mind become the artist in the concert hall...and isn't that, after all, why we're all doing this?
- Principal Trumpet Emeritus, Calgary Philharmonic
Howard Engstrom's Biography
Howard Engstrom’s music education began on piano at age eight and continued on trumpet two years later. His early teachers were Bob Wilson, Gene Laughton and Bert Broth. In 1962, at age 14, he began studying with James Austin, Principal Trumpet of the Houston Symphony; a regarding and joyful collaboration that was to continue for the next nine years.
In high school, Howard was Principal Cornet in his school band, the Texas All-State Band (1964-1965) and Principal Trumpet in the Houston All-City Symphony Orchestra. During his final two year of high school, Howard’s private study was funded by a scholarship awarded by Leopold Stokowski and the Houston Symphony. After graduation and a multitude of scholarship offers from various universities in the Southwestern United States, Howard elected to continue his studies with James Austin at the University of Houston. Playing Principal Trumpet in the University Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Brass Quintet during his university years, he also saw the beginning of his teaching career when he was asked to join the music staff of two neighbouring school districts as resident trumpet instructor. Most notably, in 1967, while still a student in university, he was asked by André Previn to join the Houston Symphony as Fourth Trumpet.
After graduation (with honours) in 1970, Howard continued playing with the Houston Symphony and freelancing in the area. Teaching extensively, he was asked to be the first trumpet instructor at Rice University. His career in Houston continued until 1972 when he was asked to become the Principal Trumpet of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Three decades later, Howard’s career as a performer and educator continues with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Calgary and Mount Royal College Conservatory. He has been soloist with his orchestra on several occasions and his students are enjoying uniform success as players and teachers. Invitations to teach, perform and conduct master classed have taken him around the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as to Toronto, Houston and Hungary.
Engstrom Signature Mouthpiece
The Engstrom is an excellent choice for someone using a Bach 1-1/4C, 1-1/2C or similar mouthpiece. It is based on a Wedge 1.5 cushion rim and a 1.25Cm cup. The larger cup and m modification produce a robust orchestral sound.
The Engstrom signature backbore was developed specifically for Howard. It consists of a heavy weight upper component that is intermediate in size between out ML and M backbore. This is paired with a Large lower shank component. Both the top and backbores are available with a 27 or 25 throat, although Howard’s personal mouthpiece has been opened to a 23 throat.