When I heard about the Wedge, I was intrigued. Asymmetrical cupped mouthpieces have been around for a long time. (See pictures of Herbert L. Clarke's mouthpiece.) The Wedge is a clever, effective revision of the concept. With the modern miracle of the CNC lathe, it can be manufactured with precision and flexibility that was never before possible.
I typically play very large mouthpieces because they best enable the production of big, robust tone. Of course, playing big mouthpieces presents some challenges: Low register tone can be unfocused, and response in articulation can be slower than that experienced with cups of more modest volume. Unless a large diameter rim is suitably comfortable, it can be quite punishing.
Dave Harrison has helped me find Wedge mouthpieces that offer robust tone production, yet reduce the problematic issues typically associated with mouthpiece cups of large volume.
The backbore design of the Wedge also offers genuine advantages, as well. Any Wedge or Warburton top can be quickly screwed on to a variety of Wedge backbores. The two-piece backbore design permits easy experimentation with the gap inside the receiver - a critical dimension that is normally very difficult and expensive to alter.
I commend Dr. Dave Harrison for his creativeness and dedication in producing the Wedge. It is an innovation that deserves consideration by all dedicated brass players.
- Professor - Trumpet, Chamber Music
- University of Victoria School of Music
Louis Ranger's Biography
Louis Ranger studied at Boston University with Armando Ghitalla and completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Juilliard School, where he studied with William Vacchiano. He has performed with many ensembles, including The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Bach Aria Group, The New York City Ballet Orchestra, The Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, The Casals Festival Orchestra, The Musica Aeterna Orchestra, The Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, The Vancouver Symphony, Speculum Musica, The Berlin Philharmonic, The Detroit Symphony, The Prague Chamber Orchestra, The Boston Symphony, The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, The New York City Opera Orchestra, and in various Broadway show orchestras. He was a member of the American Brass Quintet, The American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, and later served as Co-Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic.
In 2009, Louis celebrates his 40th season as a performer and teacher at the Aspen Festival and School. He is currently a Professor at the University of Victoria School of Music in Victoria, British Columbia. Many of his former students are members of symphony orchestras and music faculties throughout North America and Europe. He has recorded a CD of solo trumpet music, “The Trumpet Comes of Age”, available on Crystal Records.