Why HD?

We at Hammond Design are blessed with having so many brass instructors/professors and performers using our product, and we thank each and every one. Why do they use them? Why are they encouraging their students to use HD? Here are just a few to explain Why HD?

Trumpet Players

Dr. Chris Carrillo

Professor of Trumpet, James Madison University
Principal Trumpet, New Orchestra of Washington

I have been working with and using Karl's mouthpieces for over ten years and could not be happier with the product he makes and his willingness to help my students and me. On countless occasions he has spent a great deal of time consulting with both me and my students to help us find what will best fit our personal concepts of sound. Most every one of my students who tries one of Karl's mouthpieces is immediately drawn to how easily they play and what rich overtones his mouthpieces can help the students create in their sound.

Generally, I will have a student try one of Karl's mouthpiece sizes that is comparable to what they currently play on in the ML or MLX cup models. I often ask them how they like the sound that is produced and how it feels with regard to resistance (how it blows). That usually gives us a great starting point from which to explore his other sizing and cup options. With Karl's vast array of sizing and throat/backbore options, I find it very easy to settle in on what fits each individual student's needs.

Randy Grabowski

Professor of Trumpet, University of Northern Iowa

Whenever a student or colleague is in need of a mouthpiece, I always recommend that they consider looking at Hammond Design. Karl has taken great care in crafting a product that is well-balanced and includes reasonable options in rim, cups, and backbores. I have several options for students to try in my studio, and they ALWAYS sound better when moving to an HD mouthpiece. Karl is knowledgeable and easy to work with, and he will do whatever it takes to ensure that students get what they need at a reasonable cost. Finally, great mouthpieces that come with friendly, experienced help.

Dr. Chip Crotts

Director of Jazz Studies, Georgia Institute of Technology
Associate Brass Caption Head, The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps

I've had the pleasure of using Hammond Design mouthpieces years now, both as a professional trumpet player and full-time music educator. Not only have they allowed me to express myself in the most personal and musical way possible, but they have also allowed my ensembles to reach their true potential.

I am a firm believer that by providing the best equipment for your students, you are able to spend your time on teaching and not worry about the rest. Karl's mouthpieces are designed to bring out the best features of each instrument and help create the necessary balance so important to all levels of performance. I use them with all of our marching brass and they simply take the guesswork out of the equation.

Thank you for providing such high quality work and equipment for the most discerning professionals and music educators!

Jim Dooley

Principal Trumpet, San Jose Symphony
Original Founding Member, The Bay Brass

My first exposure to Karl Hammond's creative craftsmanship was actually a gift, from a friend and student, Alan Laschiver. I had been playing a Bach 1 1/2C with a 22 throat and a very open backbore for 20yrs with good results. I had decided to move to a 1C about 2yrs ago, with limited success in getting what I wanted from the slightly bigger piece. Alan was taking notes. He had Karl make a mouthpiece with my 22 throat, his biggest backbore on a 1C, taking an iPhone pic of my inner rim contour, and had it gold plated. And honestly, within a minute or two, I felt that this was what I had been searching for for the last 10 years. The colors that I am able to get with this mouthpiece are simply amazing! The sound is deep, warm, rich in color, with a beautiful brilliance to it as well. Complex! I actually have better range and endurance on Karl's mouthpiece than my old Bach1-1/2C. The sound in the upper range stays much more open than any other piece I've played. I'm home!

So I now have as well a 1L from Karl's product line, giving me as much size of sound, but with a touch more 'zip' and 'bite' to the sound and articulation. It rocked on my last "American in Paris". And I'm certainly not done with Karl Hammond. I now must have him make me a flugelhorn and a piccolo mouthpiece. Interestingly, it only took my playing Karl's mouthpiece in the orchestra and while teaching, that inspired many of my colleagues and students to have started playing his mouthpieces as well. Now I can just play, and have virtually quit wondering if.........

Thank You, Karl! You've made my job easier, and much more fun. Truly, Thank You!

Karl Sievers

Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts
School of Music, University of Oklahoma
Principal Trumpet, Oklahoma City Philharmonic
Principal Trumpet, Norman Philharmonic
Salsbury Chair

My Hammond 4MLX gives me the response, quality of articulation, presence in the hall, and tone color I want, all the while being more comfortable on my chops. Put another way, I do not sacrifice any one element for another - I get the best of the whole picture. I am an accurate player, but with this mouthpiece I feel as though my accuracy is more intuitive and natural and takes less mental effort, and as I say, all the while giving me the sound I want. As principal trumpet in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, these traits are vital, and this mouthpiece makes it all more natural, more satisfying, and more enjoyable.

Chuck Parrish

Chuck Parrish began playing trumpet in 1975 and has earned his living as a performer and private teacher for over 35 years. In that time he has performed almost every style of music; from classical to circus, big band to Broadway, and soul to rock and roll. As a teacher he works with students ranging from beginners to professionals. Efficient use of air, smart practice, and passionate performance are vital traits he tries to ingrain in his students.

Some of the more notable artists he has performed with are Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, The Chicago Sinfonietta, Jersey Boys, West Side Story, and Aretha Franklin. He performs over 250 shows internationally in addition to a studio of 40 private students per week. Currently he can be seen playing lead trumpet for Maceo Parker: To Ray with Love, a special tribute to Ray Charles, The Ray Charles Orchestra & The Raelettes.

Mr. Parrish holds a Master of Music and a post-master's Certificate in Performance from DePaul University in Trumpet Performance. His undergraduate work was done in music at University of Illinois in Champaign - Urbana studying with Ray Sasaki.

Chuck is an S.E. Shires Artist and performs on the handmade Destino III trumpet exclusively. He is also a Hammond Design Artist playing the Chuck Parrish line of custom mouthpieces.

Steve Leisring

Professor of Trumpet, School of Music, Univeristy of Kansas

I played the same mouthpiece for years. Then, one day, a student came in and said "try this."

I did, and have been playing Hammond ever since. The stock mouthpieces have the custom changes we all used to look for. I especially like the different throat and backbore combinations that come with stock models. Each are perfectly balanced in my opinion. I play ML, MB primarily, and love how similar they are with different musical sound results possible. Thanks HD!

Joey Tartell

Professor of Music (Trumpet), Director of Undergraduate Studies
Indiana University School of Music

Joey Tartell has toured and recorded with Maynard Ferguson, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the U.S. Army's Jazz Ambassadors. Mr. Tartell's other recordings include the Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, Birch Creek Music Performing Center, and Doug Lawrence Orchestra. He has also performed with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

As a freelance artist, Mr. Tartell has backed up such artists as Doc Severinsen, Aretha Franklin, Don Henley, Manhattan Transfer, Barry Manilow, and Arturo Sandoval. He has recorded for the Bob and Tom Show, Orange Bowl Halftime and Parade, Chicago Tribune, Electronic Arts, Konami, and Willimas Gaming. He was a student of Gil Johnson, Barbara Butler, Mel Broiles, and Vince DiMartino.

Trombone Players

Michael Mulcahy

Trombone Player, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Professor of Trombone, Northwestern University

I had the good fortune to discover Karl's work even before he founded his own company. I was delighted to find many great options when he launched his range of trombone mouthpieces. I own and play several models, predominately 11ML and 10 ML. They provide very clean and immediate response and a clear , warm tone. I have half a dozen mouthpieces stashed around the world, at the CSO , at NU, at home, in th ce car and at home in Australia. I simply pick them up and use them, confident in their evenness and reliability. No custom work necessary- pick it up and blow. As I say in my teaching - Sempre semplice!

Larry Zalkind

Principal Trombone, Utah Symphony
Adjunct Professor, University of Utah

Today's symphony trombone players have to be versatile. Most of our time involves performing symphonic repertoire which encompasses a vast array of styles and sounds. We also preform often as soloists and recitalists. I pursue a sound that encompasses the huge depth and weight required at the widest dynamic range, and clarity and beauty in the solo realm. I chose the Hammond mouthpiece because it helps me create that spectrum of sound. The highly efficient design of the Hammond mouthpieces allows me greater ease in range and endurance. I play the 11ML on my large-bore tenor and euphonium, the 14S on my Alto and small bore tenor, and the 20BL on my bass. I highly recommend Hammond Design.

Randy Hawes

Bass Trombone, Detriot Symphony Orchestra Website

We've all had our own personal mouthpiece journeys to find the ONE that works and I'm very happy to be playing this mouthpiece, the Hammond 21BL I find that it works on many different styles of music, from orchestral playing, chamber music, solo or big band. It has enough clarity in the upper and mid range to help me blend with tenor trombones, and at the same time in the low range of the bass trombone, it gives me the ability to blend with the tuba very easily. I find a nice variety of articulations easy with this mouthpiece, while helping me achieve the bass trombone sound that is in my head! When my students embark on their own mouthpiece journeys, as we all have done, I'm very happy to let them take my spare 21BL to try. In my opinion, it has the perfect balance of cup depth, rim shape and diameter, and backbore to enable a great bass trombone sound to be produced.

Anthony Triplett, Philadelphia Freelance Artist

Instagram: @bonedisorder

Philadelphia trombonist Anthony Triplett is a freelance musician and educator that has performed throughout the United States and Europe. An active pit musician Anthony has performed for productions at The Media Theater, Arden Theater Company, and Bristol Riverside Theater. On stage he can often be heard from the back row with Symphoria (NY), Bay Atlantic Symphony (NJ), Lancaster Symphony (PA), and Riverside Symphonia (NJ). As a soloist Anthony has appeared with the Pennsylvania Symphonic Winds, Montgomery County Concert Band (PA), Henry Ford College (MI), and at the famous Andrea Clearfield Salon. Passionate about education, Anthony currently teaches applied low brass at Germantown Academy and has presented at the Big12 Trombone Conference, International Women's Brass Conference, University of Delaware Trombone Day, and Bowling Green State University. Anthony is an artist/clinician for the Edwards Instrument Company and performs exclusively on Hammond Design mouthpieces.

My HD collection started with a 21BL placed in my horn by my teacher Randy Hawes that I still play to this day. As a freelance musician I often have to play multiple instruments, and it doesn't matter if I am playing tenor trombone, bass trombone, or tuba. All three have the same result when playing my Hammond Design mouthpieces: a more comfortable rim, improved flexibility, and most importantly, a great warm sound! Everything always sounds better in HD.

Tenor: 10L5
Bass: 21L, 21BLL
Tuba: 30XL

Michael D. McLemore


Michael D. McLemore is a native of Grady, Arkansas. Growing up on his family's farm, Michael was mechanically curious and loved taking things apart to see how they worked. Michael's father was also a gifted mechanic and welder which influenced and helped foster Michael's curiosity of "how to build and make things work". ​

Michael earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 1993 from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. In 1996, Michael completed a Master's Degree in Trombone Performance from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with the legendary Donald Knaub. He has also earned hours towards the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree.

As an active musician, Michael has performed with the Dallas Wind Symphony, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous other groups throughout Texas and the Midwest. In addition to performance, Michael has held teaching positions at The University of Texas-Austin, Southwestern University, L.V. Berkner High School and The Colony High School.

In October of 2002, Michael moved from Texas to Wisconsin to work for Greenhoe Trombones as a Technician/Designer/Artist. It was there that Michael cultivated exceptional skills and attention to detail in all areas of production in a setting where nothing was more important than the impeccable quality of the final product. During his tenure, Michael perfected his technique to achieve the finest tolerances for valve fitting within the industry. He was also instrumental in the development of the Greenhoe tuning-in-slide bass trombone with a detachable second valve. He worked in the Greenhoe shop until they closed their doors in December of 2012.

With the knowledge of both an active performer and skilled craftsman, Michael produces exceptional instruments that performers can trust. Michael is excited to have the opportunity to provide the highest quality instrument to trombonists worldwide, via M&W Custom Trombones.

Currently, Michael resides in West Bend, Wisconsin. In addition to his duties at M&W, he is an adjunct faculty member of Concordia University Wisconsin and enjoys freelancing throughout the Midwest. Michael's wife, Elsa, works for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in the MRI Department and graciously supports Michael's trombone habits.

Matthew Walker


Matthew Walker was born and raised in the city of Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia. He began playing trombone at 9 years of age, and moved to Sydney to finish school at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School at the age of 16. At age 21, while working towards his Bachelors Degree at the Conservatorium, he won the position of Principal Bass Trombone with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, resident orchestra of the Sydney Opera House, which he occupied for 16 years. His performance resume also includes many of Australia's professional orchestras and Jazz Big Bands, as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

During his time with the Australian Opera, Matthew experienced frustrations with the instruments he was playing at the time, had ideas about how to correct those issues, and decided to test those concepts through his own work. Matthew's dad, Graham, a highly skilled watchmaker by trade, instilled an appreciation for fineness of detail, and taught him to solder and assemble parts with the precision of a jeweler. After working on the instruments and getting the results he desired, in 1998 Matthew attended the highly regarded Red Wing Technical College in Red Wing Minnesota, in order to learn more about the musical instrument repair trade. Upon returning to Australia, in addition to his playing job, Matthew started and maintained a very successful repair business working exclusively on brass, but with a special focus on trombone. Players from all around Australia and South-East Asia sought Matthew out to work on their horns.

In 2006, Matthew took a leave of absence from his job with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and moved from Australia to Wisconsin to work for Greenhoe Trombones. Matthew felt very honored to be a part of the manufacturing team of those fine trombones of that time. Matthew's skills were focused and honed to an exceptionally high level. After the Greenhoe shop closed in 2012, Matthew worked as a technician for the Getzen company for 12 months.

Exceptional attention to detail and appreciation for quality are the two main driving factors that dictate Matthew's work ethic and approach to building and designing horns. Matthew is happy to work with Michael McLemore again in forming M&W Custom Trombones, and bringing the utmost quality built horns to the marketplace.

Matthew lives in Jackson, Wisconsin, with his wife Sue (who is the M&W office manager and also a musician) and her two sons. He enjoys building Scale Model Aircraft in his spare time, and is an award winner in that field. He is also a regular contributor to Finescale Modeler Magazine, a publication he has read since it's first issue in 1982.

Ava Ordman

Professor of Trombone, Michigan State Univeristy College of Music

After twenty-four years as principal trombone with the Grand Rapids Symphony – a job she attained at the age of 19 – Ava Ordman moved to the Detroit area to work as a psychologist and continue as a freelance trombonist! While working in Grand Rapids at age 41, Ordman returned to school to pursue a degree in Counseling Psychology. Armed with her new MA, LLP, she began work at the Guidance Center in Southgate while also working as a substitute trombonist with the Detroit Symphony and Michigan Opera Theater orchestras and teaching low brass at Oakland University.

Ordman had taught at several colleges and universities in the Grand Rapids area while in the orchestra, but it had never been in her mindset to pursue a full-time position at the university level. That changed when the professorship in trombone opened at Michigan State University in 2002. Ordman decided to "go for it" with the possibility of once again making another career shift. Chosen as the Professor of Trombone at Michigan State University later that year, it didn’t take long for Ordman to know that this was where she was supposed to be.

In addition to her professorial duties, Ordman continues to pursue and enjoy a varied life as a performer. She is principal trombone of both the Lansing Symphony and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra. She also performs regularly with the Beaumont Brass, which is the faculty brass quintet at Michigan State University, and the Monarch Brass, which is the flagship brass ensemble of the International Women’s Brass Conference. Yet perhaps what Ordman enjoys most is performing as a soloist.

She has been a featured soloist with many orchestras throughout the United States, including her solo debut at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony performing Donald Erb’s Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra. Ordman has been a featured artist at several International Trombone Festivals; the International Brassfest in Bloomington, IN; the American Trombone Workshop in Fort Myer, VA; and many International Women's Brass Conferences held throughout the United States. Ordman also performed the world premieres of Steven Smith's Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra with the Eugene Symphony and Libby Larsen's Mary Cassatt for Mezzo-Soprano, Trombone, and Orchestra with the Grand Rapids Symphony. Both of these works were written for Ordman and, along with Donald Erb’s Concerto, have been performed by her throughout the United States. Ordman’s most recent venture, however, has been to form a consortium of trombonists and conductors to commission a new trombone concerto by David Biedenbender. This work "Their Eyes are Fireflies," received its world premiere on March 22, 2018 with the Michigan State University Wind Ensemble and was performed again by Ordman in the 2018-19 season with the Lansing Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic and Grand Rapids Symphony.

Another recent milestone for Ordman was the release of her first solo CD in January 2017 entitled, It’s About Time: Music for Trombone by Women Composers" on the Blue Griffin label. She is also the featured trombone soloist on a Koss Classics' CD of concertos by Donald Erb and on the CD entitled Simple Gifts, the Music of Frank Ticheli.

In February of 2018, Professor Ordman was named the recipient of the 2018 Neill Humfeld Award for "Excellence in Teaching" by the International Trombone Association. When asked what is most important to Ordman in her life as a teacher, she says, "I consider it a privilege to be involved in the lives of young people who are developing and evolving as both musicians and as people. I hope that I have been able to help them in some way on their journey, because they have certainly enriched mine."

Ordman earned her Bachelor and Master degrees in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan in 1975 and her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University in 1998. Her primary teachers were Mark McDunn, Frank Crisafuli, Glenn P. Smith, Glenn Dodson and Arnold Jacobs.

Ava Ordman is a Bach Performing Artist.

Dr. Jose Leonardo Leon

Trombone artist, clinician, music entrepreneur, and educator, Dr. Jose Leonardo Leon is a prominent example of the 21st century generation of trombonists and pedagogues having garnered both the Global Music® Awards for his album Journey, bass trombonist for the 16th Annual Latin GRAMMY® Winning Album Mamblue, and a Warwick Music® Published Arranger and Composer, among other major accomplishments.

Some of Dr. Leon’s international festivals, orchestras, conferences, performances, and residencies, including visits to institutions around the US, Europe, and Latin American countries. Dr. Leon has performed as a first-call trombonist for acclaimed artists such as Andrea Bocelli, The Manhattan Transfer, Idina Menzel, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’ Rivera, Eddie Daniels, Ed Calle, and David Foster, among others. Dr. Leon’s career started at the internationally acclaimed Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestras of Venezuela known as El Sistema. Dr. Leon received his B.M. at Florida International University, M.M. at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and his D.M.A. at CU Boulder College of Music. Dr. Leon is the Applied Professor of Trombone at Florida Atlantic University, the Bower School of

Music at FGCU, and the Marching Band Program at Keiser University. Dr. Leon is a Bach Brass Trombones & Conn-Selmer Artist, and very excited to be joining the artist roster for Hammond Design Mouthpieces.

Karl Hammond Design is dedicated to exceptional results through sound engineering and quality craftsmanship.
"the experience of sound in HD"

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