Karl Kemm earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of New Mexico. He studied music history and performance practice at the University of New Hampshire for a master’s degree under the guidance of Keith Polk and the renowned music iconography specialist Mary Rasmussen. In 1989 he joined the Air Force Band at Travis AFB and also began freelancing in the San Francisco Bay Area while studying under Dave Krehbiel. After 1994 he remained associated with the Air Force through the Texas Air National Guard Band from which he retired in 2011. While studying with Bill Scharnberg as a University of North Texas teaching fellow starting in 1995, he would serve as adjunct faculty at Texas Woman’s University from 1998 to 2001 and as principal horn with the Abilene Philharmonic up until 2007.
Currently he freelances and clinics as an orchestral and early music natural horn player throughout Texas and the neighboring states. He currently performs with the Corpus Christi Symphony, the Corpus Christi Brass Quintet, the Del Mar Trio, and occasionally with the Austin Baroque Orchestra, La Folia, and Sonido Barroco. At Del Mar College since 2001, he teaches horn and Introduction to the Humanities. In 2017 he took charge of Hornswoggle, a horn workshop in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, where horn players of all ages and playing levels congregate for masterclasses and a communal horn ensemble experiences. He also continues presenting The Story of the Horn which was recently re-formatted by Del Mar College’s Radio and Television Program for broadcast on KEDT the local public television station.