KOOL School Salute: Mountain Ridge High School

November 4, 2019

The Mountain Ridge High School Wind Ensemble performed as a Featured Band at the Music for All National Festival this past Spring. We were also recently awarded the William E. Richardson Program of Distinction Award from the Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association. We are the only program in the State that has received this prestigious award five separate times.We have been invited to perform at the AMEA Conference 10-times and in 2014 we performed at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, we consistently have numerous students selected to the All-Region and All-State Bands and Orchestras. Mountain Ridge has had more US Army All-Americans than any program in the State, student participation in the Music for All Honor Band of America and the National Association for Music Education All-National Concert Band.

Our Marching Band is known as the “Pride of the West” and currently includes nearly 200 students. We have consistently qualified for the ABODA State Marching Band Championships and concluded the 2018 competition season as the Division I ABODA State Championship Bronze Medalists and winner of the General Effect caption! In addition, our Marching Band was a 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade participant, represented Arizona at the 56th Presidential Inaugural Parade for President Obama, performed at the 2015 NFL Super Bowl XLIX, represented the USS Arizona at the 70th and 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and has twice attended the Fiesta Bowl National Championships.

Aaron Vogel
Director of Bands

Aaron Vogel is currently in his eighteenth year of teaching and serves as the Director of Bands at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona and as Music Director for the Phoenix Youth Symphony Chamber Winds and Symphonic Winds. Prior to his appointment at Mountain Ridge, Mr. Vogel was the Director of Bands at Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona, and taught in public schools in Colorado and North Carolina at Fossil Ridge High School, Loveland High School and Southeast Guilford Middle School.
Recent honors include the Mountain Ridge Wind Ensemble performance as a Featured Ensemble at the 2019 Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana and the Mountain Ridge Bands receiving the Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s "William E. Richardson Program of Distinction Award" recognizing superior achievement in all areas of the program. The Mountain Ridge “Pride of the West” Marching Band currently includes nearly 200 students and is a consistent Finalist at the Arizona State Marching Band Championships where they concluded the 2018 season as the Division 1 Bronze Medalist.

Ensembles under his direction have received multiple accolades for excellence in performance including consistent Superior and Superior with Distinction ratings at Area and State Festivals, the “National Programs of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award” from the National Band Association, and featured performances at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival (twice), the Toayuan, Taiwan International Band Festival, the Colorado Music Educators Conference (twice) and the Western International Band Clinic.

Mr. Vogel has been actively involved in the state and national levels of the Marching activity and currently serves as a Board Member and Judge Coordinator for the Arizona Marching Band Association and as an Educational Consultant for the Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps from Salt Lake City, Utah. He has also served on the instructional staff for The Cadets, The Cavaliers and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. As a performer, Mr. Vogel was an original cast member in the Tony and Emmy award-winning production of Blast! in London’s West End and a marching member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. He continues to perform locally on his primary instrument, the tuba.

Mr. Vogel received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education magna cum laude from Ithaca College, and a Masters in Music Education and Wind Conducting from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied conducting with Allan McMurray and was a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Mr. Vogel lives in Phoenix with his wife Becky and two year old daughter Abigail. He is a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.