Directors

Pride of the West

Aaron Vogel - Director of Bands
Aaron Vogel is the Director of Bands at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, AZ. He is also the Music Director for the Phoenix Youth Symphony’s Chamber Winds and Symphonic Winds, and serves as a brass instructor for the 10-time DCI World Champion The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.
Before moving to Mountain Ridge, Mr. Vogel was the Director of Bands at Westwood High School in Mesa (AZ). While at Westwood, the Band received the highest ratings possible, including a "Superior with Distinction" at the 2015 Area Concert Band Festival and the 2016 ABODA State Marching Festival. The Westwood Marching Band was selected as a "top ten" finalist and performed at the 2015 and 2016 Arizona State Marching Band Championships. In addition, the Westwood Marching Band concluded their 2016 season with the highest placement in school history, 2nd place, at the State Marching Band Championships where they were awarded the 2016 ABODA Division II Silver Medal. 
Before relocating to Phoenix, Mr. Vogel taught in public schools in Colorado and North Carolina. While at Fossil Ridge (CO), the Band program was selected to receive the “National Programs of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award” from the National Band Association. The Wind Symphony performed on the National stage as a Featured Ensemble at the 2012 Music for All National Concert Band Festival and was an Honor Performing Ensemble at the 2012 Colorado Music Educators Conference. The Marching Band was named the 2013 and 2012 Class 5A State Champions. While at Loveland High School (CO), the Wind Symphony performed at the 2010 Western International Band Clinic and at the 2011 Colorado Music Educators Conference, the Marching Band was the 2009 Class 4A State Champions and finished in 2nd place in class 2A at the 2008 Bands of America San Antonio Super Regional.
Before joining the staff of The Cadets, Mr. Vogel served on the brass staff for The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps and on the instructional staff, and as brass caption head, for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. In addition, he was the conductor and music director for the Blue Knights and their performance at the 2014 Toayuan International Band Festival in Toayuan, Taiwan. 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. 
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 daughter Abigail. He is a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.



Michael W. Warner - Assistant Director
Michael Warner received his education from Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio. Mr. Warner currently teaches saxophone and clarinet from his studio in Glendale, Arizona. He is an accomplished performer and freelance musician in and around the Phoenix area. He has performed for the Sun Cities Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous professional and community musical organizations. He has appeared as soloist with the Mountain Ridge High School Wind Ensemble, Westwood High School Wind Ensemble, Glendale Community College Band, Glendale City Concert Band, Kennesaw State College Band and the North Fulton Community Band. He has also performed under the batons of conductors such as Alfred Reed, Keith Brion, Geoffrey Brand, Col. L. Bryan Shelburne, Jr. and Col. John R. Bourgeois. He has performed with such notable musicians as Marvin Stamm, Thomas Ervin, Eric Marienthal, Jim Manley, Brandon Fields and Conti Condoli. Mr. Warner is in demand throughout the Southwest as an adjudicator and clinician. He is the founder and soprano saxophonist with the Desert Wind Saxophone Quartet. Mr. Warner has been a contributing writer to the Saxophone Journal. His musical works are published with G. Schirmer, Brazinmisikanta Publications and Desert Wind Publications. He is the Assistant Director of Bands and the Director of Jazz Bands at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona. He is also the director of the Arizona Saxophone Orchestra, an all-star saxophone ensemble that recently performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference on the Arizona State University Campus.


Cari Eng - Guard Director
Cari is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana where she marched at Franklin Central High School from 1997-2000. She had the honor of being the 1999 WGI Scholastic A Bronze Medalist, and the 2000 WGI Scholastic Open World Champion. After graduation, Cari joined the Franklin Central staff until 2003 when she moved to Phoenix. Since living in Phoenix, Cari has spent 2 years with Barry Goldwater High School fall guard from 2003-2005, 2 years with Williams Field High School winter guard from 2007-2009, and has been at Mountain Ridge High School since 2005.