Wind Orchestra is our advanced wind ensemble, and is exclusively intended for talented high school students whose auditions show musicality and advancing technical skills. This ensemble combines talented high school students from schools across the Valley into a symphonic wind ensemble. Weekly rehearsals are led by the Wind Orchestra conductor. Sectionals and chair auditions are held once per concert cycle, and are led by professional musicians from the Phoenix Symphony, college music professors, and local secondary music educators. Season plans also include a weekend retreat.


High School

Ensemble Fee



Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 PM

Central High School
4525 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012


Aaron Vogel

Ensemble Music Level of Difficulty: Performs literature from levels 4-6. Music includes works by composers such as: Balmages, Grainger, Hazo, Holst, Reed, RW Smith, Sparke, Tichelli, Van de Roost.

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Audition Components


Solo of your choice. Please perform a total of 3:00 minutes of music from the work. Include both fast and slow passages and show advanced techniques.


Specific scale requirement will be emailed shortly before your audition..

All major scales (2 octaves when possible) and chromatic scale covering entire range of instrument.

You may perform as many octaves as you are able on both the scales and the chromatic. A greater range will receive a higher difficulty score. However, a well-played scale, no matter the difficulty, is best.


A sight-reading component may be a part of the virtual audition. More information may be posted later.

Don’t neglect practicing sight reading pieces you are unfamiliar with to help prepare for this part of the audition.

Best of luck in your preparation, always start slow and work with a metronome!!


Contact: Todd Betz

Aaron Vogel

Aaron Vogel

Conductor, Wind Orchestra/Chamber Winds

Aaron Vogel is currently in his nineteenth year of teaching and serves as the Director of Bands at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona and as the Conductor for the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Wind Orchestra and Chamber Winds.

Recent honors at Mountain Ridge include the Citation of Excellence Award from the National Band Association, the Saxophone Quartet’s invitation to the 2020 Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL, the Wind Ensemble performance at the 2020 Arizona Music Educators Conference, and their performance as a Featured Band at the 2019 Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, IN. The Mountain Ridge Pride of the West Marching Band has consistently qualified for the ABODA State Marching Band Championships and concluded the 2019 competitive season as the ABODA Division 1 Arizona State Marching Band Champions and the AzMBA State Champions in Class 4A. In 2017-18 and 2018-19 the Mountain Ridge Band Program received the ABODA  “William E. Richardson Program of Distinction Award” recognizing superior achievement in all areas of the program.

Prior to his appointment at Mountain Ridge, Aaron was the Director of Bands at Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona, and taught in public schools in Colorado and North Carolina. Ensembles under his direction 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 three Colorado State Marching Band Championships in 2013, 2012 and 2009. Featured performances include the Music for All National Concert Band Festival (twice), the Taoyuan, Taiwan International Band Festival, the Colorado Music Educators Conference (twice), and the Western International Band Clinic.

Aaron has been actively involved in the state and national levels of the marching activity and currently serves as a Board Member for the Arizona Marching Band Association. He has also served on the instructional staff for The Cadets, The Cavaliers and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. As a performer, he 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.

Aaron 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 Boulder, where he studied conducting with Allan McMurray and was a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Aaron lives in Phoenix with his wife Becky, the Fine Arts Specialist for the Phoenix Union High School District, daughter Abigail (3) and son Aiden (5 months). He is a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Entrance Audition Application

Apply Now

Interested? Want to learn more about this ensemble?

If you are interested in Wind Orchestra and would like more information, please email Todd Betz, PYSO Operations Manager at