Derek Engler was born in Minnesota and raised in Arizona. He dove into music around age 10, his passion developed thanks to private drum set lessons and the Mountain Ridge High School band program. In addition to being the first drummer in the beginning of the school’s jazz program, he marched with the drumline all 4 years. Derek graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with a Business Minor. Throughout college, Derek became a member of NAU Percussion Society, Treasurer of the NAU Jazz Club, and the Kappa Xi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, where he held numerous officer positions, including Chapter President. In addition to MCI, Derek is the Percussion Instructor at Moon Valley High School, a drum set instructor at Guitar Center, and a freelance musician performing in cover bands, musical pit orchestras, and much more.
Travel has always been a memorable part of Derek’s life. His first international experience was a tour of the United Kingdom. While in high school, on Mountain Ridge’s drumline, the marching band was apart President Obama’s 2009 Inauguration Parade, organized via MCI. In college, he performed with NAU Jazz, including their multi-school tour in Nevada. Most recently, as part of the NAU Jazz Septet, Derek travelled to China, performing in 4 cities over the course of 2 weeks. He hopes to continue traveling all over the globe in the future.