CONCERT ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR
A National Board Certified Educator, Michael Mascari has served as the Director of Orchestras at the prestigious Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in the City of Chicago since 2006, and was appointed as WYHS Fine Arts Chairperson in 2015. During his tenure the orchestral program has grown considerably in both size and quality, and is now widely acknowledged as one of the largest and finest high school orchestra programs in the Chicagoland area. In 2012, the Whitney Young Chamber Orchestra gained statewide recognition when it was selected to perform at the Illinois Music Education Association All-State Conference, and in 2016 went on to earn top honors for their debut Festival performance at Carnegie Hall, New York. Prior to his appointment at Whitney Young HS, Mascari was the Director of Orchestras at Batavia High School in the western suburbs. In 2003, his extra-curricular Chamber Orchestra was the first ensemble in the district’s history to be invited to perform at the ILMEA All-State Conference.
As a conductor, Mascari’s innovative repertoire selection, interpretation of the musical score, and energetic rehearsal style have caught the attention of the education community, leading to a 2007 invitation to direct the ILMEA District V Senior Orchestra in Bloomington, IL and numerous engagements as guest conductor/clinician for Chicagoland K-12 and High School festivals. Within Chicago Public Schools, Mascari is recognized by the Arts Education community as a leader in the development of innovative use of assessment to measure student growth and teacher effectiveness, and he has served on the CPS Office of Arts Education Assessment Advisory Panel since 2013. In 2016, Mascari’s commitment to effective integration of technology in instruction and assessment led to an opportunity to pilot and provide critical feedback for the new IHSA online adjudication system, which ultimately earned him an appointment to the Illinois High School Association’s Music Contest Advisory Board.
Mascari is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University and earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. His teachers and mentors include Frank Lestina, Deborah Confredo, Jack Ranney, Kathleen Horvath, Fred Stolzfus, John Heath, Bill Jastrow and Michael Rogers.
On a Sunday morning, Mascari can be found at Church of Our Saviour in Lincoln Park where he serves, along with his wife, Cate, as the music minister for the church’s contemporary service. He is the proud father of two young musicians, Ariana and Leith, and an avid photographer.