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Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Chamber Orchestra

  • The curriculum for the Chamber Orchestra is focused on building independent musicianship and leadership. Principal players in each section run rehearsals, develop bowings and fingerings, chose excerpts for auditions, and work together to support the Esprit du corps of the ensemble. Students work within their sections to make musical decisions, and regular discussion among the students about the repertoire is an integral component of each rehearsal. Chamber music plays heavily into the curriculum and skills learned through small ensemble performance are applied to the large ensemble environment: listening, watching, collaborative interpretation and mindful performance are primary goals, and the group often performs without a conductor. The philosophy behind repertoire selection is that whether it be playing chamber music for a corporate event, subbing in a musical pit, backing up a Hip-Hop artist, or swinging in a big band, when the phone rings, a competent, contemporary musician must be able to take the gig. This is coupled with a firm belief that greatness exists in every genre, and life is made rich by exploring greatness in as many ways as it can be found.
  • 12/22/2018 08:30 AM - 09:30 AM
  • Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Chamber Orchestra
  • Michael Mascari
  • 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. 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 2016, the ensemble earned top honors for their debut festival performance at Carnegie Hall, New York, and the ensemble was selected in 2012 to perform at the Illinois Music Education Association All-State Conference. Prior to his appointment at Whitney Young, Mascari was the Director of Orchestras at Batavia High School in the western suburbs. 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. In addition to his work at Whitney Young High School, Mascari also serves on the artistic staff for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, where he conducts the Concert Orchestra. Mascari earned a Master of Arts in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University in 2018, and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. His teachers and mentors include Louis Bergonzi, 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, both of whom also participate in the CYSO ensembles.