Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Mike Vaschur

Assistant Director of Bands

This is Mike Vaschur’s first year on faculty for the Music Department at Leyden High Schools.  His responsibilities will include directing the East & West Concert Bands, East Jazz Band, Basketball Band, teaching Digital Music Production, in addition to co-teaching the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and Orchestra.

Having been a student teacher in the fall of 2019, Mr. Vaschur returns to Leyden after serving as the 5-12th Grade Band Director in scenic and historic Galena, IL.  His accomplishments in Galena include nearly doubling the size of the middle school band program, preparing students for successful auditions into ILMEA district ensembles at the Junior and Senior Levels, and coordinating the Galena Marching Pirate Band’s performance in last year’s Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, reviving a 54 year-old tradition.  Beyond his responsibilities as band director, Mr. Vaschur arranged many contemporary songs for his marching and pep bands to increase student and audience engagement at football, volleyball, and basketball games.

An alumnus of Northern Illinois University, he earned bachelor’s degrees in both Music Education and Tuba Performance in 2019, graduating Magna cum laude.  He is a recipient of the Sally Stevens Scholarships in the Arts for the School of Music and had the distinct honor of serving as Student Marshal for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at his graduation.  As a student of Scott Tegge, Mr. Vaschur performed regularly in the NIU Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and New Music Ensemble, in addition to being heavily involved in chamber music, performing tuba-euphonium and brass quintet repertoire.  Most recently, he has performed in the tuba sections of the Sterling Municipal Band, Galena Americana Band, Elmhurst University’s Symphonic Band, and the nationally ranked Chicago Brass Band.  

Beyond playing tuba, Mr. Vaschur is an accomplished electric bass player.  A first generation Ukrainian immigrant, he has arranged and performed music with his Ukrainian folk band, Клопіт (Klopit), in diaspora communities across America for over 13 years.  What he loves most about performing with Клопіт is having a platform to share, promote, and carry on Ukrainian culture through a unique mix of traditional Ukrainian music and the styles we hear in music today.

Mr. Vaschur lives in Lombard, IL with his fiancée, Kaelyn, and their two cats, Mochi and Ben.  He enjoys being outdoors and playing disc golf, watching anime and reading manga, and spending time with family and friends.  He looks forward to meeting and reconnecting with students at Leyden and helping them find their individual voices so they can make statements in their playing!