WHS Bands Staff
Mike Malek currently serves as director of bands at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois. He previously served as band director at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights. During his six-year tenure at MacArthur, the concert band consistently earned superior ratings at IGSMA organizational contest – a tradition still held by the program since 1973. In 2016, both the jazz band and concert band received perfect score ratings. The concert band has also been selected to the Illinois Superstate Band Festival five years in a row and was named honor band in 2012. With the help of his students, he has four citations of excellence from the National Band Association. Mr. Malek has been a clinician at summer band camps at Lake Geneva Youth Center and at the University of Illinois Summer Youth Music camp.
Mr. Malek now directs the "Wildcat" Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Symphony Band and Jazz Band I at Wheeling.
Mr. Malek holds a degree of Bachelor’s in Music Education with honors from Indiana University, Bloomington. In summer of 2014 he received his Master’s in Music Education with honors from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. His professional affiliations are with the Illinois Music Educator’s Association, the Illinois Grade School Music Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the National Band Association. His primary conducting teachers were Dr. Barron Breland, Dr. Paul Popiel, Dr. Allan McMurray, and Dr. Charles Menghini. Other influential teachers include David J. Thomas, Scott Casagrande, and his trombone professor Peter Ellefson.
Rocco Zaccagnini is a graduate of McHenry East High School and Northern Illinois University, where he majored in Percussion Performance. Rocco has been involved in marching band since high school and is grateful for still being a part of the activity today. Rocco was a member of the Northern Illinois Drumline from 2011-2015 studying under the direction of Bret Kuhn. Two of those years with NIU were as Drumline Captain. He also was a part of the WGI group Pioneer Indoor and continues to play with the Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline and the Chicago Bears Drumline. Rocco has been on the percussion staff of numerous high schools in the Chicagoland area and enjoys working with high school drumlines. He also continues outside teaching at his own private studio in McHenry County where he teaches full time percussion lessons.
Peter’s drum corps experience includes six years with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps of Rosemont, Illinois: four years in the brass line and two years as the drum major. After graduating from the corps in 1998, he returned as a brass instructor for portions of the 2000 and 2004 seasons. Since then he has designed drill for the 2002 Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, and the 2005 Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. He has been designing drill and coordinating visual programs for nationally recognized programs since 1995. Currently, he is the visual designer and drill writer for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps from Santa Clara, CA. When not teaching or performing, Peter is active as a designer, consultant, and adjudicator for high school and university bands throughout the United States.