Antonio Chiappetta hit all the right notes when he took home the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award for 2019.

From St Andrews College in Western Sydney, Mr Chiappetta has created a music program that inspires students, and the school’s other teachers, to try new things with their musical education.

A former student at the school, Mr Chiappetta’s own musical journey shouldn’t be overlooked. He toured Australia as a drummer and lead vocalist with his rock and hip-hop-inspired band King Farook, and has also supported some of music’s biggest international names acts, including Van Halen, Billy Joel and Aerosmith.

But it was his love of teaching and wanting to share his passion that brought him back to his old school.

He initiated the inaugural Creative Arts Night for the school, which has now grown to involve a music festival hosting 2000 people inside the school grounds – featuring his students up on stage performing, and students from other parts of the school helping backstage, with catering, logo design and event organisation.

We’ve sponsored this award for four years and when he received the award from Guy Sebastian, Mr Chiappetta knew it was recognition for a lot of hard work and a love for music.

“It’s such an honour to have the acknowledgment and to be here at an industry-recognised awards show,” Mr Chiappetta said at the awards. “We do so much for our kids. This kind of thing is really special.”

Congratulations Mr Chiappetta. Keep the beat.