Public Service Award: Anthony Sia

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Anthony Sia teaches computer technology at Montville Township High School. However, music has always played an important role in his life. His mother introduced him to the Beatles, and his father had a job setting up sound systems for some of the most famous bands of the ’60s. Growing up, Sia played the trumpet in the school band, and by the time he got to high school, he had his own band. His dad built amplifiers, which made an incredible difference in their sound.

Almost 30 years later those amplifiers still worked, and Mr. Sia used them to start the Montville School of Rock – an organization that combines classically trained and self-taught student musicians to form a Rock n Roll band. For the last 11 years the group has been donating the proceeds from its concerts to worthy causes. Whenever possible, students meet with the recipients of the funds they raise, so they can realize the difference they’ve made. The impact is profound and empowering – especially for teenagers.

The group, which now has new equipment that was donated by the Montville Education Foundation and Montville’s Parent Teacher Council, raises thousands of dollars each year for organizations such as Montville’s Drug Awareness Council, The Homeless Bus, GirlUp, Emma’s Angels, and Eleventh Hour, just to name a few.

The School of Rock will be performing in the high school auditorium on March 16 to raise money for the Montville Education Foundation, and on April 21, for the Gloria Foundation.

“Over the years, the students in the School of Rock have become like a second family for me,” said Sia. “Many of them are still my friends and return to perform with us. It has really turned out to be something wonderful. None of this, however, would have been possible without the generosity, patience, and personal sacrifices that my wife and children have made over the years.”