Why this Topeka school’s band director got a national ’40 under 40′ award

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka Public School’s band director got recognition Wednesday from an international corporation for making a musical difference for her kids and teachers abroad.

Jennifer Antonetti works for Topeka Public Schools teaching all ages at Topeka High School, Robinson Middle School, and Meadows Elementary School. The Yamaha Corporation selected her for the company’s ’40 under 40′ music educator awards. This recognizes outstanding music educators under the age of 40 who are making a difference by growing and strengthening their music programs.

For Antonetti, this came in the form of building an app with her husband. Called BatonSync, it lets her and music educators in 15 different states keep track of instruments, uniforms and equipment inventories. The app also keeps student information, finances and more.

Another passion project for Antonetti is starting a Kansas chapter of Women’s Band Director International, which will fall under the umbrella of the Kansas Bandmasters Association

Yamaha Corporation

After 13 years of teaching, Antonetti has seen her bands nearly double in size. Meadows Elementary currently has 400 students, and 90 of them are currently playing instruments.

“I have some students who I will be their teacher for eight years” said Antonetti. “Building that connection with students and seeing them go from little girls and little boys to young men and young women going into the workforce, going on to college and sometimes eventually even becoming some of my close friends, that’s one of my very favorite things about music.”

Antonetti competed against hundreds of other applicants for this award, gathering letters of recommendation from her own past band directors.

This is the first year that Yamaha has given out this award. Read Yamaha’s full recognition of Antonetti below:

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