Dominic Vella left Wagga as a renowned jazz musician and has returned as a scholar.
The 51-year-old just finished a Bachelor of Music specialising in contemporary performance.
He crammed the three-year course into two years.
“That’s an interesting feat for a 50-year-old,” he said.
“I didn’t want my whole life to be about the training.
“I wanted to get back into normal life.”
Mr Vella grew up in Wagga after his family moved here in 1972.
He followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the air force after he left school.
He was a regular in the Wagga Jazz Festival as a pianist and with Griffith band, Metro.
Mr Vella spent time living in Leeton before moving to Sydney to complete his degree.
As you get older, Mr Vella said it is easy to assume education has no value.
“People still learn even after school,” he said.
“We get convinced as older folk that we have gone past our used by date.”
Mr Vella will be teaching students in Wagga how to play instruments and prepare for university if they choose to study music.
He is also hoping to revive the jazz scene in Wagga.
To book a lesson with Mr Vella, contact him on 0414 240 999.