Iconic Macarthur business Chalker Music closes after 40 years

Moving on: Michael Chalker in his Spotlight Plaza store in the final days before closing the doors for good.
Moving on: Michael Chalker in his Spotlight Plaza store in the final days before closing the doors for good.

After more than 40 years shaping young Macarthur musicians, Michael Chalker has closed the doors on his music store for the last time.

The Woodbine resident started Chalker Music with his mother in Thirlmere decades ago, and has been based in Campbelltown's Spotlight Plaza for the past 33 years.

When Covid-19 restrictions made it impossible to keep the doors open earlier this year, Mr Chalker took the opportunity to wind up his business and start a year off work.

"I'm one of the generation that left school and went straight into business - that's what our generation did," he said.

"Being a creative person, I've got lots of exciting things I want to do in the future, so I've been focussing on that."

Mr Chalker said he has loved teaching students for the past 40 years and always looked forward to seeing how they had progressed into adulthood.

He said a great many had taken a leaf out of his own book.

"A lot of students I've taught haven't gone on to their 15 seconds of fame, but instead have gone on to be music teachers," the 57-year-old said.

"Lots have gone into the education field, which I think is very good, I love getting that feedback."

Michael Chalker featured in the Picton Post at the first student concert at Wollondilly Shire Hall.

Michael Chalker featured in the Picton Post at the first student concert at Wollondilly Shire Hall.

Mr Chalker said he owed his success to the community that had supported him for so many years.

"I have a lot of passion for the music industry, and for Wollondilly and Campbelltown," he said.

"People always ask me what the secret is to a successful business - and I do consider mine a success because I left when I wanted to leave.

"Small business is the backbone of any community, but without community support, without people coming back in, it would never work.

"Most small business is word of mouth, and that's where I got most of my students."

Mr Chalker also thanked the Advertiser for supporting him.

"I think it's so important that local papers give people like me an opportunity by sharing local stories," he said.

"If the Picton Post [which later became the Wollondilly Advertiser] never ran a story on me and my mother, we might not have been able to have the successful business we did."

Mr Chalker said he was also incredibly proud to have set up the Agnes Chalker Cultural Award, in recognition of his mother, which is awarded at the Thirlmere Festival of Steam each year.

This story Iconic Macarthur business Chalker Music closes after 40 years first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.