This article was contributed by community member David Huboi.
Joe Ostenson has been a steadfast champion of teaching and promoting music within our community for the last 54 years. After retiring from the Hollister School District, he and his wife Francie formed Mr. O’s Academy of the Arts in 2012. Mr. O continues his heartfelt calling to share what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow terms “The Universal Language” for all of us in San Benito County and beyond.
Over the years, Joe has made many friends and has inspired and helped change lives for the better. As teacher, bandleader and mentor of the arts in general, he has opened the eyes, ears, and musical aspirations of children and adults.
For children, music training helps them to discover the joy to express their inward feelings and engage in togetherness, so their talent has opportunity to shine through.
For adults, they have a resource to continue their path to express themselves and find help that nurtures and improves their art.
In a generation where people don’t speak to each other enough and are continually immersed in cell phones and digital pastimes, we realize that it takes boundless, energetic community leaders such as Joe and Francie to continue the cause of sharing their talents that is so essential to raise the collective spirit of our community.
Through San Benito GIVES, there lies an opportunity for the Community Foundation for San Benito County to help Mr. O’s Academy of the Arts continue their service at affordable rates amidst rising rent and overhead costs.
As the city of Hollister continues to grow and transition, the need for community music and engagement becomes ever so essential. Mr. O and the Academy is a continuing legacy for the future of our musical well-being. As Plato said: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
The donation period for San Benito GIVES is from September 1 to September 10 . For donation information, please visit the website sanbenitogives.mightycause.com/organization/Mrosacademy. Join us in keeping Mr. O’s Academy of the Arts alive and well in San Benito County!