About Mr. O and The Academy

Joe Ostenson
January 11, 1942

I started my music career playing trumpet when I was in the 7th grade. My first influence in music was my dad, who was a bugler in the U.S. Army in World War II.

When I entered Hillsdale High School as a freshman in the fall of 1954, I was over 6 feet tall.  My goal was to be a basketball star.  That changed when I tore up my left knee. When I realized I would no longer be playing basketball, I knew I needed a new goal.  That goal would be becoming a musician.  From the middle of my freshmen year until I graduated from High School in 1959, I took every music class I could, I took Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, Pep Band, Choir and Orchestra.

I continued my musical goal while attending College of San Mateo.  During my Jr. College years,
I discovered many new aspects and realized I wanted to be a music educator. I graduated college
in 1961.

I enrolled at San Jose State University in the fall of 1961 majoring in Music Education. I graduated in January of 1965.

I accepted a position teaching music for the Hollister School District which began in the fall of 1965. Throughout the years, I have taught Beginning Band, Advanced Band, Beginning Guitar, Choir, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Marching Band to public school students in Hollister.

I retired in June of 2010. The 45 years I spent teaching music to kids were the best years of my life. 

When I started teaching in the Hollister School District, I planned all along to open my own music store, once I retired.

After more than a year of planning, my wife Frances and I opened Mr. O's Academy of the Arts - a business focused on music instruction. I have recruited local instructors who will help with the endeavor and teach instruments and vocal music.

I thank the many people who assisted in opening the business, David Huboi, Meno Valdez, Chris Nolan, Ray Pierce, Ty Intrivia, and the Hoyle sisters who own the building.

The Academy consists of five lesson studios, a recording studio and a large performance room.

With the Hollister school District's recent budget problems, the elementary music program has been completely eliminated.

I, with other members of the community, have set up the Save the Music Program in the Hollister School District to revive music in the schools.

Mr. O's Academy is for all ages.

My wife and I would like to dedicate the Academy to the Hoyle sisters (Jennifer Baha  and Trisha Oldenkamp) who I taught when they were in elementary school.


Mr. O's Academy of the Arts : 360 Sixth St : Hollister : CA 95023 : 831.636.3813 : 12:30 pm 6:00 pm (Monday Friday)
Email: bandleader_mro@yahoo.com
2019 Mr. O's Academy of the Arts, All Rights Reserved