INSPIRE – Oscar Hose, Saxophone Soloist Changing the Course of History for Families in Haiti.
Stock Exchange Band Member, Oscar Hose – Saxophone for Haiti
On January the 12th 2010, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck Haiti near the town of Leogane, just 25 kilometres from the capital, Port-au-Prince. Almost 3, 500, 000 people were affected by the quake, which killed an estimated 220, 000 people and injured more than 300, 000. Over 188, 383 houses were badly damaged and 105, 000 were destroyed by the earthquake (293, 383 in total)¹. 1, 500, 000 people became homeless – one and a half times the population of South Australia.
Raising money for charity always leaves a good feeling in your heart, especially when it’s done through the avenue of music. That’s what Oscar Hose (band member of Stock Exchange) has started doing, and at just nineteen years old, the very well spoken young man is making an impact on the world, one song at a time…
Below is our interview with Oscar, about how he came to play saxophone and why he’s raising money for Haiti.
Hi there Oscar, how are you?
Hey there Tanysha. I’m well, thanks for asking. How are you?
Good thanks Oscar! How long have you lived in South Australia?
I have lived in South Australia for 8 years now. As a young boy I grew up in Tasmania living with my mother, Catherine Hewitt. My father on the other hand lived in Adelaide with his wife (my now step mother) Sheridan Stewart. I was in grade 4 when my mother decided to move over here and so far it’s been a great change. I don’t think I’d be this involved in music if I hadn’t moved here (laughs). The idea behind moving was that myself and my brother Jasper would get to see our father a lot more. We now live just over the hill from him, so we get to see him a few times a week now instead of a few times a year.
How long have you been playing the saxophone for?
This is a great question and one I tend to always come up with a different answer for every time I’m asked (laughs). I suppose the correct answer is eleven years. It all started when my father Greg went to a yard sale in Queensland, and I believe he saw the saxophone for sale and bought it. The story behind the saxophone (there always is with musical instruments), is that their was once was an elderly man who used to busk on the streets of Yeppoon, in Queensland. He used to play blues and jazz, and I suppose he was the typical elderly jazz man (laughs). But he sadly passed away and his daughter was left with this beautiful old saxophone. As she didn’t play the instrument it was left forgotten in her room, basically it became a dust collector. A long time later, the day came where she was moving and by chance, my father happened to go to her yard sale and pick up the saxophone. Much to my luck however, when my father travelled back down to Tasmania and took it with him, I was the only one who could make a sound out of it (laughs). It’s a kind of funny story really. After that, it soon evolved into some lessons and eventually I was playing some classics like ‘Lilly Was Here’, ‘Watermelon Man’ and one of my favourites ‘Take 5’.
Who influenced you in terms of music style?
Well my father I guess had a huge impact on my musical style. Greg (my daddy) is a working musician playing bass and he absolutely loves the old ‘Rock’ N Roll’, including bands like: Queen, Kiss, YYZ, Black Sabbath etc, so I grew up listening to a lot of rock. Since then I have had the pleasure of learning different instruments with a whole lot of different people. I’ve gone from learning from a very humble jazz player in Tasmania named Carl Burlow, through many different teachers in Adelaide and eventually ending up with Joel Beardraven, lead singer and front man of the band The Beards. As some people may know I also play electric bass and have had many different musical styles passed through me. I’ve played folk, Spanish, Heavy Rock, Classical and even Latin. Whilst it’s a different instrument, the styles of music have a big influence on how I play the saxophone.
What inspired you to raise money for the Haiti Earthquake?
In 2010 I remember seeing the shocking earthquake all over the news and newspapers. It was awful to see and I remember saying to myself; “Imagine if you had everything taken away from you and were left with nothing?”. At the time I remember the tennis was on the television and Roger Federer organised a show called ‘Hit for Haiti’. It was a charity event where he put on a couple of friendly doubles matches with superstar tennis players including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and more. I thought it would be really amazing to do something and raise money for Haiti – but I never got around to it, until now. I recently went down to Tasmania to visit a few old friends, and I was amazed to find out that all my friends had moved out, and had very little money to live on. Seeing them in that situation, it made me realise how fortunate we are, and I am, to live here in Adelaide. Upon returning to Adelaide, I came back with a positive outlook on life, because I was grateful for what I had. It was then and there that I decided I wanted to raise money for people that are worse off and so, remembering my thoughts all the way back from 2010, I decided on Haiti – and what a great way to do it, playing music for people.
What are some responses you’ve received from people walking by and listening to your music?
I’ve had people talk to me about what they’ve done for Haiti. Different people approach me and talk about different charities that they’ve supported. My all time favourite has to be this elderly man outside the Stirling Woolworths centre. He runs a shop in there (I wont specify which one), but one day, I set up and started playing and noticed he was scowling at me through the window. I continued to play and just ignored the man over the next hour. After I finished playing, I packed up and walked into his shop and proceeded to question him on why he didn’t like me playing outside. He said, “You drive my customers away!” I giggled a little on the inside and said to him; “Sir the majority of your customers stopped and listened to me today and over half of them dropped their spare coins into my case. 20% of what’s in my case goes straight to helping the people of Haiti rebuild their homes and their lives”. All of a sudden the elderly man looked at me in shock. He then proceeded to tell me how he had friends visiting Haiti on a holiday when the earthquake happened. Unfortunately two of them died and only one returned home with serious injuries. The shopkeeper then gave me $20 and said, “You can play outside my shop, any time you like”.
– I’ll never forget that moment.
Whereabouts do you play?
I mostly play around the Adelaide Hills as that’s where I live, playing the small towns of Stirling, Hahndorf and Mt. Barker. I also head into town (Adelaide) and play around Rundle Mall and Rundle street every so often. Any time I’m on holidays I like to take the sax along as well, something different and it keeps my life upbeat (laughs). I am currently looking at touring around Australia just street performing and raising money as I go.
How can we make a donation if we can’t make one of your street performances?
If you can’t make a street performance there are plenty of ways you can show your support. For the younger generation there are plenty of on-line charities where you can donate money or purchase gifts. For the more ‘Senior’ people (laughs), there are always articles in your local newspaper and bulletins about different charities and what they’re up to. I’ve found that the majority of charity organisations have sections for different countries that they’re supporting. It’s up to you to then decide which one you wish to support.
How much money have you raised so far?
So far we have raised nearly $50. I know it sounds pretty minimal but for only 3 days I think it’s pretty damn good. This $50 will pay for 5700 water purification tablets so people can have clean drinking water. That’s enough tablets for a whole family for 1 year!
What is your goal in terms of how much money you want to raise?
I don’t really have a goal in terms of money that I want to raise. I purely just want to do my part to help the people of Haiti.
And finally, if you could sum up what you do in 5 words or less, what would it be?
Helping those who need it.
You can view his facebook page here or view his band Stock Exchange here. We cannot wait to hear how much more money he can raise!