Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ernie Haase Returns to Alma Mater ; Castle High Alum Will Perform Series of Concerts

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ernie Haase Returns to Alma Mater ; Castle High Alum Will Perform Series of Concerts

Article excerpt

When he was a student at Castle High School in the early 1980s, Ernie Haase believed he would grow up to become an athlete, a singer or, possibly, even an architect. The music won out.

In just the past two years alone, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound gospel quartet have "literally sung around the world: We played to 3,000 people in India, we were in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Budapest. I am amazed so many people know my name - it blows my mind. I never dreamed (my music career) would come out like this," he said in a recent telephone interview.

Haase and Signature Sound will be returning to Newburgh next week for a series of concerts at his alma mater; three of them will be staged during the school day, for Castle students, he said.

The other two - at 7 p.m. next Friday and Saturday, also at Castle, will be open to the public.

"It's going to be like a homecoming for me," Haase said. "I left Newburgh so many years ago and I have never been to a class reunion (Haase graduated in 1983); I am looking forward to seeing all my old friends."

Haase recalled an idyllic childhood growing up in Newburgh: "Everything good in my life revolved around sports and music all my great memories are there," he said.

Coming back to perform in Newburgh "gives me a chance to give back to the community that gave me so much."

Haase is the older of two sons of Sue and Ray Haase.

His brother, Jarrod, is also musical, Sue Haase said, noting that Jarrod is involved in praise and worship music for the Riverwind Baptist Church in Newburgh, where the family worships, "but he is more contemporary; Ernie is Southern gospel."

Ernie always liked music, his mother continued: "He grew up listening to the Platters, Ray Charles, the Beatles. We had one gospel album by the Cathedral Quartet."

And he sang a lot: with the Castle Singers and with the local gospel group, The Conquerors Quartet, his mother said.

"He started a 50s group while he was in high school. They were called the 'Hootie Hoots' and they played at Eastland Mall when Lazarus opened and when Elder Beerman opened, at a couple of

McDonald's restaurants, school hops, local things like that. …

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