Culture

Culture

Gatlin Brothers honor three impactful Odessa High music educators

Gatlin Brothers honor three impactful Odessa High music educators

The Grammy-winning Gatlin Brothers recently participated in a special tribute to three long-time music educators who made a lasting impact on generations of Odessa High students.

Rudy Gatlin, the youngest of the trio, served as emcee of the event at the high school honoring the late Dr. Maurice Alfred, OHS Choral Director 1956-1973; the late Bill Dean, OHS Band and Orchestra Director 1959-1981; and Suzanne Medlen, OHS Choral Director 1973-2007 and the first female Class 5A high school choir director in Texas. Brothers Larry and Steve had their travel delayed by the storms across the area, although Larry was able to join in, according to the Odessa American.

“It’s always good to come back to Odessa,” Rudy told the crowd. “It’s good to see old friends and new friends we made through the years. These [honorees] are most certainly some wonderful people; impactful, extraordinary in our lives. I am so honored to be able to stand here and talk about them.”

He added, “I’ll go on record as saying [this is] the most talent rich region in the country, West Texas especially Odessa, where there have been so many who can sing, play, act, dance. Maybe there’s something in the water? I think it had to do with the teachers.”

About 100 family, friends, and former students attended the event and learned more about each music educator’s life and work.

Listen to this story at 2 pm daily via the Recording Library of West Texas