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A lasting legacy

Thursday evening a crowd of about 100 people gathered for a special tribute to three long-time educators, three people who made a lasting impact on generations of Odessa High School students. Rudy Gatlin, the youngest of the three Grammy Award-winning Gatlin Brothers trio, emceed the event that recalled the special careers and accomplishments of 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.

“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.”

Family, friends, and former students were in attendance as Rudy Gatlin read a bit about each music educator’s life and work. The ceremony closed with Ms. Medlen directing everyone in the OHS School Song and Benediction followed by the audience singing the OHS Fight Song.

The other Gatlin Brothers, Larry, and Steve had their travel delayed by the storms across the area.

Check out more pictures from this special event in this album.

Rudy Gatlin hugs Suzanne Medlen     Larry Gatlin poses for a picture with his wife and the daughter of Dr. Alfred