The Stories

It was one of those great Spring Trips - 1982

"It was one of those great Spring Trips and the band was under the direction of Mr. Dean. Everyone respected him and he treated us like we were his own. I wasn't all that talented in the drum section, so I was more than elated when he added the Flag Team! The first year he didn't want us girls to wear those short skirts, plus we had a few guys on our team. By the way the next year, Mr. Dean made it an all girl team and let us wear skirts, but they had to be at a decent length.

When we got to Disneyland to March, Mr. Dean had decided to put us girls on a swirl platform on one of the outside buildings. To our surprise and Mr. Deans, the day we performed, we had a big twirl where we spun the flag up and behind our backs. Well, the overhang of the building was not quite tall enough, so it really looked horrible when all our flags went to hitting the ceiling and hitting our heads, dropping our flags. It's funny now but we all cried from embarrassment and Mr. Dean apologized and took all the blame. This man made a big impression on my life and I don't know where he is today, but God Bless Him!"

Teri (Whisenhunt) Radley Class of 1980

Concert Performance - 1957

"I remember vividly the 1957 contest concert performance. I was a senior and sat 5th chair clarinet. We played a concert band arrangement of the first and third movements of Tchaikowsky's 6th - Pathetique - Symphony. Toward the end of the first movement there was a very slow clarinet solo that was picked up by the bass clarinet. Mr. Maddox had worked and worked with the two first chair players to ensure that their tempos and intonations were identical. He pointed out that this solo was performed by a cello in the orchestral arrangement and so the handoff from clarinet to bass clarinet was crucial to our success. I remember literally holding my breath as the first chair clarinet began the solo. The bass clarinet picked it up perfectly. We went right into the third movement. As we ended our performance, the judges stood up and applauded!

Needless to say, we garnered a first division in concert that year.

Robert L. Maddox was a legendary high school band director. In the '50s, he was one of only two high school directors in the U.S. selected for membership in the American Bandmaster's Association. All other members were college directors. After graduating from OHS in 1957, I went to Texas Tech, and decided not to participate in band my freshman year. However, I missed it so much that I decided to audition for the band my sophomore year. I went into my meeting with the Tech band director rather nervously, since I had hardly touched my clarinet in a year. One of the first questions he asked me was, "So, where did you play in high school?" I told him Odessa High and he immediately responded, "Oh, you played for Bob Maddox; what chair did you sit?" I told him 5th chair, first clarinet.

Without hearing me play a single note, he asked, "How about first desk, second clarinet?" Which is where I played the entire year. Obviously, this was not about my ability, but about the knowledge that anyone who played in the first sections of a band directed by Robert L. Maddox had been well trained and was well disciplined."

Dorothy Cochran Class of 1957

Locked in the Band hall and Late for Contest - 1985

"I had a good laugh my senior year (85-86) as a majorette. We left the band hall on buses for marching contest and after we got out to Ratliff Stadium and began to warm up on the track, we noticed that one of us was missing. The head majorette called all of us together, counted heads, and sure enough, Patricia wasn't there. We start freaking out--trying to figure out how we could march with 1 less girl and still make it look "even" on both sides of the 50-yd-line. RIGHT BEFORE they called us up, Patricia came running onto the track. Somehow, she had been left behind and LOCKED IN THE BAND HALL when we left. She said that she pounded on the door until a custodian heard her and let her out in time for her to drive her own car out to the stadium and make it! Crisis over, we went on to march for ANOTHER 1st DIVISION."

Shelli Class of 1986 posted 11/17 2000

Tri State Contest - Enid, Oklahoma - 1965

... "when our band went to the Tri-State contest in Enid, Oklahoma, we garnered more first divisions that year, 64-65, than any previous band had in Odessa High School history. Mr. Dean was not interested in parade competition at Enid, but when he found out that the Outstanding Marching Band at the competition would march in the parade in front of the Walt Disney Bass Drum, he decided we would march in the parade because we won the Outstanding Marching Band in our class. He had already sent the equipment bus and the uniform bus back to Odessa, and he had to get the highway patrol to stop them and send them back so that we could march in that parade. Know what else? We were chosen the Outstanding Parade Band also, and we had not even practiced for that."

George Anderson Class of 1965 posted 11/17/2000

If you would like to submit a story about an experience you had in the Odessa High Band email them to me. I will review them and select the stories that I think will be of general interest to the alumni of the Odessa High Band. I will also edit at my discretion all stories submitted. This editing will be kept a minimum and will only be done for clarity. Submission does not guarantee posting on this page. To make submissions click here

Bob McSpadden Class of 1970