Band Director Returns to OHS

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

Odessa, Texas- Bill J. Dean served as the OHS Band Director between 1959-1981 and today many of his former students returned to say thanks.

"He taught us to have self respect and a sense of pride and to know that we are good and to strive for excellence," said Reverend Pamela J. Webb, class of 1965.

At the reunion all that's missing are the instruments but to the former band members today wasn't about the music.

"That is the best part of this whole deal, seeing people I haven't seen. Some in nearly forty years," said Harry King, class of 1963 with a smile.

"The band is like it's own community and you make your lifelong friends there because you work so hard together," he said.

Scores of students worked together under one man Band Director Bill J. Dean who served from 1959-1981.

"He was so instrumental because he cared for the students and he cared about their progress. The kids worked hard for him because he was dedicated to making them better," said Gary Vaden, president of Band Boosters who are raising money selling Dean Era Music to start a scholarship in his honor.

The uniforms have changed and so have the yearbook covers but the traditions started under Dean are still a major part of Odessa high's band.

"I had to be a good organizer and I had to keep them pointed in the right direction, I guess you could say not only with their music but to meet deadlines and the importance of being on time.

All of those things I think were rolled into one to help make them a better person," said former OHS Band director Bill J. Dean.

"Everything I did even though I wanted perfection, I wanted it to reflect on how it would affect them after they graduated," said Dean.