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Odessa music educator - Odessa American: Education

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Odessa music educator

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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2007 12:00 am

Odessan Charles Nail has followed one of his heroes nearly his entire life.

Like J.R. McEntyre, Nail has been head band director at Permian High, as well as director of fine arts for the Ector County Independent School District.

Sunday, the 66-year-old longtime music educator will join McEntyre in the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame at the Texas Bandmasters’ Association Convention in San Antonio.

He’ll also join former Odessans Robert Maddox and Bill Dean in the prestigious hall of fame.

“All of those guys are already in the hall of fame, and they all taught me — I was in their bands,” Nail, an OHS graduate, said. “It means a lot to be associated with and on same plane as those guys.”

In fact, Nail attributes his prolific music education career to his former teachers.

“I had some awfully good teachers — that’s probably the biggest thing,” he said.

Odessa High band director Bill Hardin — who has known Nail for nearly 20 years, about 14 of those under Nail’s direct supervision — said this is a great honor for Nail.

“He is well known and respected by many in this community,” Hardin said. “It is an extremely prestigious honor.”

And something Hardin said is completely deserved.

“His whole career has been about music education and helping kids,” Hardin said. “He’s certainly one of the best in the world at that.

“He’s one of the best in the world in my opinion, and it’s cool to be here and have his expertise to call upon,” Hardin said.

Hardin said he’s still close to Nail, who is now the concert band/jazz band director at Odessa College.

“I still play in his OC band,” Harden said. “I was going to give up some evening stuff, but I just couldn’t … when Mr. Nail took over, I couldn’t tell him no.”

Nail looks back fondly on his lifetime career in Odessa.

“There have been some struggles time to time but the students out here in West Texas are really special,” he said. “They respond to you when you ask them, and when you put pressure on them, they respond by upping their intensity and achievement.

“I can’t say that for kids everywhere, but out here in West Texas, the kids are just that way,” he said.

WHAT’S HE DONE?

>> During Charles Nail’s 17-year tenure as band and orchestra director at Permian High, the bands and orchestras won the Texas State Marching Band contest in 1982 and finished second three other times. It was selected five times for the finals competition.

>> The Permian band was also selected as the Texas State Honor Band and was never awarded less than a superior rating in every contest and festival it entered during his time there, the biography says.

>> The Permian Orchestra was twice chosen as the Texas State Honor Orchestra and also was invited to perform at the prestigious Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic/Convention in 1985.

>> Nail is a past president of the Texas Music Educators Association and also served two years as the vice-president and orchestra division chairman of that organization. He is a past president of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and he was chosen in 1992 to be a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.

>> He’s recently retired from public schools after 36 years of service.

GOOD COMPANY

Former Permian band director and ECISD director of fine art Charles Nail will be inducted Sunday in the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame. He joins fellow Odessans:

>> Robert L. Maddox, OHS band director from 1948-’59

>> Bill Dean, OHS band director from 1959-’81

>> J.R. McEntyre, first band director at Permian starting in 1959. He was also an ECISD director of fine arts.

WHO ELSE?

>> Longtime Odessa music educator Charles Nail will be inducted Sunday into the prestigious Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

>> Clyde Wilson, former director of bands at Midland High and Lee Freshman will also be inducted Sunday into the hall of fame.

Odessa, TX

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