Clarksville Arts and Heritage Development CouncilClarksville, TN – The Clarksville Arts and Heritage Council will present two-lifetime achievement awards to Clarksvillians who have made outstanding contributions to the community’s artistic and historic heritage this Friday, December 2nd.

Cleo Hogan, attorney, and expert genealogist, will receive the Lifetime Achievement in Heritage award, presented by Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden, and Dr. Gail Robinson-Oturu, Austin Peay State University professor emerita of music, will receive the Lifetime Achievement in Heritage award, presented by Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts.

Hogan collects the records and stories of Clarksville’s past

Cleo Hogan has devoted much time and talent to preserving Montgomery County’s history.

He served as co-compiler of two volumes of Cemetery Records of Montgomery County and was a contributor to Wallace Cross’s two books on Montgomery County Civil War regiments, Ordeal by Fire and Cry Havoc; to Eleanor Williams’ Worship along the Warioto; and to Montgomery County, Tennessee, Family History Book 2000, edited by his wife, Donna.

Through his expertise in genealogical research, Hogan has published historical treatises on families originating in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

He has actively supported historical organizations in Montgomery County. He was a charter member and served as president of the Valentine Sevier Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and as Chancellor of the Tennessee Society of the SAR. He served as the charter president of the Governor Willie Blount Chapter of the Society of the War of 1812. He has also served as president of the Montgomery County Historical Society, of which he is a life member.

Hogan is director emeritus of the Tennessee-Kentucky Threshermen’s Association in Adams, founding president of the Montgomery County Antique Tractor & Engine Club, and a founding member of Branch 202 of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association.

His interest in preserving history has led to his work with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library, having served as chairman of the Friends of the Library and as chair of the Library’s Board of Trustees.

Though he has lived and contributed to the historical record in several other counties and states, Hogan’s roots are firmly planted in this county. He and his wife, Donna, live on the Hogan Century Farm on Hogan Lane. He is a graduate of Clarksville High School, Austin Peay State University, and the University of Memphis Law School.

Robinson-Oturu uses her talents to serve the community

Soprano Gail Robinson-Oturu has a distinguished record in performance, education, scholarship, and service. Praised for her artistry, interpretation, and technique, her voice has been heard on local, national, and international stages.

A review of her performance with the London Symphony Orchestra noted, “She seemed more than an accomplished performer; she became an elemental force, primal yet infinitely refined. She held her audience rapt.”

Her teaching has garnered much recognition. She was designated the Florida Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Professor of the Year in 1988 and won a national silver medal from CASE that same year.

She chaired Austin Peay State University’s music department from 2005 to 2009. Upon her arrival in Clarksville, Dr. Robinson-Oturu took on the task of rechartering the Clarksville Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She then designed a service project that won the national service award for the chapter.

Dr. Robinson-Oturu’s leadership and support of the Clarksville Community Concert Association has been crucial throughout her years in Clarksville. In 2020, she was awarded Austin Peay State University’s Clarksville Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Faculty Award for Community Service.

Dr. Robinson-Oturu’s ongoing research on African-Americans in the mainstream of the classical arts began with her appointment as visiting scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Robinson-Oturu’s work remains the only systematic, comprehensive and authorized biography of baritone Todd Duncan, the original Porgy of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. The biography has received national recognition.  Her research and work on violinist and composer Clarence Cameron White inspired the historical marker erected by the state of Tennessee in his birthplace of Clarksville.

Dr. Robinson-Oturu’s considerable record of service ranges from quietly providing meals to individuals in need to holding leadership positions in local communities and national professional and service organizations. This began in her native Washington, D. C., and has continued in Daytona Beach, Florida, and in Clarksville.

Under Dr. Oturu’s leadership as president of the Daytona Beach Symphony Society, the Youth Experiencing Symphony! (Y.E.S!) program was inaugurated. Now in its 26th year, Y.E.S! has introduced more than 60,000 students to classical music.

A native of Washington, D. C., Dr. Robinson-Oturu earned the bachelor’s degree and master of music education (vocal emphasis) from Howard University and her doctor of philosophy from New York University. She retired from Austin Peay State University in 2021 with the title of Professor Emerita.

The awards ceremony will begin at 5:30pm this Friday in the Austin Peay State University Pace Alumni Center in Emerald Hill. The public is invited.

The Clarksville Arts and Heritage Council works to foster creativity in our community and to preserve and honor Clarksville’s history. It annually hosts the two-day Clarksville Writers Conference and the 2Rivers Plein Air Paint-Out, it spearheaded the suffrage monument on Public Square and Pillars of Hope in Veterans Plaza, and it has placed several dozen cast mockingbirds along three urban Discovery Trails.

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