My husband and I were honored to be guests of Linda Gjerdrum to celebrate Don's birthday last July 25. After dinner, I was honored to receive the original draft of that 1959 CD of the MENC concert in Chicago!

Linda and I, as well as our classmates of 1962 celebrated our 50th class reunion on Sept. 15, 2012, just a few days prior to Don's death.

I brought that CD along, and we played the phenomenal "British Eighth" during dessert. Don proudly stood and directed it for the last time - a moment many of us will cherish forever!

I remember many parades and the sound of that majestic march while we proudly performed both the music while watching our rows and diagonals as carefully as we were able... I was a very proud member of the Spring Grove High School (SGHS) band from that era.

I get goosebumps as I listen to the CD!

Don Gjerdrum was a true inspiration to us. He worked us hard, and we willingly worked hard for him in return and were very proud of our accomplishments.

Linda has given a true gift to her husband, the "leader of the band". His legacy and music will live on in the hearts and minds of his students forever.

Judy Ruehmann

SGHS Class of 1962

Decorah, Iowa

Editor's note: this was written in response to "SGHS Band Alumni enjoy new musical CD" letter written by Chuck and LaVonne Onstad in last week's Herald.