Ole Utnes, Matt Graves, Jack Kanstul, and Patty Gordon:

I was really touched to come across the tributes and reminiscences of Claude Gordon you have all made available on the internet. I just had to take a moment to express my profound gratitude to all of you.

I first learned about Claude from Bob O'Donnell and John Rosenberg, with whom I played in the Brass Choir and Stage Band at Cal State L.A. in the late sixties. Later, in 1974, a musical variety group I then directed taped a TV special at The Burbank Studios. Dick Grove had done the orchestrations based on the vocal arrangements and other material I had provided him. I was delighted to discover that Claude was contracting and directing the orchestra for the session. I was doubly delighted to find Bob and John both playing in the orchestra that day. I really enjoyed catching up and comparing notes with them. And working with Claude was a dream. He was the absolute antithesis of the proverbial "temperamental musician". I visited with him at his studio off and on over the course of the next couple of years, before I moved away and lost touch.

Recently I have decided to resurrect that part of me that died when I gave up my music. I'm working now on making my own "come back" as a trumpet player, composer/arranger, and conductor. As a result, Claude has been in my thoughts a lot -- naturally. I was saddened to learn only a few weeks ago that Dick Grove had passed away last year. I'm saddened again to know that Claude is also gone, but heartened to see how well he is remembered. Thank you for what you are doing to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of a truly talented musician, gifted teacher, and great human being.

Randall L. Dalton