Dear Editor:

It was thrilling to be in the audience at the Decorah Schools' orchestra concert on Friday night. The musicians, 180 strings strong, and their leaders, Nicole Cody and Jennifer Larson, had spent many hours learning exciting new music and new instruments from guest artist Julie Lyon Lieberman, and we in the audience learned from all of them about the roots of American music. I found myself smiling through the entire concert.

One feature that sets Decorah school concerts apart from other schools' concerts is that they serve not only to show what the students have learned but also to teach the audience about music fundamentals and ways to understand and appreciate music.

When I think of students in many cities in which the schools have had their music programs cut, I feel so sorry that they will never have the rich opportunities that our students have. We are so lucky to have outstanding school and community support.