May 17, 1999
This year's event will be held at Marymoor Park in Redmond. The band concert will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the picnic area with Walt Berglund, a band member, as guest conductor.
In 1982, Berglund was an instrumental music instructor in Lake Washington School District, busily teaching nearly 300 beginning band students in five schools. Then things started to go wrong; at first, only a little tremor in the left hand that refused to go away. After some time, other symptoms began to surface and the diagnosis was "Parkinson's Disease," a progressive incurable condition that can impair speech, balance, swallowing, and cause tremors and uncontrollable movements of the body and limbs, among other things.
By the spring of 1984, Berglund's condition forced him to take disability retirement. Fortunately, new drugs and surgical procedures were just becoming available that helped some patients control their symptoms.
After much trial and testing, Walt was slowly but surely losing ground. He considered brain surgery (recently made famous by the actor Michael J. Fox) and traveled to Vancouver, B.C., for a second opinion, but came away with a new prescription that worked for him. Not only was he able to maintain the status quo, but was able to gain a real measure of relief from his symptoms.