Norman Fowler Leyden
(born October 17, 1917) is an American
, arranger, and clarinetist
. He has worked in film
and is perhaps best known as the conductor of the Oregon Symphony Pops orchestra
. He co-wrote with Glenn Miller the theme "I Sustain the Wings" in 1943, which was used to introduced the World War II radio series.
Norman Leyden was born in Springfield, Massachusetts
to James A. and Constance Leyden. He graduated from Yale University
in 1938, attended Pierre Monteux
's Domaine Musicale in Hancock, Maine
in 1961, and earned a master's (1965) and doctoral degree (1968) from Columbia University
(where he also taught for several years). He married in 1942 in Duval County, Florida to Alice Curry Wells.
He began his professional music career playing bass clarinet for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra
while attending Yale. Leyden joined the United States National Guard
in 1940 for a planned year of volunteer work and enlisted as an infantry sergeant on February 24, 1941 in New Haven, Connecticut
. His enlistment papers gives his height as six foot two and his weight as 165 and gives his specialty as a musician or band leader. During World War II
he served in the Army Air Force
for five years.
While Leyden was serving as a master sergeant
in Atlantic City
and rehearsing music, Glenn Miller
heard Leyden perform. Miller said to him "For a Yale man, you don't play bad tenor".Miller... Read More