Norman Leyden

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Norman Fowler Leyden (born October 17, 1917) is an American, conductor, arranger, and clarinetist. He has worked in film and television 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.

Early Years

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.

Music career

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...
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