Born December 16, 1902 in Candon, North Dakota, Cecil Leeson’s family soon moved to Arizona. While studying mechanical engineering at Arizona Normal College (now Arizona State University), Leeson became interested in the saxophone through the recordings of Rudy Wiedoeft. He received the Honorary Fellow degree from Dana’s Musical Institute in Warren, Ohio in 1925 and presented his first recital in Arizona the same year. Leeson taught saxophone as director of his own school in Cleveland’s Carnegie Hall and as director of the Hollywood Conservatory of Music in California. He made his debut at New York City’s Town Hall in 1937, presenting that famous venue’s first saxophone recital and, with Paul Creston at the piano, giving the first American performance of Glazounov’s Concerto. Leeson’s solo appearance with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by José Iturbi, was the American premiere of Glazounov’s Concerto with orchestra. He also appeared with the New York Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Works were written for him by composers such as Lawson Lunde, Edvard Moritz, Leon Stein, Burnet Tuthill, Jaromir Weinberger, and, most importantly, Paul Creston. Leeson received graduate degrees from the Chicago Musical College and taught at Northwestern University from 1955 to 1961. He joined the music faculty at Ball State University in Indiana in 1961 and was Chairman of the Woodwind Division from 1971 until his retirement in 1977. An avid collector of antique saxophones (including original instruments built by Adolphe Sax), manuscripts, recordings, correspondence, and other historical materials, Leeson died April 17, 1989.