Don Blakeson was born in Wetherby, Yorkshire and won a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, studying trumpet with Ernest Hall and Richard 'Bob' Walton. He spent three years in the band of the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) and then worked as a professional trumpet player in London. He held permanent contracts as co-principal trumpet with the English National Opera Orchestra and the BBC Radio Orchestra as well as freelancing in TV, recording and broadcasting 'session' orchestras.
In 1978 he was appointed Head of Brass to the Leicestershire Education Authority and is Vice-Principal (Wind/Brass) of the Leicestershire School of Music. He was Musical Director of the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra from 1995 to 1997, and he continues teaching, playing and conducting in Leicestershire.
Don has considerable experience as a conductor of brass bands including Desford, Fodens and the City of Coventry, and is currently Musical Director of Leicester University Symphonic Concert Band. He is a writer and arranger and also adjudicates and plays on a freelance basis.