Col. Arnald D.
Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 following a
distinguished 36 year military career, at which time he was awarded his
third Legion of Merit for his service to the United States Air Force and to
music education throughout the country.
He served as
Commander/Conductor of the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Band,
Symphony Orchestra, and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. Upon his
retirement, Col. Gabriel served on the faculty of George Mason University in
Fairfax, Virginia, from 1985 to 1995, as Conductor of the GMU Symphony
Orchestra and as Chairman, Department of Music for eight of those years. In
recognition of his ten years of service to the university, he was named
Professor Emeritus of Music.
A combat machine
gunner with the United States Army’s famed 29th Infantry Division in Europe
during WW II, Gabriel received two awards of the Bronze Star Medal, the
Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the European, African, Mediterranean Campaign
Medal with two stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was named
“Conductor Emeritus” of the 257th Army Band in 2010 and the 29th
Infantry Division band in 2015.
separation from the Army in 1946, Gabriel enrolled in Ithaca College, where
he earned both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Music Education. In
1989, his alma mater conferred upon him an Honorary Doctor of Music degree
and in 1997, he was further honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In
2012, the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic presented Col.
Gabriel its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award and the United
States Air Force presented him the Exceptional Service Award for his
remarkable contributions as a civilian from March 1985 to December 2014.
Gabriel served as the Past President of the American Bandmasters
Association, and is also listed in the International Who ‘s Who in Music,
professional honors include the very first Citation of Excellence awarded by
the National Band Association, the Mid-West National Band and Orchestra
Clinic’s Gold Medal of Honor and its Distinguished Service to Music Award,
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s New Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award and its
rarely presented National Citation for “significant contributions to music
in America”, Kappa Kappa Psi’s Distinguished Service to Music Award, Phi
Beta Mu’s Outstanding Contribution to Bands Award, and the St. Cecilia Award
from the University of Notre Dame.
Col. Gabriel was
inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished
Band Conductors, becoming the youngest person ever to have received this
honor, and was an inaugural inductee to the Distinguished Alumni Wall of
Fame of Cortland High School in Cortland, New York. In 2008, the US Air
Force Band dedicated the Arnald D. Gabriel Hall in his honor, and Bands of
America inducted Col Gabriel into its Hall of Fame. Col. Gabriel has
performed in all 50 of the United States and in 50 countries around the
In addition to the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, among the hundreds of major orchestras and
bands he has conducted are the Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, San Antonio,
Memphis, Florida, Glendale (California), Green Bay (Wisconsin), York and
Williamsport (Pennsylvania), Fairfax (Virginia), Puerto Rico, and Tatui Sao
Paulo (Brazil), symphony orchestras, the Carabiniere Band and the Air Force
Band (Italy), the Band of the Royal Netherlands Marines, the Royal Hellenic
Band (Greece), the Staff Music Corps (Bonn, Germany), the National Band of
the Canadian Forces (Ottawa), The Dallas Wind Symphony, the Gamagori Band
and the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra (Japan).
Col. Gabriel was
named Music Director Emeritus of the McLean (VA) Orchestra for his
outstanding leadership from 1986 to 2002. Col. Gabriel continues to appear
as clinician at major state, regional, and university music festivals and
guest conducts outstanding school, college, municipal, and military bands as
well as orchestras around the world.