He served as Commander/Conductor of the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra, and
Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. In 1990, he was named the first
Conductor Emeritus of the USAF Band at a special concert held at DAR
Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. 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 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 and the French Croix de Guerre.
On November 10, 2016, Gabriel was awarded Chevalier of the Legion of
Honor, France's highest distinction.
Following his 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. In 2015, he was elected
Honorary Life Member of the American Bandmasters Association.
In March 2017, he was named Honorary Life President of the American
He is also listed
in the International Who ‘s Who in Music, 7th edition.
Col. Gabriel’s 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. He is also a Past President of the prestigious American
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 world.
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.