Colonel Gabriel
Professor Emeritus, George Mason University


"In the years that I have worked with and for Colonel Gabriel, I have unsuccessfully sought words to convey my impression of this man. Besides being one of the finest Colonels and best musicians in the world today, he brings to the world of music qualities of integrity and courage that we usually associate only with battlefield heroes, which he was. I feel that these qualities add a character to his music that gives it a dimension found only once in a great while. "
Doc Severinsen

"I experienced something rare and rewarding with The United States Air Force Band: their dress rehearsal was like a performance, and their performance was a celebration. This is due to the excellent musicianship of Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel and the inspiration with which he leads his band. These outstanding qualities combined with a meticulous attention to detail mean that nothing is left to the last moment, and The New Brubeck Quartet not only enjoyed, but learned much from their performance with The Air Force Band under Colonel Gabriel's leadership."
Dave Brubeck

"The United States Air Force Band has taken wing and soared beyond the limitations of a mere military or service band. It has in the truest sense grown into the ultimate of concert symphonic bands and its members are as gifted as any you will find in the finest symphony orchestras of our land.
The man mainly responsible for this growth, this execution of rare artistic discipline, and the setting of such incredibly high musical standards is Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel. A fine musician, a leader of unbelievable insight and imagination, and a conductor with virtually no equal in the band world.
As a narrator who has taken many cues from many conductors, I know that I am in the best of hands when I wait with total confidence for a cue from my dear friend Colonel 'Gabe'."
William Conrad

"Colonel Gabriel is a musician with impeccable taste, who possesses a sensitive ear and accomplished conducting technique. His professional efficiency possesses a keen judgment as to what a band can really achieve and he does not allow the players to deliver anything below the standard that he has set for them. "
Vaclav Nelhybel

"Guest conductor leads with skill... Gabriel demonstrated a precise technique and considerable skill in communicating stylistic nuances to the (Green Bay Symphony) orchestra... its performance managed to combine the sense of mystery and wonder with the aura of profound dignity which characterizes the best readings of this work. "
Green Bay (Wisconsin) Press-Gazette

"... especially because I am well acquainted with your art as a conductor."
Eugene Ormandy

"Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel's conducting is characterized by a remarkable clarity and enthusiasm and he seems to possess a wide range of feelings for the varied music which his band performs. At all times, the band was under complete control, both rhythmically and with regard to intonation. With the band, rhythm is always precise and exact, and the intonation seemed close to perfect. "
Champaign-Urbana (Illinois) News-Gazette

"Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel is a brilliant musician, and he has set lofty standards for his fellow artists. His standards are those of a great symphony and he has a completely virtuoso ensemble. "
San Bernardino (California) Sun-Telegram

"Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel... isn't a flamboyant leader. He gives the impression that his work was all done before the fact and that he has come along merely to keep his men on the right track and punctuate a few spots that might require it. It's so effortless that it all but disguises his very considerable prowess as a conductor. The layman will see the precision he has worked, but it takes more than a trained eye and ear to appreciate his total worth."
Syracuse (New York) Post Standard

"Led by Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel, the (Glendale Symphony) OrchestraŐs performance was a golden mark and fitting tribute to the memory of Dragon... Gabriel did a splendid job on Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.4 in F Minor... (as in the Berlioz and Grieg), he showed strong sensitivity, choosing the ideal tempo for each movement."
Glendale (California) News-Press

"Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel, a musician of communicative spirit and exceptional aptitude, has been able to perform marvels... "
La Prensa (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

''Whether it be for an all-state band, a summer music camp, a regional organization, or an individual high school band or county music festival, Colonel Gabriel never fails to exert the full extent of his dynamic leadership and prodigious musical ability. No matter how great or small the challenge, he never meets it with less than his very best. This then is the mark of the man. A tremendous musical talent coupled with an outstanding administrative ability, both facets combined with a dynamic drive and energy plus a history and a future of continued success -- this is Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel."
The School Musician, Director, and Teacher Magazine

"... Gabriel's (college) orchestra revels in precision, expression, and talent in every section... some who are clearly professional have joined just for the joy of working with someone of Gabriel's stature and inspiration. In return, he extracts from them brilliant tone, color, and intensity of performance which nearly matches the enthusiasm he projects from the podium... His distinct chemistry and musical genius seem destined to transform... with the same vigor, power, and precision which branded his internationally lauded U.S. Air Force Band and Symphony Orchestra. Like a medal-winning gymnast about to spring, Gabriel mounted the podium to launch his musicians... the intensity be conveyed through his baton was echoed by the orchestra in solid tones and superbly executed passages that flowed assuredly, yet gracefully."
Fairfax (Virginia) Journal

"The tradition of the Air Force and the tradition of good music are really one and the same. The exemplification of this skill is shown in the warmth, understanding, and decisiveness exhibited by Colonel Gabriel. For years we have had the tradition of European concert bands, especially from the military school. Colonel Gabriel has taken the best of both worlds and molded them into a completely musical organization."
Skitch Henderson

"Music Director Arnald D. Gabriel conducted with care and clearly defined the contrasts between the various sections... (he) wisely kept the tempo of the rousing finale carefully under control, and it was both fun and exciting."
Ed Roberts, The Washington Post

"The Florida Symphony Orchestra turned out a most stimulating performance under the magical baton of Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel. Colonel Gabriel conducts with grace and ease. The thoroughly American dark-haired maestro displayed fine musical taste and brightened the stage with magnetic personality."
Winter Park (Florida)

"Colonel Gabriel is a most sensitive musician and conductor. He has the uncommon ability to anticipate the soloist's every mood, and under his direction the large band seems to become one accompanying instrument; a remarkable achievement."
Harvey Phillips, tuba virtuoso

"Colonel Arnald Gabriel is a musicianŐs conductor, a composer's conductor, and a conductor's conductor - flexible and at ease in any style, accomplished and secure in every media, he presents music unadorned by self-interest in a sound that represents the composer's best hopes for his work. He is honest in his conducting, directing attention to the music itself and not to flamboyant gestures or disturbing distraction. When the piece is over, so well played and so eloquently having expressed the best efforts of baton and playing men, there is then an awareness of his presence - and, if one thinks deeply, of his worth. We as composers are fortunate and also we, as listeners, are lucky to have this man to bring us music. "
Don Gillis

"Yours has been America's most distinguished military music career -- one we've been waiting for these many decades."
Frederick Fennell Founder, Eastman Wind Ensemble Conductor and Music Director, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra

"Colonel Gabriel conducts with such physical dexterity that the music seems to spring from his fingertips. "
Sarasota (Florida) Journal

"Harold Schonberg defined the requirements of a conductor as having a sense of style, technique, a perfect ear, and ability to convey ideas in an inner x-ray of the score, Colonel Gabriel appeared to have these as be conducted an exciting program... "
Ed Campbell, The Post (Frederick, Maryland)

"It was a great musical experience for us to perform... Colonel Gabriel is a great musician and conductor. We have worked with many symphonies in the past few years. We all feel that Colonel Gabriel is as fine a conductor as any we have worked with. "
Bob Flanigan, The Four Freshmen

"The United States Air Force Band has reached a great degree of perfection mainly due to the unique technique that its director has been able to instill in it."
B. P. Color (Montevideo, Uruguay)

"Their leader, Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel, possesses a natural authority and solid musical qualities ".
La Suisse (Geneva, Switzerland)

"One of the greatest learning experiences for any conductor is watching an exacting conductor like Gabriel at work. "
The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle

"Colonel Gabriel is a young and vital conductor, a sound musician, and an affable audience man."
Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, New York)

"Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel is a musician of unquestionable capacity as he showed with the Tchaikovsky, which he interpreted in a very personal manner."
Clarin (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

"Guest conductor Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel, conductor of the U. S. Air Force Band, took over the podium with a march, "Inglesina" by Della Cese. You think you've heard marches? You've never heard them played the way this dashing young man conducts them. In both "Inglesina" and Fillmore's "Americans We", Gabriel brought such polish, such precision, and yet such an air of genial relaxation, that the marches were transformed into genuine works of art. He has such an instinctive, truly inspired sense of tempo and rhythm that each measure is endowed with an absolute musical validity that is enormously exciting to bear. How I would love to bear this musician conducting a fine symphony orchestra."
Columbus (Ohio) Citizen-Journal

"Above all, the firm and circumspective way in which Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel conducted the band highly impressed the audience, and the intonation and precision of each musical presentation was exemplary."
Pfaelzer Volkszeitung (Kaiaerslautern, Germany)

"Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel has created a unique performing group of master musicians. His brass shadings are as extraordinary as they are beautiful, and all is seemingly obtained so effortlessly. One must turn to the finest symphony orchestras to find comparable musicianship. No finer organization has appeared here in recent years. "
Springfield (Illinois) Sun

"Words fail to express the fulfillment we felt during the Easter concert. We have been in this business for over fourteen years and worked with many name bands and orchestras... You, sir, are not only the best, but one of the finest men we have ever had the pleasure of knowing or working with."
The Statler Brothers

"American Music and the Air Force are equally fortunate in having Colonel Arnald Gabriel in his position... even yet, almost daily some reference is made of the "perfect concert"... delighted to have had the Colonel on two occasions as visiting lecturer-guest conductor... (I) have found him to be always friendly, courteous, authorative, extremely knowledgeable and, at the same time, projecting authority and commanding respect. It is my frank opinion that Colonel Arnald Gabriel is doing more for American Music and Music Education than any person in military music since John Philip Sousa."
Gene Witherspoon, Arkansas Tech University

"As one who does his best preparing/teaching conductors, your timely comments cemented with the perception that comes from both inordinate talent and considerable experience, rang one bull's-eye after another... I have long admired you as a special conductor with a flair for administration, dual characteristics not often found. Now I have added another dimension to my estimation of Arnald Gabriel. He is a particularly perceptive and effective spokesman for a profession searching for models. "
James Croft, The Florida State University

"Under the expressive and dynamic conducting of Colonel Gabriel, there was an exquisite harmonious blending of tones, a fantastic precision and a wholeheartedness on their playing which spelled virtuosity in every selection. Only the superlatives could describe the Colonel's leadership. "
Lynn (Massachusetts) Daily Evening Item

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