Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, Conductor Emeritus of the United States Air Force Band, retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 following a distinguished 36 year military career. He served as Commander/Conductor of the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra, and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. Col. Gabriel has been a part of the Music for All National Festival every year since it began, having served as an evaluator at the first National Concert Band Festival in 1992. Col. Gabriel is only the second person to serve as the festival conductor evaluator, providing commentary and evaluation for the concert band conductors, since taking over that responsibility from the late Dr. William D. Revelli.
Col. Gabriel has served as Conductor of the George Mason University Symphony Orchestra and as GMU’s Chairman, Department of Music. He is Music Director Emeritus of the McLean (VA) Orchestra and is Resident Conductor of the Fairfax Wind Symphony. 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. At his retirement he was awarded an unprecedented third Legion of Merit for his service.
Col. Gabriel earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Music Education from Ithaca College, as well as an Honorary Doctor of Music degree in 1989 and its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Col. Gabriel’s numerous professional honors include the very first Citation of Excellence awarded by the National Band Association and the Mid-West National Band and Orchestra Clinic’s Gold Medal of Honor and its Distinguished Service to Music Award. Col. Gabriel was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors and is a Past President of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.
Col. Gabriel has performed in all 50 of the United States and in 49 countries around the world, conducting hundreds of major orchestras and bands, and continues an active schedule as a conductor and clinician.