Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel (born May 31, 1925 in Cortland, New York) was the Commander and Conductor from the United States Air Force Band, United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra, and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. In 1990, he was named the first Conductor Emeritus of the United States Air Force Band and the 29th DIV Band of the Virginia Army National Guard.
During World War II, he served as an infantryman (as a machine gunner) with the US Army's 29th Infantry Division in Europe. He landed with the 29th on D-Day of Operation OVERLORD, June 6, 1944, and for his service on and after D-Day in Europe he received two Bronze Star medals, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the French Croix de Guerre.
After leaving the Army, Arnald Gabriel worked at a canning factory due to not being able to go to college. Later on, his old High School Band Director decided that Gabriel was too talented to waste his days in a canning factory. Gabriels old High School director paid for Gabriel to attend Ithaca College in 1946. He earned both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Music Education in the Ithaca College.
Colonel Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force Band and the Air Force in February, 1985. In 1990, he was named the first Conductor Emeritus of the United States Air Force Band at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.
Additionally, Colonel Gabriel is a Professor Emeritus of George Mason University.
Gabriel’s professional honors include the very first Citation of Excellence awarded by the National Band Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s New Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a recipient of the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Medal.
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. He is also a Past President of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. In 2008, the US Air Force Band dedicated the Arnald D. Gabriel Hall in his honor.
He has conducted hundreds of major orchestras and bands, including Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Puerto Rico, and Tatui São Paulo (Brazil) symphony orchestras, the Carabiniere Band and the Air Force Band (Italy), the Band of the Royal Netherlands Marines, the Staff Music Corps (Bonn, Germany), the National Band of the Canadian Forces (Ottawa), the National Intercollegiate Band, the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Gamagori Band and the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra (Japan).
- Gabriel, Michael A. (2016). The Force of Destiny. ISBN 978-1-4917-8848-6.
- Oxford Music Online article
- MusicCelebrations article
- Homeville Museum article
- HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND: 1964-1985
- Arnald Gabriel Biography- GIA Publications:
- Conductor emeritus to lead 300 musicians at AF memorial: Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- Colonel Gabriel Conductor Emeritus, The United States Air Force Band, and Professor Emeritus, George Mason University