Col. Arnald D. Gabriel was honored in a special ceremony to receive the “Legion of Honour”, France’s highest distinction, for his service in WWII. The ceremony was held at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 2016.
In 2014, Col. Gabriel returned to Normandy to conduct the 100 piece D-Day Memorial Wind Band on June 6 (70th Anniversary). The Mayor of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, along with Music Celebrations International’s European Office, initiated a dialogue with the government in Paris to recommend this distinction.
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.
In addition to his valiant and honorable service in WW II, he served as Commander/Conductor of the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra, and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. Among his many honors, he was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors, becoming the youngest person ever to have received this honor.
It has been our honor to have Col Gabriel serve as conductor and clinician for many years for festivals in Washington, DC, Chicago, Paris, and Normandy:
2008 – Community Band Sousa Festival conductor
2009 – Community Band Sousa Festival conductor
2010 – Community Band Sousa Festival conductor
2011 – Community Band Sousa Festival conductor
2016 – Sousa Band Festival clinician
2011 – Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival clinician
2012 – Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival clinician
2013 – Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival clinician
2014 – Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival clinician
2015 – Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival clinician
2014 – D-Day Memorial Wind Band conductor
Join us in congratulating Col Gabriel on this great honor! Thank you Col. Gabe for your enormous contribution to and service in the military and music!