Col. Arnald D. Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 following a distinguished 36 year military career, at which time he was awarded an unprecedented third Legion of Merit for his service to the United States Air Force and to music education throughout the country. 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, D.C.. 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. 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. He is also listed in the International Who‘s Who in Music, 7th edition.
Director Emeritus Colonel John R. Bourgeois, USMC (Ret.), was the 25th Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. His acclaimed career spanned nine presidential administrations, from Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton. Bourgeois is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans. He joined the Marine Corps in 1956 and entered “The President’s Own” as a French hornist and arranger in 1958. Named Director of the Marine Band in 1979, Bourgeois was promoted to colonel in June 1983. He retired from active duty July 11, 1996.
As Director of “The President’s Own,” Bourgeois was Music Adviser to the White House. He selected the musical program and directed the band on its traditional place of honor at the U.S. Capitol for four Presidential inaugurations, a Marine Band tradition dating to 1801. He regularly conducted the Marine Band and the Marine Chamber Orchestra at the White House, appearing there more frequently than any other musician in the nation. Under Bourgeois’ leadership the Marine Band presented its first overseas performances in history, traveling to the Netherlands in 1985 where “The President’s Own” performed with the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy. In February 1990, Bourgeois led the Marine Band on an historic 18-day concert tour of the former Soviet Union as part of the first U.S.-U.S.S.R. Armed Forces band exchange. He also directed the Marine Band on 16 nationwide tours, bringing the music of “The President’s Own” to the American people.
William V. Johnson, Professor Emeritus at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, served as the university’s Director of Bands and Coordinator of Instrumental Music for 44 years.
From his arrival on campus in 1966 until his retirement in 2010, Johnson led Cal Poly’s Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble at important international musical events in Vienna, Austria and Geneva, Switzerland. His ensembles performed at national conventions of the American Bandmasters Association and at regional conferences of the College Band Directors National Association. His groups went on concert tours of Japan, New Zealand and Australia performing in venues such as Beethoven Hall in Tokyo, Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, New Zealand, the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall. In 2006, the Cal Poly Wind Ensemble and Choir went on a European tour performing in major concert halls in Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague. In June, 2010, the Wind Ensemble performed in the Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Los Angeles International Music Festival.
Anthony Parnther is Musical Director and Conductor of the Orange County Symphony in Anaheim, California. In addition to his duties with the O.C. Symphony, Mr Parnther serves as the Founding Conductor of the Appalachian Brass Orchestra as well as the newly formed Orange County Wind Symphony He isalso the Artistic Director of the Anaheim Music Festival and the founding Artistic Director of the Wind Symphony Conducting Institute.