Packard Band honors veterans

WARREN — Col. Arnald Gabriel, commander and conductor emeritus of the U.S. Air Force Band and a World War II veteran, will join the W.D. Packard Concert Band for its annual Veterans Day performance.

Gabriel served as commander and conductor of the USAF Band, Symphony Orchestra and Singing Sergeants from 1964 until 1985, when he retired after a 36-year military career. He started as a combat machine gunner in the U.S. Army, serving more than 200 days in combat during World War II and receiving two Bronze Star medals as well as the Combat Infantryman Badge.

He will be a guest conductor Sunday along with frequent Packard guest conductor Loras John Schissel, conductor of the Blossom Festival Band. He regularly leads the Blossom Festival Orchestra and and has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra during its free pre-4th of July concert on Public Square.

Schissel is co-author of the book “John Philip Sousa’s America: A Patriot’s Life in Images and Words.” As a composer and orchestrator, Mr. Schissel has created an extensive catalogue of more than 500 works for orchestra, symphonic wind band and jazz ensemble.

Patriotic fare will dominate the program, which will include Henry Fillmore’s “Americans We” march, John Williams’ “Hymn to the Fallen,” Samuel Augustus Ward’s “America the Beautiful,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and medleys featuring the music of George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin.

The concert will conclude with an Armed Forces Salute, Schissel’s arrangement of “God Bless America” and John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” march.

The concert starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren. Admission is free and funding is provided by the W.D. Packard trust.

Trumbull County Probate Judge James A. Fredericka and Mahoning County Probate Judge Robert N. Rusu Jr. are collaborating with the band to provide free transportation for residents of assisted living, independent living and nursing homes to attend the concert. For information on busing or to reserve a seat, contact Patty Hovanic at 330-675-2521 or Shannon Hudspeth at 330-740-2310.