A Musical Conversation With a Warrior Band Legend

Former Warrior Band Director William Gabel joins Mr. Jones in preparing spring concert literature.


Image/Graphics by West Branch Area School District Facebook

A picture of Mr. Gabel when he came in to work with the band in Spring 2022.

In the upcoming months, former band director William Gabel will assist the Warrior Band with their spring concert composition. Mr. Gabel will attend a few rehearsals with the Warrior Band as an Artist-in-Residence. An Artist-in-Residence is a person with a specific skill set recruited to assist a program for any given period of time. Mr. Gabel will join the band for a few rehearsals to work with a selection of music. 

The song Mr. Gabel will mainly focus on is “Fantasy on an Irish Air”, which Richard Saucedo arranged. He will work on this with the band because he has had prior experience directing and playing this piece. Regarding the amount of time the band will have with Mr. Gabel, Mr. Jones stated, “our time frame is really based on availability. Mr. Gabel may just be joining us for a rehearsal, or if we can schedule more time throughout the semester, it may continue through our spring concert.“ 

The band had time with Mr. Gabel before his recent visits. Last spring, he came in for a workshop where he talked to the band about different breathing techniques when playing and where to point their sound. He gave the band helpful ideas to try, and many students said it was worthwhile. Mr. Jones expressed, “Mr. Gabel had a visit with the band last spring. It was a one-class session that really felt like the beginning of a larger conversation, so it is exciting to be able for us to continue that talk in the form of an artist-in-residence project!” Mr. Gabel came in for his first chat with the band on Friday, January 13th, and will be back again on Friday, February 3rd. 

As a current member of the Warrior Band, I think that having this opportunity with Mr. Gabel will improve the band, not just as a whole, but each player will also improve and learn from these sessions. We have already learned so much, and I’m glad to see what else he has in store for us with our upcoming sessions.