Kenneth Gable Takes Over Position as Music Department Head


Mr. Gable instructs students during class.

Emily O'Connell


Mr. Gable conducts the Walpole High School Concert Band as they rehearse their first piece for the winter concert.

By Sophomores Emily Martin, Emily O’Connell, and Daanya Salmanullah

Class of 2017

Imagine taking on a job that was once held by a very brilliant individual.  Imagine the challenging task of taking the place of an eminent musician. Along with the graduating class of 2014, Music Department Head Michael Falker also departed from Walpole High School after leading the entire music program for 30 years. In his place,  Kenneth Gable – an experienced and enthusiastic musician – has joined the WHS faculty and taken over Mr. Falker’s responsibilities.

Originally from Andover, Massachusetts, Mr. Gable began his music career at Andover High School with the help of his dedicated music teachers.   From ninth grade, he knew he wanted to pursue music, even at the cost of giving up his athletic passions such as playing soccer and running long-distance. He then went to the Berklee College of Music to get his Undergraduate Degree, and then on to New York to get his Masters Degree in Jazz. All the while, he had to make a living by teaching, bartending, and playing as many gigs as he was offered.

Mr. Gable’s diversity is emphasized by the various types of bands he has played with: Classical, Blues, Funk, Pop, R&B, Reggae, Wedding/Function bands, and a cruise ship band. Notably, he also recently played with the MVPs, who shared the stage with artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Santana.  Mr. Gable plays saxophone professionally and doubles on flute and clarinet.  His experience playing other instruments to some degree also increases his capability to model for all musicians.

“If you don’t know those instruments,” Mr. Gable said, “then you’re not doing the job.”

His significant work experience — both with music and outside of music — taught him how to deal with people in his daily life. “There should be a law in the United States that everyone has to be a waiter or waitress for at least 6 months,” said Mr. Gable, “and no one would ever be rude in a restaurant ever again.” His belief in having humility as a teacher gives him the ability to connect with his students in a positive way.

Although his work experience developed his people skills, his jobs required a lot of traveling and restricted family time. After marrying his wife and having a son, Mr. Gable was glad to have the chance to settle down permanently in Walpole.

At the high school, Mr. Gable teaches concert band, concert choir, orchestra, pop rock and jazz, and music theory and composition. Outside of normal class hours, he directs the jazz band, the pep band, and the full orchestra.

Not only does Mr. Gable offer a unique range of music skills, but he also values the educational aspect of being a music teacher.  “We are doing it because we truly enjoy being around kids and having the chance to offer what we know,” said Mr. Gable about educators.

In the future, Mr. Gable hopes to advance the entire music program in a technological aspect and create a culture full of integrity. He also hopes to diversify the classes offered by Walpole High School by including music production. He would like to take some of the music groups to festivals and encourage students to audition individually.  To provide a source of knowledge and extra income for the music program, Mr. Gable seeks to offer private lessons to students. He would also like to encourage the entire student body at WHS to appreciate music.

As Mr. Gable shares his ambitions for the Walpole High School Music Program, he reassures the student body that he is ready to share his musical abilities and make Walpole High School his home. “I am very happy to be planted in Walpole,” said Mr. Gable. “This is where I’m going to retire.”