The White Knight



Composer(s) / Arranger(s): Gary P. Gilroy

Performance Time: 4:02  |  Grade: 3 1/2

The White Knight was composed in memory of Tim Johnson, band booster extraordinaire, for the Sanger High School Band Program, Dan Pena, Director. Timothy Lee Johnson was born in Kansas City, Missouri on October 3, 1962. He died in Sanger, California on January 18, 2019.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a White Knight as “one that comes to the rescue of another,” or “one that champions a cause.” These words are remarkably accurate in describing Mr. Tim Johnson and the relentless volunteer work he did for the Sanger High School Band, The Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band, the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, and many other groups and causes.

Mr. Johnson was one of those band boosters who “caught the bug” and was simply obsessed with the pageantry activity. He went on long tours with drum and bugles corps, drove equipment trucks, moved equipment, made equipment, and you name it, he did it when it came to supporting bands throughout the Central California valley. More often than not, he would donate his weekends to transport percussion equipment to marching band competitions and/or winter drum shows to help out local high schools that his children were not even affiliated with. He truly went above and beyond to help music programs in need and were at times their biggest support!

Mr. Johnson had a heart of gold. He officially adopted several children through the years: Chris, Stephanie, and Terry Johnson. The composer of this work was proud to have Terry play trumpet in the Bulldog Marching Band. Besides his wonderful daughters just mentioned, Mr. Johnson had a number of students in the various groups that considered themselves unofficially adopted and they treated him like he was their Dad. He was highly regarded and loved by all.

Composer Gary P. Gilroy writes:
The day I heard of Tim Johnson’s passing was sad for me. I remember going almost immediately to my studio to sit at the piano and improvise reflectively as I thought about the many hours of service Tim had given to my Bulldog Marching Band. This little tune just came out that day and I knew that I would need to score it for the Sanger High School Band in Tim’s memory. The last few bars that make up the rather unique finale to this ballad are meant to remind the listener of the Bulldog Marching Band (BMB). The repetitive and driving groove from the percussion should remind anyone familiar with the BMB of PowerDrive being pounded home during one of our intense football games. Tim was always there at those games for many years serving as President of the Friends of the Bulldog Marching Band among other roles. He was a very “hands on” band booster who was not afraid of hard work. As a band director I was always extremely grateful for wonderful band parents like . He was a GEM and he was our WHITE KNIGHT!

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Standard Features

  • Complete set and spiral-bound score printed on archival-grade paper.
  • Full-color glossy score cover and jacket.
  • Composer biography.
  • Notes on the piece.
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