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Timm Johnson

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 11:35 PM CST

Front Page Article in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Concerted Effort

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Student's Project draws band for benefit Concert: Concerted effort pays of
Wa-Hi senior Tim Johnson wanted to hold a small benefit concert to meet a class requirement, but he got a whole lot more.

By Sheila Hagar of the Union-Bulletin



When Tim Johnson needed a community service project for his U.S. government class, snagging a band for a charitable concert seemed like no big deal, he said.

``I figured I'd get a small local band and do it at The Underground, and that's pretty easy to do,' the Walla Walla High School senior said.

By Tuesday, between tracking down a sound system and distributing fliers, Tim was no longer so certain of how easy his project would be. In his words, ``Things got kinda big.'

Which can happen when you remember that your middle-school music teacher's kid plays in a Los Angeles-based band that's beginning to get some real press and is touring the Pacific Northwest.

Gosling, which hatched from the earlier name of Loudermilk, is a band on the upward move, said Jim McGuinn, owner of Hot Poop. The band has three albums out and another will be released in late spring.

When the band played a concert in 2003 at his Main Street business, it was one of the biggest, best-attended events he's hosted, McGuinn said.

Lead singer Davey Ingersoll, the eldest of eight children, spent some of his early adult years in Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities, said his dad, Dave Ingersoll.

In recent times, Gosling has been featured on Warner Brothers television, MTV and in movies such as Dracula 2000. ``We've had major producers call our house,' the senior Ingersoll said, ``We've had the drummer from Pearl Jam call and say he's heard stories about me.'

The band plays alternative rock
with a sort of ``twisted-Beatles' sound, said Ingersoll.

Ingersoll handed down his musical talent to his firstborn, bringing Davey into the studio as he recorded television and radio advertising jingles.

More recently, the elder Ingersoll uses his gift as the band and choir director of Sager Middle School, which is where he saw musical promise in another band student, a younger Tim Johnson. ``He played bass (guitar) for me. He's always loved rock and roll,' Ingersoll remembered.

Tim, 17, still loves rock and roll - if he doesn't end up as a pilot, playing in a band is the next option on his list - one of the reason's he's pumped about bringing Gosling back to Walla Walla, he said.

But the project, initially begun as a quest for a good grade in a civics class, is allowing Tim to fulfill another love.

He chose to direct his community service requirement to funding brain cancer research through the American Cancer Society.

The concert will be a tribute to Dave Meyer, a Wa-Hi coach and teacher who died of brain cancer in August, Tim said. Meyer played guitar at College Place Presbyterian Church, where the Johnson family attends and where Tim has played guitar at services since he was 8.

The government class project has gone from a ``lot of nothing to quite something,' said Scott Keller of the local American Cancer Society.

Keller laughed.

Perhaps more important than the money the event raises are the lessons Tim Johnson is learning, Keller said.

Agreed, said Bill Plucker, U.S. government teacher at Wa-Hi. ``Tim has run across some tough challenges.'

This is one of the most ambitious projects he's seen a student undertake, Plucker said. Many of the ideals he has for students are coming to fruition through Johnson's experiences, from finding a proper venue for the concert to getting equipment and advertising lined up on time.

The project requires students to focus on an intended outcome, create a schedule and name a goal that shows awareness of civic virtue, he said. ``They have to sacrifice themselves to contribute to the common good, whether that's for their neighborhood, their community, the nation or the world.'

Plucker knows Johnson's original idea has snowballed, almost running the student over at times, he said. But in the end, money will have been raised for a worthy cause, a mentor honored and the young man will have learned putting it all together is - in Johnson's words - ``harder than it sounds.'

For those wishing to help Johnson earn an ``A-plus' and fund cancer research, the Gosling concert will be at Sager Middle School in College Place on Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.

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