|Sport/Entity:||RCC Marching Tigers "Grandpa"|
People often say that there would be no RCC Marching Tigers band without Gary Locke. Gary, the maestro himself, will tell you there would be no Marching Tigers without his father, Bill Locke.
“He’s been there since day one,” Gary says about his father. “He is our number one booster.”
In Bill Locke’s case, booster doesn’t just mean supporter. For 28 years--longer if you count the five years his son directed the John W. North High School band--Locke has marched to many tunes in the competitive band world. At Riverside City College, he’s known as a “master fixer.” Is your trombone case broken? Take it to Bill. Need a prop for the new performance set piece? See Bill.
Don’t know where your tuba, music stand, drum halter, or flag is? Ask Bill. From fixing accessories to serving as bus loader, to driving the equipment truck, to helping his wife and sister sew uniforms and flags, Locke did it all--and always with a smile, a joke, and a supportive word.
Gary and Sheila Locke’s kids called Bill “Grandpa.” So do thousands of former and current Marching Tigers. He is as much a part of the band as if he were out there with the musicians in the middle of the field on game or performance night. The Marching Tigers love Bill Locke. And he loves them back.
Without Bill Locke, the Marching Tigers would not be the Marching Tigers. And hundreds of young student musicians would not benefit from the endowed Locke Family Scholarship. Tonight, “Grandpa” Locke is the leader of the band.