It’s January 1960. Leland Thomson plays his cello with incredible passion and sensitivity, demonstrating a skill that far outstretches his age and circumstance. The cello came from his uncle, but the gift was from God. Attached to the gift was a dream to play before vast audiences, a dream that seemed well beyond the reach of a sixteen-year-old boy from the hills of Arkansas.
Life is a challenge in the hills, even more so if you are sawmill trash. Your lot is cast low and thrusts upon you daily challenges of race, poverty, abuse, and mistrust. Only by strong convictions do the Thomsons manage a simple yet contented lifestyle.
On a trip into town, they meet Ralph Watkins, a regent at the New York Conservatory of Music. When Ralph hears Leland play, he outlays a plan to have Leland play at Carnegie Hall. But when Ralph discovers Leland’s practice of praying each time he plays, to honor the source of the gift, Ralph demands he stop, only to realize what he asks separates Leland from that which gives him his identity and ability.
Leland Thomson: A Gift, a Cello and a Dream is a captivating story full of country charm and wit. It follows Leland as he fulfills his dream while proving where you come from matters less than who you are.