American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Mr. Holland's Opus" (1995)


Governor Gertrude Lang Honors Glenn Holland and His Opus

Audio mp3 of Address delivered by Joanna Gleason


Gov. Lang: Mr. Holland had a profound influence on my life, on a lot of lives I know. And yet I get the feeling that he considers a great part of his own life misspent. Rumor had it he was always working on this symphony of his. And this was going to make him famous, rich, probably both. But Mr. Holland isn't rich and he isn't famous, at least not outside of our little town.

So it might be easy for him to think himself a failure. And he would be wrong, because I think he's achieved a success far beyond riches and fame.


Look around you. There is not a life in this room that you have not touched, and each one of us is a better person because of you.

We are your symphony, Mr. Holland. We are the melodies and the notes of your opus. And we are the music of your life.

Mr. Holland, we would now like to give something back to you, to you and to your wife, who, along with you, has waited 30 years for what we are about to hear.

If you will, would you please come up here and take this baton and lead us in the first performance ever of The American Symphony by Glenn Holland.


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