Ransom in D Major
Story in One Sentence:
Five kids, one priceless cello, a symphony of trouble.
In this comedy-adventure, five
Philadelphia area middle school
students face a problem: their music program is being canceled because of
financial cutbacks. What can they do to save their musical education?
Somewhat envious of his friends who possess musical
talents that he himself doesn't have, and wishing desperately to fit in with
REGGIE reluctantly leads four "wannabe" junior performers who have the most
to lose from the cutbacks. CASEY is an
aspiring cellist. MARTIN wants to
be a concert violinist. PILAR plays
the oboe. And MICHELLE, an
aspiring concert pianist, has secret hopes to be an orchestra conductor.
The young performers' hopes are dashed by the cancellation of their end
of school year concert recital. After the kids attend a concert featuring
ZUILL BAILEY, the famous American concert
cellist, Reggie comes up with a desperate plan: kidnap Bailey's prized
cello (made in 1693 by the Venetian artisan Matteo Goffriller) and hold it for ransom.
Complications arise, of course. Believing the priceless
cello has been destroyed in an accident, all seems hopeless for Reggie, who put the
ill-advised plan together. But the
understanding concert cellist has his own plans to teach the little hustler a lesson in honesty
and to rescue the music program. Calling in some favors from
his professional associates, Bailey helps Reggie put together a last minute
concert where some of the finest classical performers of our generation
perform on stage with the youngsters for a benefit concert to save the music
Watching his friends perform with the experts, Reggie is
racked with mixed emotions. He is happy for his friends, but believes he
does not fit in with all the talent around him. As he leaves, alone, he is
stopped by a lone figure in the back of the concert hall. The man quizzes
Reggie, forcing him to admit to the misplaced talents that the young man used to orchestrate
the ransom. We learn the identity of the man who has taken such an interest
in Reggie: it's famed record producer QUINCY JONES. Jones invites Reggie to intern with him
for the summer. And so Reggie finds his niche.