Thomas Holladay is a retired business owner, who has also been the leader of a professional orchestra for over 30 years. The Tom Holladay Orchestra was his band and his trombone was his instrument. When discussing his musical career, we found that the stories and the journey of he and his trombone go all the way back to the Vietnam war, where he performed for countless marines. The traveling and the music did not stop there. Although many players came and went over the years, his trombone remained. It was like an old friend. As Thomas discussed his passion in life, it was apparent to us that it was not just the music that spoke to Thomas, it was also his trombone. His painted oil portrait became clear to us and when we described our vision for his original oil portrait it brought a tear to his eye. Thomas always played in a tuxedo. To show him in a profile dressed in his tuxedo, loving holding his instrument, provided a real story with multiple meanings. The way Thomas holds his trombone it is like his hand has formed to it…it is held yet caressed. It is loved as a trusted friend. The painting is called “The Leader of the Band.” Enjoy the piece and we will let you read the story of his life in music as you see it in the painting.

Show Stages  of creation:


We asked Thom to tell us about his life and love. What has meant the most to him? What would he like to leave as his legacy? What makes him smile deep in his heart? What makes him disappear into happiness? I think you can see his answer.


The actual day of the session was powerful. We talked, laughed and many tears were shed. We needed Thomas to be relaxed, yet thoughtful. There had to be a reality to the moment as his demeanor had to connect to his past.3. FRAME

The Frame needed to be a powerful yet clean lined frame. As he was wearing a tux and his hair had a golden quality, we chose a dark frame with simple yet elegant, distinguished gold edging. This high-end frame has any black tie, formal feeling to it and accents the painting beautifully.


Seeing the final piece hanging in its home brings everything full circle. It will be in the Holladay family for generations. We hope it will inspire others to follow their passions and instill a great sense of pride for all who see the painting.

Thank you for the beautiful artwork you created for myself and my family. Second only to my family, my life’s passion has been music and my trombone. To have an art piece featuring myself in a reflective moment with my instrument is not only priceless, it will leave a legacy to my children and grandchildren.” Thomas Holladay, the leader of the band, Tom Holladay Orchestra.Thomas Holladay, Thomasville NC

“Words cannot accurately describe the wonder and awe of Lawrence Hersberger’s artwork. When I received our very first portraits, I was speechless. I couldn’t believe how vibrant and alive they looked! Somehow, he captured my family in a timeless and classic, yet uniquely personal manner as he combed over every detail with brilliant intention. I have never seen anything like it. I have two portraits hanging in my home for all to see, and everyone who walks in my house comments on themand add how incredible they are as their mouths gape. I can’t help but smile in utter agreement. It’s so much more than artwork. By using his remarkable gift and uncanny knack for fusing color and light, Lawrencecreates magical masterpieces that transcend time. My portraits are priceless heirlooms that will be adored and appreciated for generations to come. I can’t thank Lawrence enough for the gift of his work and for willingly using his talents to captivate even the most accomplished artists.”  Tracie Stewart Rowe, High Point NC

“I cannot thank Lawrence Hersberger enough for the experience my family and I enjoyed! I commissioned him to create and paint a family portrait that included 3 generations. I had discussed with him how sad I was that my father was no longer with us. He suggested that I bring in a framed portrait of my father to use in the art piece he was creating for us. I burst into tears! It was an emotional suggestion that really struck me and I was so grateful that he had suggested this idea. Our session was very enjoyable. Lawrence knew how to bring out everyone’s personalities. We were all very comfortable working with him and there was a lot of laughter. I highly recommend commissioning Lawrence. The vision he has for creating your artwork is wonderful! The finished product is something my family will cherish for many years. It is an heirloom piece that hangs above my fireplace. It is the first thing I see as you come out of the bedroom and into the living room in the morning as well as every time, I enter our home. It brings a smile to my face multiple times daily.”  Ann Normant, Fort Mill SC

“The “Three Sisters 98, 101, 98” entitled “Aging with Grace” by LawrenceHersberger, is truly an outstanding, gentle tribute to these three phenomenal women. To those of us in our family who are fortunate enough to have called them “Mom”, they were such an inspiration – not only to us, but to all who knew them. Their positive outlook on life brought so much joy into our lives. Upon studying this painting carefully, one can almost hear their tall tales and school girl giggles that so often transpired when the sisters were together. They made life fun! Thanks to Larry for capturing this great legacy!” Submitted by Elizabeth Ferguson whose mom, Delle, is still carrying on this amazing legacy at the ripe ole’ age of 103 in North Carolina.


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