Violin conspiracy writer to visit Southern Pines | Characteristics

Brendan Slocumb, author of Violin Conspiracy will join Kimberly Taws in conversation for an event at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities on Monday February 28 at noon. The event is part of the Weymouth 100, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the venue which has hosted countless authors, musicians and cultural trailblazers.

“It is an honor for The Country Bookshop to be able to welcome such a talented individual,” said Angie Tally of The Country Bookshop. “The book has a bit of everything from music to mystery with a bit of history and I can’t wait to hear how Kimberly approaches the conversation with Brendan Slocumb.”

The Violin Conspiracy is Brendan’s debut novel and hit shelves Feb. 1. The book has dazzled readers and is a Good Morning America Book Club Pick. It’s a one-book thriller about a young man named Ray who is a black classical musician from North Carolina. The novel dives deep into racism, family dysfunction, and the world of classical music.

Ray is talented but often he is not considered as such. During a competition for talented young classical musicians from North Carolina, he was scouted by a professor who would become his ticket to college and his mentor throughout his professional career. Ray struggles to access musical instruments and support from his immediate family, but when his grandmother gives him a family heirloom violin, he finally feels like he belongs. Ray’s talent in college skyrockets him to attention and competition and his family legacy proves to be a remarkable violin, worth $10 million. The vultures circle around and soon, on the eve of an international competition, it is stolen and the book begins to bring the reader to the edge of the seat.

“It’s a treat to have this authorship event in partnership with Weymouth partly because so many of Weymouth’s friends really enjoy classical music and I think people who enjoy that will be really swept away by The Violin Conspiracy and really want to be a part of this event,” Taws said.

Slocumb grew up in Fayetteville and was concert master of the University Symphony Orchestra at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and served as principal violinist. He has played numerous small chamber ensembles and in the BESK string quartet. He was a music teacher for more than two decades in public and private institutions, and was also an educational consultant for the Kennedy Center and a concert master for the NOVA-Annandale Symphony Orchestra.

Heather Lewis, Media Specialist at Southern Pines Elementary, has known Slocumb since she was a child and encourages everyone to attend.

“Brendan is one of those dynamic, magnetic people. He’s smart, funny, charming, and adored by his friends and alumni. He’s always been the ‘cool’ teacher who made music fun and relevant for kids.”

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