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Brendan Slocumb Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Violin Conspiracy (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Composer's Last Score (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Brendan Slocumb
Brendan Nicholaus Slocumb was born in Yuba City, California and was grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He has a degree in music education, with concentrations in viola and violin, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

While attending UNCG, he was the concertmaster for the University Symphony orchestra and he served as the principal violinist. He performed with many small chamber ensembles, which includes clarinet and flute choirs, and in the BESK string quartet.

He has spent over twenty years as a private and public school music educator teaching general music, guitar, and orchestra ensembles from all levels that range from Kindergarten up to the high school level. His students were often selected for district and regional orchestras.

Brendan is a Nobel Teacher of distinction, he was named Teacher of the Year for Robert E. Lee High School in the year 2005, and has been named to Who’s Who of American teachers.

He has performed with orchestras throughout Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland.
Music has always played a major role in Brendan’s life, and believes that it is a life saving force. It’s definitely a gift that everybody should always offer to our children. He began playing the violin through a public school music program, which did in fact save his life.

Friends that he grew up with are today sitting in jail; yet when they were out running the streets, he was in rehearsals. While they broke into people’s houses, he was practicing Mozart and Dvorak. His violin opened the door to opportunity, and he ran right through it.

Through music, he has developed a work ethic which he tries to instill in his students in order for them to also experience the joys of exactly what music can do for everybody. Each student is a unique one, with no two students being able to learn the same way. Although not everybody will go on to become world famous musicians, everybody can still be able to love and appreciate music, and to figure out new ways of communicating. Meeting every student where she or he is, and taking them further than they believed possible, is what Brendan has strived to do and always has.

After Brendan toured the Philippines with the Northern Virginia Chamber Ensemble and witnessed firsthand the conditions that many of the young music students and their families tend to endure, he founded the Hands Across the Sea to offer support to the Bernea School of the Arts in Manila, which provides lessons, instruments, and monetary support. This organization also supplements school supplies, as well as medical and dental assistance.

During his spare time, he enjoys collecting action figures and comic books, writing, exercising, and performing for Gepetto’s Wud, his rock band.
“The Violin Conspiracy” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2022. Ray McMillian is a Black classical musician on the rise—at least until one shocking theft sends him off on a rather desperate quest to recover his lost family heirloom violin the night before the most prestigious musical competition in the entire world.

Ray McMillian, having grown up Black in rural North Carolina, has his life already mapped out. If he is lucky, he will get a job at the hospital cafeteria. And if he is extra lucky, he will earn more than just minimum wage. However Ray has got a gift and a dream—he is determined to become a world class professional violinist, and there is nothing that is going to stand in his way. Not the fact that he is unable to afford a violin that is suitable to his talents. Not his mom, who just wants him to quit making such a racket. And not even the racism that is inherent in the classical music world.

When he finds out that his great-great-grandpa’s beat up old fiddle is really this priceless Stradivarius, all of his dreams seem within reach all of a sudden. Together, Ray and his violin take the entire world by storm. However on the eve of the cutthroat and renowned Tchaikovsky Competition—which are the Olympics of classical music—the violin gets stolen, with a ransom note for five million dollars being left behind in its place. Ray’s going to have to piece together all of the clues in order to recover his most treasured Strad, before it is too late.

With the descendants of the guy that formerly enslaved Ray’s great-great-grandpa asserting this instrument is actually rightfully theirs, and with his family staking their own claim, Ray does not know who he could possibly trust. Or whether or not he’s ever going to see his beloved violin ever again.

Brendan delivers a novel with a lot of beauty, a bit of humor, and most of all, a fantastic protagonist that readers truly loved. He is a beautifully rendered underdog hero that you care about deeply and you root for him to be successful. You can’t help but turn pages in order to learn what happens next. This offers a glimpse into a cutthroat and fascinating world that readers knew absolutely nothing about, which in this case is classical music. Fans of the book devoured this fine novel, every single word and every single page. And the ending is one that they never saw coming.

This is an utterly original and entirely gripping, and is more than a mere mystery—it gives an unflinching look into the soul and heart of a gifted Black violinist that strives to pursue his passion in the face of adversity.

Brendan’s novel feels so very authentic and real, that some readers had to check just to make sure this wasn’t actually somebody’s true life story.
The pace never slackens the entire time. It is simply a gorgeous read, with international music competitions, determination, old violins, human greed, and decency—all of these feature prominently. At last classical music gets the complex treatment that it deserves, and is a wide-eyed look at the art form as well as its discontents. Brendan also does a wonderful job of describing the music to the reader.

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