Music educator, violinist, and now creator Brendan Slocumb has just lately launched his debut novel, entitled “The Violin Conspiracy.” The e book follows protagonist Ray McMillian, a younger African-American violinist, and his violin, a household heirloom that was gifted to his then-enslaved great-great-grandfather and handed down by means of the generations.
Upon requesting an appraisal of his violin, McMillian finds out that it’s not an affordable, nameless instrument however is as a substitute a Stradivarius. The invention is available in tandem with a meteoric rise in McMillian’s performing profession, however when the instrument is stolen within the lead-up to his efficiency within the Tchaikovsky competitors, the descendants of the slave proprietor who gifted the violin resurface and make a authorized declare to its possession. With an eye-watering ransom sum on the road, McMillian should work out the right way to get his violin again.
Woven into the novel’s suspenseful plot are meditations on the various challenges McMillian faces as a Black man within the classical music business, which vary from imposter syndrome proper by means of to staring down the barrel of a policeman’s gun.
“I do know, being within the classical music world, that there are lots of people similar to me, with comparable tales, and we’ve by no means had the chance to inform them earlier than,” Slocumb instructed The Violin Channel.
“The tragic occasions of 2020 made it appear to be this was a second after I might inform my tales, and that folks would really hearken to me, acknowledge my experiences, and never deny that my perspective was as legitimate as theirs,” he added. “After I instructed individuals about issues that occurred in my life, individuals would say, ‘No, you’re exaggerating, no that does not occur, completely not.'”
“I hope that this novel will illuminate the struggles that folks of shade usually have within the classical music world. Only one.8% of classical symphony musicians are Black. Why? It’s definitely not as a result of we’re incapable. I need to pull the curtain again on a topic most individuals by no means take into consideration to reveal the inequities of this discipline,” he concluded.”
Brendan Slocumb has been a music educator in personal and public colleges for the final 23 years. He studied on the College of North Carolina at Greensboro, the place he served as each concertmaster and principal violist within the College Symphony Orchestra. Alongside his work in training, Slocumb hosts the podcast How Music Can Save Your Life, and serves as an academic guide for the Kennedy Middle.
The Violin Conspiracy is printed by Anchor Books, a division of Penguin Random Home, and could be bought right here.