Loading Events

« All Events

Brendan Slocumb

July 11 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Appalachian State University Libraries presents
2024 Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Lecture

Brendan Nicholaus Slocumb was raised in Fayetteville, NC, and holds a degree in music education (with concentrations in violin and viola) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. For more than 20 years he has been a public and private school music educator and has performed with orchestras throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. His first novel, The Violin Conspiracy, was published in 2022 by Anchor Books. His second novel, Symphony of Secrets, was published in 2023 by Anchor Books. He is currently working on his third novel.


LOCATION: Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, 559 W. King St., Boone, NC 28607


reserved seating required

Lecture at 4pm
Book Sales and Signing at 5pm


Brendan Nicholaus Slocumb was born in Yuba City, California and was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in music education, concentrations on Violin and Viola. While at UNCG, Brendan was the concertmaster for the University Symphony orchestra and served as the principal violist. He performed with numerous small chamber ensembles, including flute and clarinet choirs, and in the BESK string quartet.

For the past 23 years, he has been a public and private school music educator from kindergarten through 12th grade, teaching general music, orchestra and guitar ensembles. His students were often chosen for district and regional orchestras. In 2005, Brendan was named Teacher of the Year for Robert E. Lee High School; has been named to Who’s Who of American teachers, and is a Nobel Teacher of distinction. Brendan also serves as an educational consultant for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Music has always played a major part of Brendan’s life. He believes that it’s a life-saving force, and a gift we should always offer our children. When he was nine, he started playing violin through a public-school music program. It actually saved his life. Friends he grew up with are today sitting in jail; when they were out running the streets, he was in rehearsals. When they were breaking into people’s houses, he was practicing Dvôrak and Mozart. His violin opened the door to opportunity, and he ran through it.

Through music, Brendan developed a work ethic that he now tries to instill in his students so that they too can experience the joys of what music can do for us all. Each student is unique. No two kids learn the same way. Not everyone will go on to become world famous musicians, but everyone can learn to appreciate and love music, and to find new ways of communicating. Meeting each student where he or she is, and taking them farther than they thought possible, is what Brendan has always strived to do.

As a musician, Brendan has performed on violin with the Washington Metropolitan Symphony, the McLean Symphony, the Prince George’s Philharmonic, and the Alexandria Symphony. He currently serves as the concertmaster for the NOVA-Annandale Symphony Orchestra. Brendan has been a frequent adjudicator and guest conductor for several district and regional orchestras throughout North Carolina and Virginia. He also performs chamber music with members of the Annandale symphony. He maintains a private music studio teaching lessons to students on violin, guitar and piano.

He is the founder of the nonprofit organization, Hands Across the Sea, based in the Philippines. After touring the Philippines with the Northern Virginia Chamber Ensemble and witnessing firsthand the conditions that many of the young music students and their families endure, Brendan founded the Hands Across the Sea to offer support to the Berea School of the Arts in Manila, by providing instruments, lessons, and monetary support. The organization also supplements school supplies and dental and medical assistance. In his spare time, Brendan enjoys writing, exercising, collecting comic books and action figures, and performing with his rock band, Geppetto’s Wüd.

Photos by David Bickley


July 11
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories: