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CSHPTG Annual Literary Luncheon - Musician & Author Brendan Slocumb

Celebrating 21 years of the Literary Luncheon! Each year, the CSHPTG (Jr./Sr. High School parent/teacher organization) sponsors their largest fundraiser, the "Literary Luncheon." All funds raised support the Cultural Arts Programs brought in for all the schools in the district. This year, the CSHPTG was pleased to introduce Brendan Slocumb, who spoke about his book, The Violin Conspiracy on March 21 to a sold-out crowd at the Huntington Crescent Club. Musician and Author, Brendan Slocumb, was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with a degree in music education, concentrations on Violin and Viola. For the past two decades, he has been a public and private school K-12 music educator. In 2005, Brendan was named Teacher of the Year for Robert E. Lee High School; he 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.
His novel, The Violin Conspiracy, is a riveting story of a young black musician who has a gift and a dream, and is determined to become a world-class professional violinist despite the pressures and prejudice of the classical music world. After discovering his beloved family fiddle (which was an heirloom of his great-great-grandfather), is actually a priceless Stradivarius - it is soon stolen! He risks everything to get it back on the eve of the cutthroat Tchaikovsky Competition—the Olympics of classical music. Mr. Slocum shared that over 90% of the novel was pulled from his real-life musical journey, which began at the age of nine when he picked up his first violin. It was stolen years later during his senior year of high school. Due to the kindness of strangers, a benevolent elderly lady loaned him her 100-year old violin which was stored away in her attic. Mr. Slocum only had to promise to take good care of it during college, and return it when he finished. To this day, he pays forward kindness and happiness whenever possible. His key note speech was an ode to gratefulness, and it truly inspired every attendee with heartfelt compassion for his story and his mission.
Prior to the luncheon, Mr. Slocum was invited to speak to students at the high school taking AP Literature, AP Language and Orchestra and the AP Research Seminar class. Thank you to Mr. Slocumb, who took the time to answer so many questions both at the luncheon and earlier in the morning at the high school. If you are interested in learning more, you can listen to his Podcast: How Music Can Save your Life. “Music actually did save my life. I’m convinced of it. When I was nine, I started playing violin through a public-school music program. When my friends were out running the streets, I was in rehearsals. I honestly believe that my violin opened the door to opportunity, and I was lucky enough to run through it.” He shared that many of those friends sadly have died, or are currently incarcerated.
Thank you to this year’s Literary Luncheon committee, and chairperson Caroline Tsekerides, for yet another amazing and inspiring afternoon. Caroline would like to extend her thanks to the numerous committee members for their tireless dedication to the success of this luncheon. Planning begins a year in advance for this event, and the district is so grateful as all proceeds benefit the CSHPTG Programs and the Cultural Arts Programs K-12.
(The Cultural Arts Committee exists because of the support of parents and the District Administration. They are committed to and recognize that exposure to the Arts is a fundamental component to the educational process. The committee of volunteer parents works with principals and teachers to provide a broad spectrum of quality program opportunities within the daily curriculum. These programs encourage and strengthen each student’s ability to think critically and creatively.)
Brendan Slocumb
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