One Book, One Community: Finale Event With Brendan Slocumb

Hundreds of your friends and neighbors are participating in this year’s One Book, One Community series, underway now.

They are reading The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb. Through lectures, performances, film viewings and discussion groups, they are exploring the themes and scenes of the book — a musical mystery based on the real-life experiences of the author.

Let a shared experience of literature bring you closer to your community. Borrow a copy of the book from your library. Visit for dates, locations and times of programs. Sign up for the grand finale event with author Brendan Slocumb on February 25.


Mikhaïl Pletnev conducts Glazunov and Tchaikovsky with Janine Jansen
Friday, January 19, 2-3 pm • Indian Trails Public Library

Join us to watch the recording of Mikhaïl Pletnev and the Verbier Festival Orchestra at the 2017 Verbier Festival with a concert dedicated to Russian composers. Musicians perform Glazunov’s “From the Middle Ages” and Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir d’un lieu cher.” Janine Jansen joins them for Tchaikovsky’s glorious “Violin Concerto in D Major.”

Reel Talk Movie Discussion: The Music of Strangers
Friday, January 19, 3:30-4:30 pm • Vernon Area Public Library • Zoom

Over the past 16 years, an extraordinary group of musicians has come together to celebrate the universal power of music. This international music collective created by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, exemplifies music’s ability to blur geographical boundaries, blend disparate cultures and inspire hope for both artists and audiences. Blending performance clips, personal interviews and archival footage, this film focuses on the journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays from across the globe to create an intensely personal chronicle of passion, talent and sacrifice. Prior to the discussion, watch the movie on DVD or Kanopy with your library card.

Blue Viola: A True Story
Sunday, January 21, 1-2 pm • Vernon Area Public Library

Learn the true story of a priceless viola that disappeared after a Chicago Symphony musician accidentally left it on the Chicago streets, with Matt Boresi, Director of Arts Integration at the Music Institute of Chicago. This story inspired the funny and thought-provoking modern opera, “Blue Viola”, written by Mr. Boresi.

Violins, Music, and Lore
Monday, January 29, 7-8:30 pm • Cook Park Library • Hybrid

Luthier Spencer Hamann of Classic Violins presents a program filled with the history of violins including their construction and evolution through the ages. He also brings tools and violins for attendees to see and touch. Q&A to follow. No signup is required.

Instrument Petting Zoo
Wednesday, January 31, 4:30-5:30 pm • Vernon Area Public Library

For families with children grades K-5. Meet instructors from the Music Institute of Chicago for an opportunity to see, hear, touch, and even play a variety of string, wind, and percussion instruments.

The World of Valuable String Instruments
Monday, February 5, 7-8 pm • Indian Trails Public Library

Erin Cano of the Music Institute of Chicago presents the world of valuable string instruments and their uniqueness. The world has many odd nuances, especially regarding ownership of valuable instruments made by people like Stradivarius and Guarneri. MIC has ties to local instrument dealers and Chicago is one of the “hubs” of string making in the US. Bein & Fushi, located in downtown Chicago, is one of the world’s most famous dealers of valuable string instruments.

Classical Violin Performance
Saturday, February 10, 2-3 pm • Indian Trails Public Library

Roosevelt University violin graduate student Hyacinth Percell performs a collection of pieces by composers including Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Schoenberg and Coleridge-Taylor.

Black Contributions to Classical Music
Thursday, February 15, 7-8 pm • Aspen Drive Library
 • Hybrid
LaRob K. Rafael developed a love for singing at an early age through the spirit of Gospel songs and nuance of classical music. A graduate of DePaul University with a degree in Vocal Performance, LaRob has studied with world-renowned teachers, directors, and coaches and has had musical opportunities that include traveling internationally to study language, culture and music. Join this classical vocalist and WFMT weekend host for a discussion of the contributions of Black artists to classical music. In-person or Zoom with a live speaker.

The Art of Listening to Tchaikovsky
Sunday, February 18, 1-2 pm • Vernon Area Public Library

Music educator and violinist Stephanie Ettelson explores the unique characteristics of the Stradivarius violin, and why it is considered the crown jewel of all violins. Then, listen to excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto in D major” to learn what makes it a masterpiece and audience favorite.

Finale event with author Brendan Slocumb:

Sunday, February 25, 1-2 pm • In-Person or Zoom
Stevenson High School, West Auditorium, 1 Stevenson Drive, Lincolnshire

Author Brendan Slocumb talks about the inspiration behind this year’s One Book, One Community read, The Violin Conspiracy. His books will be available for purchase courtesy of the Book Bin of Northbrook. The event is free and open to all. Attend in person or online. Signup is required.