The Ninth Passage
Dale O. Cloninger, author
Dean Collins after a prolonged absence returns home for his 45 high school reunion. Memories long relegated to the deep recesses of his mind tells his new wife the story of Alec Driver, a WWII vet, who after attaining two degrees in music accepts the position of choir teacher at a small town high school on Florida's west coast. Alec quickly begins a romantic relationship with a student (Tracy Ashbury) in his choir. Only his skill in developing musical excellence in his choir and the entreaties of influential citizens saves his job. After her graduation Alec and Tracy marry thereby reducing community resentment. Alec achieves national prominence when his school choir performs Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in concert with a full symphony orchestra--a feat heretofore unachieved. Soon thereafter, however, their relationship sours and does not end well.