Title: SYMPHONY NO. 1
Category & Genre: A, WF/LF
Word Count: 94,000
Daisy, a young violist auditioning for professional symphony orchestras, is caught in a feud between two conductors vying for the same position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. There’s Christopher, who can help her career, and Guy, who can both ruin her career and endanger Christopher’s life.
Maestro Christopher Baldwin has confided in Daisy that someone is sabotaging him and his upcoming audition. As the attacks keep escalating, Daisy offers to help him find out who is behind it. A notorious ladies man, he wants more than her help. To complicate matters, she meets Mark, a sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune and a classical musician’s polar opposite. Mark shows Daisy that there can be life outside of the practice room and off the concert stage, if she will only give him a chance, while Christopher pushes her to strive higher and higher.
Daisy has spent her entire life immersed in music and is struggling to discover if she can win auditions while daring to stop and smell the roses along the path to career success.
This novel is written in symphonic form: four movements having individual tempo markings, which help set the tone for each section. The stereotypes of the instruments are used as personality traits for the characters in the book (the snotty flutist, the trumpet jock, the nerdy violist) to create a comedic and realistic look at what happens backstage, during rehearsals and behind the scenes of a professional classical musician’s life.
First 250 words:
The bulky viola case thumped hard against Daisy’s leg as she ran north up Michigan Avenue towards Orchestra Hall. “Frick! Frick frick, frickity frick!” she panted as she balanced her purse across her chest, messenger style, and shifted her case to the other hand for a better grip. “Why, why, why didn’t I leave enough time? Why do I do this to myself?” Daisy was running late, again, to rehearsal. She was never officially late to rehearsal, she always managed to get there with about seven minutes to downbeat. But that was still considered late in the world of classical orchestras. That was only just enough time to heave your case open, grab your instrument and your music, rosin up your bow and jump into your seat, sweaty and disheveled. Daisy hated being late, so her New Year’s resolution was to be thirty minutes early to all her rehearsals. And here it was January 7th. Not a great start.
She fished her phone out of her pocket to check the time while she continued running. Daisy, like most string players, didn’t wear a watch because it got in the way of her playing. Anytime she wore a watch, she’d just have to take it off any time she had her viola out. That meant putting her watch down on the stand, on the floor next to her stand, in her purse, in her case and after losing more watches than she could count, she gave up, officially. Orchestra Hall was still two blocks away, but her phone showed 6:40PM. She had just enough time to get there for the 7:00PM downbeat.