Patriot Day ~ September 11

Many composers were inspired to write musical compositions after the tragedy of September 11, 2001. That day is now called Patriot Day. Listen to the following music as you remember those affected on that terrible day.

(Note~ Use your discretion on how, or whether, you do this lesson with your children. One of the moms who previewed it before the course was released said this: "This lesson was a difficult one. I can hardly believe this took place over 16 years ago. The last piece is very haunting and I’m not sure I would share it with my younger ones." )

Howard Goodall ~ Spared

Howard Goodall was a composer who actually saw the attacks first-hand in New York. He turned that experience into a musical tribute called Spared. His piece is based on a poem by Wendy Cope. Goodall says of his composition: "All of us that survived, wherever we were, felt spared, and needed to reaffirm the love we shared with those close to us."


John Cortigiano ~ One Sweet Morning

John Corigliano wrote One Sweet Morning to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It is a reflective and moving piece. New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert said that the composition helps us find "hope in the midst of tragedy."


Eric Ewazen ~ A Hymn for the Lost and the Living

Eric Ewazen was teaching a music class at the Juilliard School in New York City when the 9/11 attacks occurred. In his program note for this composition, he said, "A Hymn for the Lost and the Living portrays those painful days following September 11th, days of supreme sadness."


John Adams ~ On the Transmigration of Souls

On the Transmigration of Souls was written for orchestra, chorus, children's choir, and pre-recorded tape. It is a very modern piece where the music is heard over the speaking of words on the recording. What is being said? Most of the phrases come from missing persons posters photographed by Barbara Haws. (See below the video for a list of those phrases.) Adams' composition won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for music.


Texts for On the Transmigration of Souls by John Adams:

1. "Missing…"

2. "Remember me. Please don’t ever forget me."

3. "It was a beautiful day."

4. "Missing: Jennifer de Jesus.

5. "Missing: Manuel Damotta

6. "I see water and buildings… "… (Quoted in numerous sources…last words of flight attendant on AA #11)

7. "We will miss you. We all love you. I’ll miss you, my brother."

8. "Jeff was my uncle"

9. "you will never be forgotten

10. "Looking for Isaias Rivera."

11. "Windows on the World"

12. "She looks so full of life in that picture

13. "it feels like yesterday that I saw your beautiful face…"

14. "I loved him from the start.

15. "You will never be forgotten."

16. "I miss his gentleness, his intelligence, his loyalty, his love."

17. "Shalom"

18. "Remember"

19. The daughter says: "He was the apple of my father’s eye." (NY Times "Portraits in Grief")

20. The father says: "I am so full of grief. My heart is absolutely shattered." (NY Times "Portraits in Grief")

21. The young man says"…he was tall, extremely good-looking, and girls never talked to me when he was around." (NY Times "Portraits in Grief")

22. The sister says: "She had a voice like an angel, and she shared it with everyone, in good times or bad." (NY Times "Portraits in Grief")

23. The mother says: "He used to call me every day. I’m just waiting."

24. The lover says: "Tomorrow will be three months, yet it feels like yesterday since I saw your beautiful face, saying, ‘Love you to the moon and back, forever.’" (NY Times "Portraits in Grief")

25. The man’s wife says: "I loved him from the start... I wanted to dig him out. I know just where he is." (NY Times "Portraits in Grief")

26. "Louis Anthony Williams. One World Trade Center. Port Authority, 66th Floor. ‘We love you, Louis. Come home"

27. "Charlie Murphy. Cantor Fitzgerald. 105th Floor. Tower One North. Weight : 180 pounds. Height: 5"11". Eye color: hazel Hair color: brown. Date of birth: July ninth, 1963. Please call…’We love you, Chick.’"

28. "My sister."

29. "My brother."

30. "My daughter"

31. "My son."

32. "Best friend to many…"

33. "I love you."


If you're interested in the rest of the Fall Music Lesson for Holidays & Special Days, use coupon code SEPT30 to get 30% off through 9/16.

Patriot Day printable pack.pdf
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