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Rachel Weeping for Her Children September 11 2001

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Jesse Ayers

Jesse Ayers

General Info

Year: 2002
Duration: c. 3:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Jesse Ayers
Cost: Contact composer Contact page


Flute I-II
Oboe I or I-II (I dlb Eng. Hn.)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone

B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone

Percussion I-II, including

  • Cymbals (crash and suspended)
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra bells (Glockenspiel)
  • Tam-tam
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A poignant work that marries the great shock, the profound sadness, and the sincere patriotism of this great land as experienced by America following the tragic events of 9/11/2001. –Dr. Neal McMullian, Mount Olivet University

Rachel Weeping for Her Children is the composer's response to the horrific events of the September 11 attack on the United States. The title is taken from the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah (35:15) and is quoted in the New Testament after King Herod orders the murder of all male children two years and under in the region of Bethlehem.

A voice was heard in Ramah
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.
—Matthew 2:18

The music quotes a phrase from America the Beautiful , with the musicians singing "Thine alabaster cities." But they are forcefully interrupted before they can utter the word "gleam;" the gleam is stolen, replaced with desolation, death, and destruction.

The piece is intentionally short, because so many lives were cut short. At the conclusion of the work, the composer requests that the audience refrain from applause and that a minute of silence be observed in memory of those who perished.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


  • The Lee University Wind Ensemble (Dr. David Holsinger, conductor) - October 16, 2006
  • The Chamber Concert Band of Valparaiso University (Dr. Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductor) - April 2005
  • The United States Air Force Band of Flight and The Chamber Concert Band of Valparaiso University (Maj. Matthew Henry and Dr. Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductors) - May 2002
  • The Heidelberg College Wind Ensemble (Dr. John Owen, conducting) - April 2002
  • The Malone College Symphonic Band (Jonathan Willis, conductor) - April 2002 WORLD PREMIERE

Works for Winds by This Composer