Race For the Sky (Voices of 9/11)

Song Collection

Race For the Sky (Voices of 9/11) is a song cycle by Richard Pearson Thomas for soprano, violin, and piano. The cycle sets poems found on New York City streets after 9/11.

Date: 2002Composer: Richard Pearson Thomas

Print vitals & song text


“Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, New Yorkers left their apartments and offices and took to the city streets. Together they lit candles, prayed, sang, created art, wrote messages, and left poems on the walls, fences, and sidewalks of the city. They left a shape and form of our personal and collective experiences in art, words and ideas.

“Three poems written during this outburst of expression form the backbone of Race for the Sky. The first, “To the Towers Themselves,” anonymously penned, was retrieved by the NYC Parks Department, probably from the area around Union Square. The second, “How My Life Has Changed,” was written by visual artist Hilary North, who was also an employee of Aon Corporation which was located in the South Tower. Ms. North was late to work that day, as the election polls in Brooklyn were taking unusually long. The third, “don’t look for me anymore,” was found posted at the Wailing Wall in Grand Central Station. The poet was Alicia Vasquez, a Westchester County resident who worked in a midtown Manhattan law firm. All three of these poems were featured in the long-running exhibit Missing: Streetscape of a City in Mourning at the New-York Historical Society in 2002, now on the web at www.citylore.org.

“Lisa Radakovich Holsberg commissioned Race for the Sky after being inspired by the Missing exhibit. The premiere of Race for the Sky took place on the first year commemoration of the attacks on September 11, 2002, at the New-York Historical Society, with soprano Lisa Radakovich Holsberg, violinist Kirsten Davis, and composer Richard Pearson Thomas at the piano.

“Since the premiere in 2002, Ms. Holsberg has performed Race for the Skythroughout the NYC metropolitan region, including the 2003 People’s Poetry Gathering, Park Avenue United Methodist Church Concert Series, Long Island University, festivals Songfest in California and the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival in Washington state, and the 48th National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Convention in New Orleans in July 2004. September 11, 2005 brought the first orchestrated performance of “To the Towers Themselves” featuring the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra with Ms. Holsberg and violinist Katie Kresek at the dedication of the Westchester County Memorial The Rising. In the summer of 2005, the score for Race for the Sky was published by Classical Vocal Reprints, and Ms. Holsberg’s CD Race for the Sky with LeAnn Overton, piano, Katie Kresek, violin, and Karla Moe, piccolo, was released in November 2005.”


Song List

1. To The Towers Themselves | Text: Anonymous
2. How My Life Has Changed | Text: Hilary North
3. Meditation (instrumental)
4. don’t look for me anymore | Text: Alicia Vasquez

Related Information

Sheet Music

Race For the Sky (Voices of 9/11)

Composer(s): Richard Pearson Thomas

Voice Type: High

Buy via Classical Vocal Reprints

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