Light Upon the Water


SATB, unaccompanied–2′

A tender, lyrical and lightly polyphonic setting of a lovely Michael Dennis Browne poem.

Listen to a performance by Kantorei, Axel Theimer, cond.


SKU: No. 8356* (ECS) Categories: , Tags: , , , , ,


Light Upon the Water

SATB, unaccompanied
Text: Michael Dennis Browne
2′ duration
Premiere: 2014 by Kantorei, Axel Theimer, director, St. Paul, Minn.
Published by ECS. Distributed by Canticle.

I commemorated the last day of my residency at Wyoming’s Brush Creek Ranch, where I had spent two weeks happily working in the Schoolhouse, by setting the words of my friend Michael Dennis Browne. I found two of Michael’s books in the ranch library and set “Light Upon the Water” as a kind of keepsake. It was composed as part of a 2013 Composer Fellowship from The McKnight Foundation, a program administered by the American Composers Forum.

From the Publisher:

“While Michael Dennis Browne’s text is appropriate for a wedding, it is also too lovely to restrict it to only that purpose. The music is tender and lyrical, and the rhapsodic nature of the movendo section near the end of the piece (“All our dreams begin this day”) is not to be missed!”

Michael Dennis Browne headshot

Michael Dennis Browne

Michael Dennis Browne came to the United States in 1965 from England, where he was born, of mostly Irish ancestry, in 1940. After graduating from the University of Iowa, he taught at Iowa, Columbia, Bennington, and the University of Minnesota. He is now a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, where he taught for thirty-nine years, served a term as director of the creative writing program, and was a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Browne’s poems have been published in many magazines and anthologies, and his awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. Two of his collections have won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. His most recent collection of poems, Chimes was published by The Nodin Press in 2017.


Like the light upon the water,
summer in the swaying tree,. . . .

© Michael Dennis Browne



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