The Dream of the River (Orchestral Version)

Scored for: SATB  Choir, Youth Choir & (Symphony Orchestra) or (Small Ensemble)
Level: Medium
Duration:12 minutes

More info: The Dream of the River is a 12 minute work for choir, youth choir and symphony orchestra which was commissioned by Newcastle Choral Society in celebration of their 60th anniversary.

It has since been re-orchestrated for a smaller ensemble and is available here

With words by the composer, the work was inspired by Michael Chaplin’s book ‘Tyne View’.

Will Todd writes:

The Dream Of The River is partly inspired by the Michael Chaplin's powerful book Tyne View – a walk around the Port of Tyne. It draws on the theme of the river as a life- circle and a journey, and relates that to our own human lives and journeys. It is a choral work, which can’t possibly contain the detail and references of Michael’s beautiful book, but in its overall effect my hope is that we feel something of the timeless nature of the water as it flows by us - inspiringly and endlessly.

Conducted by Mark Anyan, it premiered on 29 November 2014 at The Sage, Gateshead, to great critical acclaim.

“his creation was powerful, intimate, folksy and dramatic, evoking life on and around the river and the dreams and aspirations of those who live along its banks.” Rob Barnes, The Journal




Below is the live premiere archive recording of the orchestral version

1 - Rise

I flow away;
Away and back again.
I am Tyne.
And I am all rivers
And I am every river.
Flow away and back again.
I am Tyne.


2 - River Shanty

And the call of birds
And the hammer of rivets;
And the tugs in the mist
And the fish on the quay;
And the coal that is black
And the big ship’s horn;
And the endless flow of the river
And the songs that are gone
And the songs that are new;
And the folk who have lived
And the folk that are lost;
And the hearts that broke
And the hearts that were strong;
And the endless flow of the river
Stood on the bank
In the dark, dark sky;
Water that is black
With the hopes gone by;
And the promises made
As you flow on by;

And the endless flow of the river
And the life that will come
And the way to the sea;
And the gate to the world
And the door of our dreams;
And the journey of hope
From the mountain stream;
And the endless flow of the river


3 - Dreaming

O precious sleep,
Take me to the river;
River of dreaming,
Carry me with you,
Tell me your story.
In your deep waters
I see my way;
And I am carried on your journey
I am reborn in your dreaming.
You are eternal;
Days flow away
You are the endless circle.
And when my time comes to leave you
May I be held in your dreaming.

4 - Chorale and Horizon

River, carry me;
Carry me away.
Water deep, water free,
Strong as sun and earth to me
You are the eternal circle.
Stories made, memories long;
Yours the timeless River Song
Take me with you on your journey.
Carry me away
Free me to the open water.
Now we are one.
Flow away.
Away and back again.
We are one.


When ordering please select the sheet music format in the drop down menu below.
Music is available as a hard copy or a downloadable PDF with a license to make a single copy.

PDFs with a license to make a single copy - for multiple copies of PDFs please select the appropriate number of copies you wish to make in order to purchase the relevant copying license.

Hard copies - due to the nature of our small business all our prices reflect the price of printing on demand. For orders of more than 10 copies (not including PDFs) please enter the coupon code TP10discount at checkout for a 10% discount. For orders of more than 20 copies (not including PDFs) please enter the coupon code TP20discount at checkout for a 20% discount

Instrumental parts available to hire.  Contact us for more information.

Instrumentation: SATB, Youth Choir (or optional semi chorus), Piccolo, Flute 1, Flute 2, Oboe 1, Oboe 2, Cor Anglais, Clarinet 1 in B♭, Clarinet 2 in B♭, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon 1, Bassoon 2, Contra Bassoon, Horn 1, Horn 2, Horn 3, Horn 4, Trumpet 1 in B♭, Trumpet 2 in B♭,Trumpet 3 in B♭, Trombone 1, Trombone 2, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, Bass Drum, Assorted Cymbals, Tenor Drum, Snare Drum, Drum Kit, Tam-Tam, Mark Tree, Taiko Drum, Tambourine, Strings


Being prepared for publication. Please contact us


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