Preview (Vocal Score)


LUX: The Dawn From On High is Dan Forrest’s third major work for SATB chorus and orchestra. (Also available for SSAA chorus, as of 2023). This five-movement work explores various facets of LUX (Latin for “light”), in texts ranging from ancient liturgical chant to Scripture to modern secular love poetry. The music of LUX, written in 2018, was inspired thematically and spiritually by these profound texts; visually by the light in the Reims Cathedral in France and at the Poulnabrone Dolmen in Ireland; and musically by a variety of musical sources from ancient chant to modern minimalist composers.

The title invokes the dual meaning of the text of the first movement, where the light of dawn gradually ascends into the sky, yet the Light of the world descends from the sky- a “Dawn from on High”. As a whole, the five movements trace a symmetrical journey through time- from ancient prophecy, to today (“even after all this time”), and then back again; or from another perspective, from a day’s dawn, through the sun’s high point in the sky, and then to the setting of the sun on the horizon at the end of day.

The first movement offers the promise of future light, and the hope of dawn is repeatedly heard in the text and evoked by the music. The second movement uses contrasting musical meters and keys to portray its text about light courageously shining in darkness. This movement finishes somewhat open-ended, not with a glib ending, reflecting the nature of light that must continue to shine through darkness. The third movement flashes ahead to today, seeing the sun as a metaphor for unconditional love that “lights the whole sky”. The fourth movement continues the “light in the sky” motif with a joyful, jazz-influenced setting of the “Gloria in excelsis” text from the Scriptural nativity story. The fifth movement closes out the “day” with an ancient evening hymn, presented as a solo, then unison, then in increasingly complex canons, before a closing section provides closure and unity between these multiple facets of light.


Premiere Performance: October 28, 2017, by the Greenville (SC) Chorale and Symphony, Dr. Bing Vick conducting. Dozens of other performances have taken place in 2018, and are forthcoming.

Festival performances for New York, Paris, and Hong Kong are lined up for spring/summer of 2019. See the EVENTS page for more information and performance opportunities.


Available in three versions (almost identical to Requiem for the Living):

  • Full Orchestra: Winds, Brass 2 (or 4).2.3.1, Percussion (2 players), Harp, Strings (recommended minimum, but larger section is preferred).
  • Small Orchestra with organ: (combines the winds, harp, and organ parts from the chamber ensemble version with the string section parts from the orchestral version. Percussion part is identical in all three versions):    flute, oboe, horn, percussion (2 players), harp, strings (recommended minimum with organ.
  • Chamber Ensemble with organ: flute, oboe, horn, percussion (2 players), harp, violin, cello, with organ.

Ordering Information

Vocal scores are published by The Music of Dan Forrest, and available at (distributor for The Music of Dan Forrest publications), as well as other participating music retailers.

All three versions’ scores and parts for performance are available on rental through the Beckenhorst Press website.

All three versions’ full scores (without parts) are also available for purchase through, if desired: full orchestra, small orchestra, or chamber ensemble. (Note that rental is still required to receive parts for performances).

Preview PDFs including information and excerpts are available for all products at

Printed perusal scores of all three versions available on rental ($30) from (For perusal only)

Full audio recording available digitally from iTunes, or as a physical CD from the Greenville Chorale.

Licensing handled through Beckenhorst Press in partnership with The Music of Dan Forrest. (Performance licensing, for choirs that are not members of a performance royalty organization, is handled through the Music of Dan Forrest rentals department at the same time as rental.)

Rehearsal Tracks

For choirs or individuals who desire rehearsal tracks, former Chanticleer singer Matt Curtis (Choral Tracks, LLC) has produced a set, with various options ranging from individual movements/parts, to a master license for all movements/all parts. Contact them for more information and ordering.

Program Notes

LUX: The Dawn From On High Program Notes