Brian Latchem is an English composer who was born in Bath and started to learn the piano at the age of 5. He comes from a musical family with both parents, grandparents, and great grandparents playing a variety of musical instruments. He trained to be a music teacher and started his career in Felixstowe, where he taught Music and Drama to pupils aged 11 to 14. In 1972 he moved to a new school to become responsible for music, teaching children from 5 to 11.
Throughout his 32-year teaching career he was involved in many musical productions working with children and adults in the local community including The Wizard of Oz and HMS Pinafore. In 1974 he wrote a new cantata/musical called The World Tree with a friend based on the Norse Legends of the Gods which has since become an established youth opera.
He was also Musical Director for an Operatic Society performing A Sound of Music and Gigi. For many years he was Assistant Musical Director of the Dorian Singers, a local amateur choir conducting works from the romantic era to the modern period.
Latchem is a member of the English Concert Singers, a national choir, who have performed some of his music, particularly We Praise Thee in Salzburg in 2009 and King Edgar, a large choral work about the first King of All England who was crowned in Bath Abbey in 1973. This used the form of coronation service we would recognise today. It was given a workshop performance a few years ago.
Towards the end of his career, he studied with the Open University from which he gained a Master of Arts degree followed by a Doctorate in Education in 2001. Latchem has spent most of his life composing and when he retired, he decided to transfer his handwritten manuscripts to the computer using Sibelius.
His choral work An Abundance of Blessing for SATB, Baritone, and Harp has recently been performed several times by a local choir, the Gippeswyk Singers in which he sang the baritone solo. During the pandemic, Latchem was busy composing various pieces including a Wind Quintet, a collection of choral works entitled Canticles, and a companion work to the Suffolk Variations called Suffolk Variations 2 for Cello and Strings.
He became the Musical Director of the Dorian Singers in September 2022. They performed the first performance of the full choral version of The Gorseland Carol in December 2022 and will perform his An Abundance of Blessings in June 2023.