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AWM Artist-in-residence Chris Latham
Chris Latham conducts The Diggers Requiem. Photo: Peter Hislop.

Helen Musa, Latham lands funding for POW requiem, CBR City News, 2 February 2022

ARTIST-in-residence at the Australian War Memorial, Chris Latham, is jubilant that his planned “Prisoners of War Requiem” is among the ACT applicants to share in funding of $131,870.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee and Zed Seselja, senator for the ACT, jointly announced that, as part of the Government’s “Saluting Their Service” program, $114,550 would be allocated to the production of the POW Requiem concert at Llewellyn Hall in October this year to commemorate 80 years since the Fall of Singapore.

Other grants announced were $4150 for the 5th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Association Incorporated to digitise its publication, “Vietnam Task”; $720 Headquarters 1st Australian Task Force Association, to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Task Force’s withdrawal from the Vietnam War and $12,450 to Soldier On to create a series of podcasts that provide stories of those who served Australia since 1990.

The POW Requiem is the fourth of Latham’s seven planned requiems, with the 2015 “Gallipoli Symphony”, the 2018 “Diggers Requiem” and the 2021 “Vietnam Requiem” behind him, all funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Australian War Memorial.

Latham told “CityNews” that the performers of the requiem would include the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, musicians from the Army, Navy and Air Force Bands, ANU School of Music, combined Canberra choirs including Woden Valley Youth Choirs, Canberra Girls Grammar Choirs, Kompactus and the Brisbane Chamber Choir, directed by Dr Graeme Morton.

But the POW Requiem, he said, would be far from this last effort and the remaining pieces he planned  as part of his artist-in-residence position at the AWM would be “The Peacekeeping Symphony” (70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War) in 2023, the Holocaust Memorial (80th anniversary of the liberation of the camps) in 2024 and, finally, “The WW2 Requiem: Greater Love” (80th anniversary of World War II) in 2025.