Breathing World

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is thrilled to launch a brand new nationwide youth composer competition named Breathing World in partnership with our fantastic community ambassador and much loved English mezzo-soprano, Laura Wright.

This competition invites budding composers, aged 12 to 18 years from across the UK, to take part to write and submit their own choral music piece inspired by the natural world. The submitted Work must be written for SATB (soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices) up to five minutes in length. Submissions must be the artists own original work and written within the last five years, please see the Enter Breathing World 2022 page for information on how to enter and the FAQ’s page which should answer any questions you might have. The winner will get an incredible opportunity to work directly with a team of expert musicians to gain advice and help develop the piece before its world premiere performance and live recording in London.

Breathing World was developed by Laura Wright alongside the DSWF team to encourage children to use the arts to channel their creativity to raise awareness for endangered wildlife and to give voice to the increasing environmental threats facing the natural world. Laura Wright is an incredibly talented mezzo-soprano who has supported DSWF, and our projects wholeheartedly in a variety of ways for numerous years, so we are delighted to bring this exciting youth competition to life alongside her.

DSWF has always had a rich heritage in the arts thanks to our Founder, the late great conservationist and wildlife artist, David Shepherd CBE. David’s creative legacy remains at the heart of the Foundation today, which continues to harness the power of the arts to inform, motivate and drive action to protect wildlife and the wild species that call it their home.

“The arts have always been a way to celebrate and showcase the natural world, all its colour and glory. Giving back and supporting the source of our inspiration is the concept DSWF was built upon, to repay the debt my grandfather David felt he owed to wildlife for his painting success. Breathing World pays homage to this legacy, a celebration of our greatest inspiration – nature”.

 Georgina Lamb, DSWF Chief Executive

“I’ve been a DSWF Ambassador for 4 years and they continue to inspire. Having visited Zambia to witness the incredible work they do firsthand, I couldn’t feel prouder to be part of their family. The DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year competition has been a global success and I’m confident this new composition competition will add to the educational work DSWF does while empowering the next generation to understand the complicated layers of conservation”.

Laura Wright, award-winning mezzo-soprano, composer and presenter

By investing in economically and socially vulnerable communities at the heart of the conservation landscape, DSWF supports programmes that tackle the drivers of wildlife crime. By supporting law enforcement operations, undercover investigations, education and poverty alleviation strategies DSWF has a real impact, on real people, in real places, to turn the tide on extinction. DSWF has invested more than £11 million directly into wildlife conservation since 1984, in many parts thanks to the arts.

The DSWF team wishes you the best of luck with your application and we simply cannot wait to hear all your exciting, nature-driven and inspired pieces! For more information on how to enter Breathing World, please click here.

Breathing World competition

  • 9th September to 11th November 2021 (5pm UK time)
  • Online submissions

Breathing World is a new nationwide competition with mezzo-soprano, and DSWF Community Ambassador Laura Wright, that encourages UK based children aged 12-18 years to use the arts to channel their creativity. Budding composers are invited to write and submit their own piece of choral music inspired by the natural world. The submitted Work must be written for SATB (soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices). The winner of Breathing World will get the opportunity to work with an expert team of musicians, including the world-renowned mezzo-soprano Laura Wright, to develop and finalise their piece before it is world-premiered and recorded live in London.