Christmas Concert for Conservation
Star mezzo soprano Laura Wright and former England Cricket Captain David Gower joined children from local schools at a special community Christmas Concert in Cranleigh raising more than £4800 for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF).
The event at St Nicolas Church featured the beautiful voices of Laura, Cranleigh Preparatory School Chamber Choir and a soloist from Tillingbourne Junior School. Concert pianist Richard Saxel also performed an incredible solo and provided musical accompaniment for the evening’s performances. David Gower, Honourary Vice President for DSWF, set the tone of the evening with a witty and memorable reading.
Laura, who is the Foundation’s Community Outreach Ambassador and best known as the ‘Nation’s Sporting Soprano’ said: “I am extremely proud to be supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation by performing at their first ever Christmas Concert. The Foundation is extremely dear to my heart and I have been lucky enough to witness first-hand how important their support is for projects such as the Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia.”
Kindly sponsored by Cromwell Coffee House of Cranleigh, the concert was followed by an exclusive exhibition of paintings by the wildlife artist and conservationist David Shepherd CBE FRSA (1931 – 2017) – many of which came from the Shepherd family’s private collection.
The Foundation’s CEO Karen Botha said: “At this time of the year we reflect on how we have made a difference to the communities and wildlife in Africa and Asia where we fund projects, and to celebrate the incredible legacy of David Shepherd, our Founder. David was so fond of Cranleigh and would have been delighted to see so many at the concert supporting his beloved Foundation’s work.
“Our wildlife rangers, incredibly brave men and women who work tirelessly to protect endangered species around the world, don’t have the luxury of a Christmas break. They’re often working far from home, living in extremely hostile and dangerous environments. We are so grateful to all who came to our concert, which supports the vital work of rangers on the conservation frontline.”
Funds raised from the concert will help the Foundation continue our mission to fight wildlife crime, protect endangered species and engage with communities across Africa and Asia. We are working to help save threatened animals such as elephants, tigers, rhinos and pangolins. To find out more about our work click here.