A viola player is on her way to the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals.

Danya Rushton, 14, from Barnet and a pupil in Bushey, is part of the Chineke! Junior orchestra who will appear at the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent this Saturday (September 26).

The orchestra group made up of 68 people is a youth orchestra for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children aged 11 to 12.

The group assembled in 2015 with the aim to create career opportunities for such groups wanting to venture into the world of classical music.

Miss Rushton, who first learnt to play the viola at ten, attends the Purcell School for young musicians in Bushey.

When first appearing on stage for her audition, she overcame her nerves quickly after standing in front of judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Williams .

Watford Observer:

Danya outside the studios

She said: “I personally felt a mixture of nerves and adrenaline. It was a thrilling experience to play in front of that many people.

“It was an amazing feeling to get four yeses from the judges at the audition and their comments were very positive. Simon Cowell said: ‘your talent is off the chart. Where you go is limitless.’

“I am extremely proud of the orchestra for reaching the semi-finals. We have continued to work together even though it has been difficult during the pandemic.”

Watford Observer:

Danya Rushton is on her way to the Britain's Got Talent semi-final. Photo: UGC

Before playing the viola, Danya had experience playing the violin, but she felt an “immediate strong connection” when introduced to the other string instrument.

She said: “I would say that playing the viola is my passion because it has given me a voice so I can be heard through my music.

“I am quite shy, and I know I could never walk into a room and express what I was feeling with words the way that I hope I can through my music. It’s also a way of being a part of something bigger- the sound we make as an orchestra is so impactful.”

Watford Observer:

Danya hopes to become a musician in the future

Despite her age, she has an eclectic taste in music, with her favourite composer being Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and other favourite artists ranging from Marvin Gaye, up to soundtrack songs from Frozen and other Disney movies.

In the future, Miss Rushton hopes to pursue a musical career after finishing her A levels.

Watford Observer:

The Chineke! Junior Orchestra at Britain's Got Talent

She added: “I am also very grateful to have been given this opportunity by the Chineke! Foundation to participate as a member of the Chineke! Junior Orchestra in the semi-finals.

“I really hope that the audience will enjoy our performance and that they will support us if we end up needing the public vote to get through to the finals: there are 5 free votes available through the BGT app.”

Her mother, Serena, said: “Each player in the Chineke! Junior orchestra is so talented. A huge amount of time and commitment is needed: they have to spend time practicing and they have to be very dedicated and committed to their playing.

“There is sometimes a perception that classical music is elitist and non-inclusive and I really hope that the Chineke! Junior orchestra can break these perceptions

“With a programme like BGT you are relying on the public responding well to the act and I very much hope that the orchestra will receive a positive response and the support from the public to go through to the finals.”

The orchestra will appear in the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals this Saturday (September 26).