16-year-old Danilo Dela Cruz, from Enfield, cannot believe his luck at winning the chance to play his cello in the Enfield Chamber Orchestra’s concert this Saturday - despite nearly missing his audition.

Danilo, who attends Lea Valley High School, at Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, arrived late and nervous, but still impressed judges with his rendition of Élegié by French composer Fauré.

Despite initially finding the instrument boring to play when he began lessons four years ago, he has come a long way in a short space of time and recently gained a distinction for his grade eight exam.

Danilo explains why he is looking forward to playing his first concert, but is not sure whether he will pursue a career as a cellist…

How does it feel to get through the Enfield Young Musicians’ Concerto audition?

I was very nervous for the Enfield Young Musicians’ Concerto audition. I had arrived late and was in fact the last one to play. I had auditioned for the Julian Lloyd Webber Foundation music scholarship for the sixth form at Eton the day before (which I subsequently won!) and was a bit panicky in Enfield.

I played the same piece as I am going to do with the Enfield Chamber Orchestra, the beautiful Élegié by Fauré, and when I finished playing the room was absolutely silent and I thought “Oh dear” and packed up my cello and left. Imagine my surprise when I received an email to say I had won. My head was exploding I was so pleased.

How old were you when you learnt the cello?

I started to learn the cello in Year 7 at school. At first I thought it was really boring but once I learnt how to use my fingers, and the bow, and better still, vibrato, it suddenly became beautiful. I couldn’t afford lessons but I am one of six brothers who all play musical instruments – guitar, violin and viola – between them, so I had lots of encouragement, and have a great teacher, and was fortunate to receive a National Youth Arts Trust bursary and the loan of a good cello from the Benslow Music Trust. I gained a distinction for my grade eight exam last November which, after only four years of learning, I was very pleased about!

My favourite piece to play at the moment is Fauré’s Élegié because it has been very good to me and, because it is such a deep emotional piece it has helped me win the two most important competitions I have done so far.

How do you feel about performing in the Enfield Chamber Orchestra concert this Saturday?

I am very excited for the Enfield Chamber Orchestra concert this Saturday. I rehearsed with them on Monday evening and it is amazing to hear the orchestral accompaniment rather than just a piano part and their conductor, Martin Smith, is so supportive.

I haven’t played solo with orchestras before, although I have gained lots of experience as an orchestral player with the Enfield Young Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) and the National Orchestra for All.

Would you like to pursue music as a career after you leave school or do another job instead?

A career in music is an option, but I think I will keep it as a very satisfying hobby as I plan to take five A levels including Maths, Physics, Chemistry and French.

Enfield Chamber Orchestra’s Concert, Enfield Baptist Church, Cecil Road, Enfield, EN2 6TG, Saturday March 11, 7.30pm, details: 020 8360 4980, enfieldchamberorch.org.uk