South Holland Air Cadet makes some noise on Britain's Got Talent
A Sutton St James teenager has continued her summer to remember by performing on ITV's Britain's Got Talent (BGT).
Abi Barks (15) was a member of the RAF Air Cadets (AC) National Choir whose audition was televised on BGT: Unseen Acts at the London Palladium.
Filmed before the coronavirus lockdown, 1406 (Spalding) Squadron member Abi was the only Air Cadet from her squadron to be part of the choir led by its director of music, Squadron Leader Dave Massam.
Abi, a Year 10 student at Spalding High School, said: "It was an amazing experience because not only did we get a standing ovation from all four judges, and the audience, but I got to meet Ant and Dec as well.
"I also got to spend the day with Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets.
"I feel so privileged to have been selected to be part of the National Choir, as well as taking part in BGT and standing on stage at the London Palladium, performing with such an amazing group of people.
"I am very proud of being the only current member of the RAFAC National Choir from Lincolnshire."
Three weeks ago, Abi was named one of four "COVID Teen Heroes" from Spalding High School after using her own pocket money and 3D (three-dimensional) printers to make sore ear savers and face masks staff at hospitals and care homes.
In 2018, Abi applied successfully to join the RAFAC National Choir by sending in an online audition, going on to attend several training camps and concerts, including one in Lincoln last August.
Although the choir missed out on making it onto the main BGT live shows, their performances of songs, including Queen's "We Will Rock You” and "Radio Ga Ga", left a lasting impression with the 2,000-strong audience.
Flight Lieutenant Marc Fowler, Officer Commanding for 1406 (Spalding) Squadron, said; "It was an immensely proud moment to see one of our Cadets achieve such heights as making it onto the BGT show.
"We are all immensely proud of the choir's collective achievements and a massive congratulations to Cadet Abi Barks from all of the 1406 (Spalding) Squadron staff."
Michele Anderson, headmistress of Spalding High School, said: "Abi has worked tirelessly in recent months to make PPE equipment for NHS and care staff across 19 care homes and five hospitals, including the Pilgrim and Johnson hospitals.
"She has made and donated over 1,000 items and Abi is to be congratulated for her commitment and hard work, alongside maintaining all of her school work.
" I know how hard Abi and the RAF National Choir have rehearsed in recent months in preparation for Britain’s Got Talent and I was delighted, not just by the quality of the performance but by the reaction of the judges and audience members.
"Not just four "Yeses" but four Yeses and a standing ovation from all four judges.
"We are all very proud of Abi."
Lucy Neal, the school's head of Year 10, said: "We are all incredibly proud of Abi who has given so much of her time to helping others in need and keeping on top of her school work.
"It was wonderful to see her on Britain's Got Talent, representing Lincolnshire in the RAF National Choir whose members gave a fantastic performance.
"Well done Abi - you are a true inspiration."