George Pooley


What is your favourite Sixteen anecdote?
There are quite a few, but from a personal point of view, splitting my trousers extensively and very publicly during the interval at Blackburn one year always springs to mind. The noise was so loud it stopped an entire room. The trousers were a write-off. Thank god for gaffa tape!

What do you do to relax in your spare time?
I used to play quite a bit of sport, but I’m too old for that now! I still run a fair amount though. I read quite a lot. Food is definitely an interest, and I love a pint (or two) of good real ale.

If you could perform in any venue, what / where would it be?
Anything at Sydney Opera House, for its iconic style and setting as much as anything, or Monteverdi at St Mark’s, Venice. I love the atmosphere of the late-night Proms too.

Is there a piece you have fallen in love with since performing it with The Sixteen?
Several. I’m loving the Lent motets by Poulenc which we’re doing this year, and quite a few by James Macmillan. Mundy’s Vox Patris is epic.

What has been the most challenging piece of music you have ever performed?
Figure humaine by Poulenc, for music and language. Macmillan’s Stabat Mater for its intensity.



Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?
I’m absolutely rubbish when it comes to meeting famous people. I’m either a gibbering wreck, or tongue-tied and I just stare. Sportspeople are difficult, just because they’re often so much bigger in real life.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a musician?
Growing up, I always wanted to play cricket professionally. That didn’t quite work out, but cricket correspondent for one of the broadsheets wouldn’t be a bad substitute.

What would your ultimate desert island disc be?
Just one? That’s tough. Has to be Toto IV.

What would you eat for your last supper?
I think about food all the time, so this changes on a daily basis. At the moment, I’m thinking maybe rack of lamb with dauphinois, or possibly chateaubriand. Or both.

And the obligatory question…What football team do you support?!
Villa. Well, someone has to. Generally more of a rugby fan though.