My Herts Life: Hayley Pomfrett
PUBLISHED: 12:02 31 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:02 31 March 2015
Hatfield violinist Hayley Pomfrett, who trained at Hertfordshire Music Service, has performed with some of the biggest names in the muisc business as well as symphony and concert orchestras. She tells Carrie Bone about playing with Robbie Williams for the Queen, work-life balance and being on TV everyday
You’re on a new TV show, what’s it about? It’s a quiz show presented by Vernon Kay which airs on ITV every weekday at 4pm. It’s called 1000 Heartbeats because the contestants are hooked up to a heart rate monitor and have 1000 heartbeats to answer as many questions correctly as they can. I lead the live string quartet on the show; each of us has an earpiece which has a click telling us how fast the contestant’s heart is beating and we play our music in time to that. As their heart rate increases, so does the speed of the music, so the idea is that we make the experience more stressful for the contestants, hopefully in a way which is entertaining for the audience!
You’ve worked with a lot of big stars, from Shirley Bassey to Kanye West, do you have any favourites? Playing with Robbie Williams had always been a dream of mine. I was a massive fan of his growing up so it was an honour to perform with him at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace in 2012. Also, it was amazing to perform with Adele at her Royal Albert Hall concerts in 2011, especially since I had played with her a few years prior to that when she was just starting out, and I absolutely love her music. I do get starstruck playing with the big names but I try to keep it inside and not let it show as I need to do a professional job! In the future I would love to perform live in concert with Lady Gaga as her shows are so spectacular.
You play acoustic and electric violin, which do you prefer? In many ways I find playing the acoustic violin more rewarding as this is the instrument on which I studied and practised for years, learning all the very complicated classical violin repertoire, and I love playing it in orchestras. However on electric violin I perform a show which is appealing to a wider audience and so I tend to perform that at massive corporate events and parties which have taken me all over the world to places such as Singapore, Orlando and the Monaco Grand Prix, which has been fantastic.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I enjoy travelling to new places and always try to take a good holiday each year. I go to the theatre as much as I can and try to keep fit at the gym. I’m just starting yoga classes too. I spend time with my family who nearly all live in Hertfordshire and of course I do love a bit of shopping every now and then!
What does the future hold? I already feel like I’m living the dream so I just want things to continue as they are if possible. Most of my work comes up about two months in advance so I generally don’t know what I’m doing much further ahead than that. Of course I hope that 1000 Heartbeats is a success so we can film another series as it was such a fun show to work on. Other than that I’m off on tour to the USA this month with the BBC Concert Orchestra and I’m very much looking forward to that.