'I've written a musical and created a film score - thanks to my university rejection'

It may have been a setback as a teenager - but Doncaster musician Geoffrey Hewitt is glad he got rejected by universities when he was 18.

Thursday, 29th March 2018, 2:08 pm
Musican and composer Geoffrey Hewitt , pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Hewitt MC 1
Musican and composer Geoffrey Hewitt , pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Hewitt MC 1

At the time he was upset when his efforts to get on an English Literature degree course hit the buffers. But eight years on, he thinks it was the best thing that could have happened.

It was after he was turned down that he thought again about what he wanted to do, and it was that which led him to working in the job he loves as a musician.

Musican and composer Geoffrey Hewitt , pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Hewitt MC 1

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As a teenager at Hayfield School, Geoffrey loved taking part in the school musical productions. He played Judas as a sixth former in Jesus Christ Superstar, one of the principal roles.

He had also been involved in Grease and Anne at the school.

And up until the age of 16, he had also been a regular on the local stages, playing gigs with his band Local Heroes at venues including The Leopard and Vintage Rock Bar. He stopped that when he was working for his A-Levels.

Geoffrey, aged 26, from Branton, said: "I had applied to do English Literature at university, because that is what I was best at at school, but I got rejected. I got the rejection letters on the same, snowy day in 2010, and that put me in a terrible mood.

Musican and composer Geoffrey Hewitt , pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Hewitt MC 1

"But my friends asked me if I had ever considered writing music for a living, because I had been in bands at school and performed in the school musicals.

"Getting places for literature courses was competitive, and I think they could tell that literature was not my main love from my personal statement. - and my true passion has always been been music. Literature was what I was best at academically, not what I was passionate about, and I think people can always tell when you're doing something you love.

"But in the end I think it turned out to be a blessing in disguise."

With his university plans in tatters, Geoffrey took a year out. And during that time, he wrote his first musical.

The Rise and Fall of Carol Hall was about a woman who had instant fame on the internet, only to see it come crashing down.. It was performed by his former school Hayfield, and went down a storm.

But Geoffrey missed seeing the actual production through illness. He saw it later on video, and was exceptionally proud of the achievement. He had written the songs, and created the music for them on backing tapes.

With his musical under his belt, he went on to be given a place to study music at Oxford Brookes University, specialising in composition. He developed a love of classical music, and developed a better understanding of music, which allowed him to develop his composition.

"I used to be the same with music as I was with engineering," he said. "I would tinker around until it worked. without really understanding what was going on under the surface. My degree changed that, and it gave my music skills sustainability, so I could keep developing them."

Since leaving university, he has worked as a freelance musician, mixing teaching with work as a composer, and directing.

Soon after graduation, he got work writing a sound track for the American horror film, And Then Everything Changed. He put in a bid after seeing an advert on the internet, and the director was pleased with the demo Geoffrey sent him.

"There was a premiere for the film in Houston. I didn't go to that, but I had some friends round to my house to see it on Amazon Prime," he said. The film can still be seen on the internet.

Since then he has set up his own record label, The Recordsmiths, and set up a Vlog, Geoffrey Hewitt Music, in which he shows people how songs are written. He uses is to promote his record label.

He loves what he is doing, and feels his vlog is a great way of reaching audiences. He has people who hear his work in countries including America and Russia.

"It's a fulfilling way of making a living," he said. "I endlessly feel like I'm achieving something.

"Literature still remains part of me, and I'd love to read more, but I'm glad I got turned town for university when I was 18."