Musical Director - Mark Hewitt
Mark Hewitt was born in Staffordshire in 1970. From 1988 to 1993 he studied composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and from 1997 to 1998 at Manchester University where he gained a Masters Degree in Music. In 2008 he trained as a music teacher (with drama as a second subject) at the School Centred Initial Teacher Training Course based in Devon.
as music educator…
During his time in Manchester he has been a visiting tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music (Visiting Tutor in Electro-Acoustics) and a tutor in composition at Chetham’s School of Music.
Re-locating to the Isle of Skye in 1997, Mark further developed his passion for music education by forming with other local musicians ‘Sound Company’. ‘Sound Company’ aimed specifically to broaden young people’s experience of music, drawing from all musical traditions, to foster creativity and creative exploration. Some notable projects were ‘Ceremonies and Rituals’ – a project for primary school children based on exploring music and ritual from three contrasting cultures: African, Tibetan and Western art-music (Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring). ‘Clocks, Clouds and Spiders’ Webs’ – was a project designed to broaden the range and scope of pre-school musical activities using the music of Gyorgy Ligeti as inspiration. ‘Sounds Inventive!’ – taking the life and work of the innovative American composer Harry Partch as inspiration, primary school children explored how musical instruments are made and work by making simple versions of their own from everyday materials. Using these instruments the children were encouraged to invent their own music as an illustration of Harry Partch’s story.
Mark gained his PGCE in 2008 and has since taught at various secondary schools in Dorset and was a lecturer in music at Exeter College, Devon from 2010-13 (course leader for A level music 2012-13). He has taught a wide range of ages and syllabuses, ranging from Key Stage 3, to GCSE, A level, International Baccalaureate and Foundation Degree. He has taught Edexcel, OCR, AQA syllabuses as well as a range of BTEC courses from level 2 upwards.
From 2009 Mark has worked as an examiner for Edexcel’s A2 Music, Composition and Technical Studies paper. He also has been an expert reviewer for Zig-Zag Education (an editor for A level music teacher resources).
as choral director…
On the Isle of Skye Mark formed a community choir, the Waternish Singers and was musical director of the Skye and Lochalsh Young Music Makers Choir.
He has been music director of Exeter College Choral Society, Bridport Choral Society and is currently the musical director of the Bridport U3a Singers, Parnham Voices (Beaminster) and Harbour Voices (Lyme Regis).
Mark’s compositions have been performed by The Goldberg Ensemble who gave the 1st performance of ‘At the Still Point of the Turning World’ at their tenth anniversary concert.
In 1994 the Royal Northern College of Music commissioned a work for music theatre as part of their festival of music theatre. Mark’s ‘The Lamentations of Doctor Faustus’ was first performed by students from the RNCM, conducted by Tim Redmond in 1995.
In 1997 his ‘Reliquary for Christopher Tye’ for string orchestra was performed as part of the 2nd Manchester Composers Platform by students at the RNCM and subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The same work received its first professional performance at the Rydale Festival given by the Goldberg Ensemble directed by Malcolm Layfield.
In 2000 Mark’s choral work ‘The Voices of Bells’ received first prize in the Bristol Chamber Choir Composition Competition and was performed by them in April that year. During his time on Skye Mark composed ‘Sounding the Island’s Year’ for primary school children. Recently, Mark has written a series of choral pieces written for vocal ensembles he has been associated with such as Parnham Voices in Dorset and the South Petherton Combined Arts Choir in Somerset. He produced in 2017 for Prima Facie Records an album of contemporary Christmas carols ‘The Silvers Stars at Play’ featuring works by living composers, including his own setting of ‘Silent Night’.