Online Jazz Workshop June 3rd

Additional Information


Why not turn the stay at home restriction into an opportunity to broaden your musical abilities? On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. local jazz trumpeter Matt Hill will offer an online class in improvisation strategies using the jazz standard, Take The A Train composed by Billy Strayhorn, as the focus melody. 

The ninety-minute class will be offered online. Interested advanced beginner to intermediate musicians are invited to attend. Pre-registration for the course is required. The registration fee for the class is $5. Questions about the online class can be sent directly to Matt Hill, Executive Director of the Dream Big Music Program at this email address:

All those who pre-register for the class will receive an e-packet of class materials to review and prep for the online instruction. The e-packet of materials includes: lead sheet score for C, B♭, and E♭ instruments; listening links for definitive recordings by both vocalists and instrumentalists; and an outline of relevant terms and symbols to be discussed during the online instruction.

“Take The A Train" is well suited as the jazz standard for this instruction,” explains Matt Hill, “because so many of our country’s jazz giants have recorded a version of this song. I will be referring to renditions by Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgeral and others to illustrate how each artist expresses the melody, their improvisation strategies, and tips for accompanying the rhythm section.”

Hill’s goal for the online class is to help participants gain an understanding of phrasing, articulation, and basic knowledge of improvisation for performing across group orchestration to solo performance.

 Take The A Train often mistakenly credited to Duke Ellington, was composed by Billy Strayhorn. Strayhorn composed this iconic tune on the way to meet Duke Ellington for the first time and the songs inspiration was the directions on how to get to Duke’s place via the subway. Now everyone knows taking the A train is the quickest way to get to Harlem.  

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 Dream Big is an after school music education program. Kids can join Dream Big at no cost. Children involved with the program will learn many skills that will help them in life and music. Some of these skills would include: Self Discipline, Respect of themselves and others, Team Work, Critical Thinking and Self Confidence.
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Open call to all musicians! If you enjoy getting together with others to play music, we hope you will consider joining the Community Made Serenade, which includes a diverse collection of musicians from youth through seniors. Community Made Serenade meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Each of the instructor-led practice sessions is open to all musicians in the greater Wheeling area. Qualifications to participate include being able to play an instrument and follow a music score. We welcome all who bring a love of music and want to share the joy of playing music in an informal group setting. The music for each session is shared two weeks in advance with participants. To find out more about this group, email the program coordinator, Laurie Ruberg, at While there is no cost to participate in this program, we ask that those interested register in advance. Follow us on Facebook at:


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Rhythm United: Links Musical Performance with Youth Entrepreneurship Opportunities

The Dream Big Music Program partners with Community Made Serenade and together they create The Rhythm United project. Rhythm United is multi-generational, and they practice and perform together in a safe social settings allowing adults and youth to spend time in productive, and artistic activities. Under this project with the help of PLANTS, LLC and the regional Junior Achievement foundation we plan to hold three hands-on entrepreneurship workshops for youth that lead up to the development of a business plan for marketing and implementation of the Dream Big Music Italian Ice Cart. This gives young musicians financial literacy skills and  entrepreneurial initiatives that are aligned with safe community events and musical performance opportunities.   


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Matthew Hill

Jazz Musician teaches all band instruments and piano.


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Teaches Violin, Viola, Cello


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Leader of Community Made Serenade