How Long Has This Been Going On? – “Swing – Ray Charles”

26/01/2016

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Good question Ray!

Hot House actually began life as the East Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra back in 2001/2. It developed out of the super activities that were being offered by the brilliant team at Derby Music Centre. With just shy of 40 students there were originally 2 groups, EMYJO 1 and EMYJO 2. Rehearsals were held at Murray Park Community School in Mickleover and effectively this was the beginning of an incredible journey for jazz in Derby.

Within two years numbers had grown to in excess of 60 and resulting in EMYJO 3 our first training band exploded into existence. A phenomenal number of musicians passed through this beginner band onto greater things both as professional musicians and professionals of all sorts, all lovely rounded people who contribute to society.

Back in 2007...

Our numbers had swollen to over 100 and it became apparent that our philosophy of “inspirational youth music” meant as much to the parents as it did to the kids, which led to a few in depth discussions with our business mentors at Smith of Derby and Advance Consultancy regarding the expansion of EMYJO into a full-time music service. EMYJO became Hot House and for those who wonder why???

We felt that the East & Midlands bit might limit the potential growth of Hot House. Hot House is also a very famous jazz standard penned by Tadd Dameron, and the title of one of our most favourite jazz albums by Arturo Sandoval (inspirational in itself). There are also the connotations of a greenhouse, encouraging young shoots to grow. Over the past few years we have come to see the value of the Hot House brand. Our “name” is know in jazz communities across the globe and valued by educationalists as an innovative organisation. 

We have a linear approach to music education that encourages each generation and age to invest in the next generation. We all have a responsibility to inspire and at Hot House we strive to embed this approach in all of our teaching. Alongside our peripatetic tuition service we have our ensemble programme which is devised into 4 levels. 

Entry Level

This is designed for complete beginners through to approximately grade 5 and is chiefly built around our Hot Shots ensembles. There are Hot Shot sessions every week day after school and four Shot session at our Saturday morning music centre. The only other entry level ensemble is our Jam ensemble which is designed as a bridge ensemble into our intermediate ensembles. All of our entry level ensembles are high energy and extremely accessible. There are mentors from senior bands that work alongside our young beginner musicians. 

Intermediate Level

We have four intermediate level ensembles: Jive, Fusion, Caliente & Saxophonix. The bridging ensemble is our Jive band which is suitable for grade 4-6 musicians which still rehearses and performs a wide variety of songs and genres. Once musicians have settled into this level they are encouraged to consider specialising through Caliente, Fusion and Saxophonix. Caliente is our Latin American Big Band and focusses on developing rhythm and pattern based musical concepts. Fusion is our Funk Band which focusses on groove and energy. Saxophonix is our chamber saxophone ensemble that works on all aspects of ensemble musicianship. 

Senior Level

There are currently 2 ensembles in our senior programme which are know as our Big Bands. As and when it is appropriate, young musicians are invited to trial with these ensembles with a view to permanent membership. All Big Band musicians are encouraged to rehearse with at least one other ensemble that encourages them to continue performing at a higher level throughout the week. This ensemble welcomes vocalists and focusses on performing specific “Jazz Orchestra” music to the best of its ability.

All of our bands welcome all woodwind, brass and rhythm instruments and our age limit is up to 18 (youngest musician is currently 6). Whilst these levels and pathways are a guide it is important to all involved with Hot House that children are allowed and supported in all of their choices. So if a child is invited into our senior programme they can still be a member of the other bands. There is always something that can be gained from helping, learning and supporting each other. Confidence and kindness are traits we help to install in all of our young musicians.

Gifted & Talented

Our gifted and talented programme is know as our “Screaming Kicks Big Band”, each school term we run a special project with a guest artist to enrich our gifted and talented students. Previous collaborations include: Steve Waterman, Derby Jazz, Alan Barnes, Jazz Services, Andy Scott, Circa Tsuica, DEDA, Elliott Henshaw, Simon Willescroft, Jim Muirhead, Pete Long and Dave O’Higgins. Future projects will include workshops with Delfeayo Marsalis and Bryan Davis.

Concerts & Tours

An important part of every young musicians development is to embrace and enjoy performing. With this in mind we aspire to make every performance both informal and relaxed, giving the young musicians the space and security to explore their performance skills. It is normal for young musicians to feel anxious about performing but an awareness or change of environment can help give the musician the skills to master their anxiety. We run a number of foreign music tours every year throughout Europe and USA, young musicians are encouraged to join us on these tours. The experiences and memories will live with your young musicians for life. 

Some tour highlights include trips to LA, Paris, Amsterdam, New York City, Boston and New Orleans. Hot House musicians have received awards for excellence from both the International Association of Jazz Educators and the Jazz Education Network which compliment the national accolades such as the Midlands Youth Jazz award.

Overall we aspire to give young musicians the very best possible educational experience possible through care and inspirational teaching.

Every child deserves the opportunity of learning with Hot House.

“There is good music and everything else is just music”


Jazz Quote of the Day

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