ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born in central Ohio, Bruce Ashton was privileged to grow up in a very musical family. He developed pianistic and accompanying skills early on. His B.Mus. (Capital Univ.), M.Mus. (American Conservatory), and D.M.A. (Univ. of Cincinnati’s CCM) are all in piano performance. Each level of study also included training in composition with such teachers as Stella Roberts and T. Scott Huston.
For nearly 40 years, Dr. Ashton was Professor of Music at Southern Adventist University (near Chattanooga). He taught such topics as Piano, Music Theory, Music History, Form and Analysis, Orchestration and Arranging, and Music Appreciation. In retirement, he continues teaching, as he invests more of his time in composition. With Southern’s fine symphony, he has performed many of the standard piano concerti: Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff. He is a frequent recitalist, and is in constant demand in the area as an accompanist for concerts and recitals by local artists, colleagues and students.
Most of Dr. Ashton’s composing and arranging has been to supply specific events, often for unusual combinations of instruments, and most often for religious services. His works are characterized by strong and effective voice-leading, but never so pedantically as to inhibit a convincing aural impact. His music is warm and compelling, lyric, harmonically interesting, and above all accessible.