Born in central Ohio, J. Bruce Ashton was privileged to grow up in a very musical family, developing 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 over 30 years, Dr. Ashton was Professor of Music at Southern Adventist University (near Chattanooga), teaching Piano, Music Theory, Music History, Form and Analysis, Orchestration and Arranging, and Music Appreciation. With Southern's fine symphony, he played many of the standard piano concerti: Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff.
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.
Retired after 42 years of service, Dr. Ashton is now professor emeritus of music at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee.