J. Bruce Ashton

1941 -

J. Bruce Ashton, a composer, pianist, and violist, was professor of music at Southern Adventist University from 1968 to 2006, a record tenure in the music department at SAU. A professor emeritus at SAU, Ashton is a published composer and frequent performer.

Born in central Ohio and growing up in a very musical family, Bruce developed pianistic and accompanying skills at an early age. Following graduation from Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio in 1958, he attended Capital University, where he completed a B.Mus. in 1963. He then completed an M.Mus. at American Conservatory of Music in Chicago in 1964, and a D.M.A. at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1971. All of his degrees were in piano performance. An honors graduate at CU and ACM, he also studied composition in each degree program. Teachers included Stella Roberts and T. Scott Huston.

Ashton played many of the standard piano concerti with SAU's orchestra, most recently performing Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3. He is a frequent recitalist and is in constant demand as an accompanist for concerts and recitals by local artists, colleagues, and students.

Ashton writes music characterized by strong and effective voice-leading that creates a convincing aural impact. His music has been described as warm and compelling, lyrical, harmonically interesting, and above all accessible. Most of his composing and arranging has been for specific events, often for unusual combinations of instruments, and most often for religious services. Most recently, he wrote the theme song, Proclaim His Grace, for the 2010 General Conference Session in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ashton began his teaching career at Walla Walla College in 1964. From the start he was a gifted teacher and performer, giving numerous recitals. Following four years at WWC, he accepted the position at SAU, where he taught piano, composition, church music, and theory.


Sources: Winter/Spring 2006 IAMA Notes, 20; Wayne H. Hooper and Edward E. White, Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, 1988, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 408; Dan Shultz, A Great Tradition, Music at Walla Walla College, 1892-1992, 142; Other online sources; personal knowledge.

Persons interested in contacting Ashton for more information about his music or for commissioning a work may reach him at: J. Bruce Ashton, Box 498, Collegedale, TN  37315   (423)396-2742  jashton@southern.edu

Music by Bruce Ashton


Brass Quintet

"Salvation is Created" [Tschesnokoff] arr.(1998)
Score and parts $6.00

Three Trumpets

Twelve Brief Fanfares


Flute, Oboe and Bassoon

Six Hymn Arrangements for Woodwind Trio (1999-2000)
"My Jesus, As Thou Wilt"
"My Jesus, I Love Thee"
"Rejoice, the Lord is King"
"Alleluia! Sing to Jesus"
"I Sing the Mighty Power of God"
"O Thou in Whose Presence"
Parts $11.00

For Two Flutes, with piano/harpsichord

Five Traditional Noels (1988)
"Ding Dong!
Merrily on High"
"Quittez, Pasteurs"
"Noel Nouvelet"
"Quelle est Cette Odeur Agreable?"
"Il est ne le Divin Enfant"
Christmas carols, arranged for 2 flutes or flute and oboe, with piano or harpsichord accompaniment. Also available for flute and clarinet.
Publisher: ALRY Publications P.O. Box 36542 Charlotte, NC 28236
http://members.aol.com/alrypbl $20.00

Woodwind Quintet

O Rest in the Lord (Mendelssohn) arr.(1985)
Parts $4.00

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing(Nettleton) arr.(1985)
Parts $4.00

God's Time is the Best Time (Bach) arr.(1986)
Parts $3.50


Two Violins and Piano

Aria No. 1 (1988)
Aria No. 2 (1996)
Alternate flute or clarinet substitute for second violin available
Publisher:Maestronet, [downloadable scores:chamber music, intermediate $3.00 each]

String Quartet

Legend No. 1 (1989)
Legend No. 2 (1993)
Publisher: Maestronet, [downloadable scores: chamber music, intermediate. $3.00 each]


Mixed Instrumental Groups

Clarinet and Strings

Pastorale #2 for Clarinet and String Quintet (2 Vc.)
Parts $5.00

Flute and Violin Duo Unaccompanied
[Written for an professional duo, delightful but challenging]

Eight Hymns for Flute and Violin [unaccompanied]
"And Can It Be"
"The Lord's My Shepherd"
"Oh, When Shall I See Jesus"
"What Wondrous Love"
"Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds"
"God, Who Made the Earth and Heaven"
"Be Thou My Vision"
"Come All Christians"

Viola and Clarinet Duo Unaccompanied

[These pieces were written for a professional duo and are delightful but challenging]

Six Hymns for Viola and Clarinet in A
"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind"
"The Lord's My Shepherd"
"God, Who Made the Earth and Heaven"
"Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds"
"And Can It Be"
"Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy"

Five Hymns for Viola and Clarinet in Bb
"O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go"
"Alleluia1 Sing to Jesus"
"O Perfect Love"
"God is Our Song"
"The Lord's My Shepherd"

Five More Hymns for Viola and Clarinet in Bb
"O When Shall I See Jesus"
"My Shepherd Will Supply My Need"
"Be Thou My Vision"
"Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy"
"Come, We That Love the Lord"

Six Christmas Carols for Viola and Clarinet in Bb
"Silent Night"
"Of the Father's love Begotten"
"Children's Song of the Nativity"
"Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming"
"What Child is This?"
"Come to Bethlehem"

Five Baroque Movements for Viola and Clarinet in A/Bb
Bach:"God's Time is the Best Time" (A)
Handel: Violin Sonata I (A)
Handel: Violin Sonata IV (A)
Vivaldi: Largo from Winter (Bb)
Vivaldi: Aria--Andante from Concerto, Op. 11, No. 3 (Bb)

Four Stephen Foster Melodies for Viola and Clarinet in A/Bb
"Beautiful Dreamer" (A)
May the Red Rose Live Alway!" (A)
"Gwine to Run All Night"(Bb)
"Jeanie with theLight Brown Hair" (Bb)



Six preludes for solo mallet percussion
1. "Brisk and brash" in C Major (xylophone)
2. "With somber tread" in a minor (marimba)
3. "Lively" in G Major (glockenspiel)
4. "With resignation" in e minor (marimba)
5. "In joyful celebration" in D Major (vibraharp/ tubular bells)
6. "Wildly" in b minor (glockenspiel/xylophone)


Concert Hymn Arrangements for Piano (advanced)

Four Hymn Preludes (1990-1996)
"Be Still, My Soul"
"God is Our Song" [Old 124th]
"Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart"
"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind"

Easy Arrangements for Piano

"Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord" (1978) Free

Five Chorale Preludes (1981,1988)
"How Lovely Shines the Morning Star"
"Now All the Woods are Sleeping" [Innsbruck]
"Praise God the Lord, Ye Sons of Men"
"Whate'er My God Ordains is Right"
"Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Prince of Love"

Four Appalachian Hymn Tune Settings (1988)
"Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy" [Beach Spring]
"Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive" [Detroit]
"Awake, Awake to Love and Work" [Morning Song]
"Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus" [Pleading Saviour]


SA with Handbells or Hand chimes

"Go Worship at Emmanuel's Feet" (1996) $1.25
"My Shepherd Will Supply My Need" (1996)$1.25

SA with Piano

"One Family" (1995) $1.25
"Be Thou My Vision" [also available SATB] (1995) $1.60

Unison Choir with Piano or Organ

"By Christ Redeemed" (1985) $1.20

Two-part Mixed Choir: Women/Men

"Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown" (1995) $1.25

SATB with Piano or Organ

"The Church has Waited Long" (1986) $1.20
"Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken" [full orchestration available] (1984)$1.60
"Love Divine" [full orchestration available] (1987) $1.60
"Be Thou My Vision" [full orchestration available] (1995) $1.60

SA and SATB with Piano

"All People That on Earth Do Dwell" [includes solos] (1988) $1.60

SATB with Brass Quartet

"Blessed Be the Lord": An Introit (1977) $1.50

SATB with Guitar

"The Adoration" [Christmas] (1997) $1.50
"Shepherds in Search of the Lamb of God" (1999) $1.50

SATB a capella

"O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go [all parts divisi] (1995) $1.60
Three Responses in E Major (2000) $1.20

SSAA a capella

Six Responses: Two Introits, Two Calls to Prayer, Two Benedictions (2000) $1.50
"O Thou in Whose Presence My Soul Takes Delight" (1999) $1.50

TTBB a capella

Six Responses: Two Introits, Two Calls to Prayer, Two Benedictions (2000) $1.50
[This set is entirely different from the SSAA set]

Congregational Service Music

Gloria Patri (1992) Free
Doxology (1996) Free


"I Will Arise and Go to Jesus" [Duet for two mezzo-sopranos and piano] (1969) $2.00
"I Will Extol Thee, O God" [Soprano and tenor duet, with piano] (1970) Free