The West Virginia University Community Arts Orchestra, an ensemble made up of students in WVU s Community Music Program and area musicians, will perform its annual winter concert at the Creative Arts Center on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Antoinette Falbo Theatre. The concert is free and open to the public.

Selections to be performed include HumperdincksHansel and Gretel Prelude,BizetsLArlesienne, First Orchestral Suite,CoplandsOur Town,StraussEmperor Waltz, Op. 437and RodgersThe King and I Selections.

John Ashton, the new conductor of the Orchestra, is the artistic director of the Fairmont Chamber Orchestra Festival, and the music director and conductor of the Fairmont Community-University Symphony Orchestra. A native of Pittsburgh, he studied at Carnegie-Mellon University, Catholic University and WVU . He has served on the teaching staff of the University of Nebraska, Carnegie-Mellon and Fairmont State University, and he has numerous compositions published by Seesaw Music in New York.

Ashton also served as associate conductor of the Bedford Springs Festival Orchestra for six seasons. As a trumpet player, he was a member of the United States Naval Academy Band, the Savannah Symphony Orchestra and the New Orleans Philharmonic. He also performed with the Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Theatre Orchestras, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and for fourteen years was a member of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Orchestra.

The Community Arts Orchestra will be accepting new members for the spring 2005 semester, which begins in January. For more information, call the WVU Community Music Program at 293-4841 ext. 3168.