J. Daniel Ashton was born into a musical family, and grew up playing violin and viola in his family’s string quintet. He began taking violin lessons at four years of age and continued studying with Orlo Gilbert during his school and college years. After graduating from Southern Adventist University he continued to perform as a member of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra until moving to Atlanta, where he helped to found and became music director of Zephyr Brass. Daniel, with his family and cats, moved to Germantown, Maryland in 2001. In addition to conducting the choir at Rockville United Methodist Church, he works as a computer programmer for a large faith-based ministry, and has been involved in many musical ventures around the central Maryland area.