VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND : SATURDAY : AUTUMN STRINGS

Conductor Burns Taft will lead the Ventura County Chamber Orchestra into a new performance season when it presents a program titled "Autumn Strings" at 8 p.m. at the Ventura College Theater. Joined by oboist Joel Timm--the principal oboist for the Los Angeles Master Chorale--the orchestra will perform works by Respighi ("Ancient Dances & Airs"), Vaughan Williams (Concerto for Oboe), Part ("Summa & Silouans Song") and Bartok (Divertimento). The theater is at the corner of Loma Vista and Seton Hall roads. Tickets: $28, $23, $18. Student rush tickets are $6. Information: 648-3146.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS

At the next high school football game you attend, don't get up at halftime for another soda. Check out the marching band. The students spend many hours on the practice field and chances are they are very good at their craft. See for yourself at the first Moorpark High School Tournament of Bands field competition. Seven high school bands will compete, including entrants from Moorpark, Westlake, Simi Valley, Santa Barbara, Palmdale and more. The field competitions--which require rigorous, demanding preparation--combine musical artistry and discipline. Students are judged on marching, musical ability, color guard routines and more. Start time: 4 p.m. Tickets: $5. Moorpark High School is at 4500 Tierra Rejada Road. Information: 378-6388.

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