The award-winning Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Benjamin Simon, returns to the Rogue Valley for a concert at 8:30 p.m. Monday, June 30, on the Elizabethan Stage of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.

The award-winning Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Benjamin Simon, returns to the Rogue Valley for a concert at 8:30 p.m. Monday, June 30, on the Elizabethan Stage of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.

William Whitson, who served as the orchestra's music director for 36 years, established PACO as one of this nation's premiere youth ensembles. For most of its history, this group of string musicians high school age and younger has culminated its season with a performance in Ashland as special guests of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Violist Simon was appointed music director in 2002. To open the June 30 program, he has chosen Handel's Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 11 in A major. Also on the program will be Domenico Dragonetti's Double Bass Concerto in G major. The piece will feature soloist Michel Taddei, principal bassist for the Berkeley Symphony and San Francisco Chamber Orchestras.

The orchestra will perform a recently debuted piece, "Crossroads," by Elizabeth Lim. Lim, a senior at Harvard University, composed the work expressly for PACO as part of its "Youth for Youth" commissioning program. Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings Op. 48 will conclude the program.

Tickets are $12/$8 for students, seniors, and members of the OSF, Chamber Music Concerts and JPR Listeners' Guild. For tickets and information call 482-4331.

In case of rain, the concert will be held the Angus Bowmer Theatre with festival seating.