Area colleges and universities offer many free or modestly priced cultural events for area residents, particularly in the areas performing arts.

Northern Virginians have pick of year-round activities sponsored by George Mason University in Fairfax, Northern Virginia Community College at five locations in Annandale, Alexandria, Loudoun, Manassas and Woodbridge, and Marymount College in Arlington.

The George Mason University (Gmu) department of fine and performing arts has a full free season planned throughout the fall and winter months. All events are held (except where noted) in the north campus auditorium, 10675 Lee Highway, Fairfax.

GMU's jazz ensemble will give a concert Dec. 4 under composer-director Glenn Smith at 8:15 p.m. The symphonic winds will perform at 8 p.m. on Dec. 8, with Joseph Kanyan conducting. A student recital is planned on Dec. 9 to 8 p.m.

Two informal dance will be given by the six members of the GMU company Dec. 9 at noon and 7:30 p.m. in the student union lounge. Director claudia Murphey has choreographed new works to the music of SImon and Garfunkel. Formal concerts are planned for April 6, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. in the north campus auditorium.

The university chorus under director Wilbert King will sing on Dec. 11 at 4:30 p.m. as part of Wolf Trap Farm Park's annual Christmas program. The Sunday even in Filene Center campus, church and community groups and is free to the public. The GMU chorus follows its afternoon Wolf Trap performance on Dec. 11 with a Christmas concert that same evening on the campus, featuring the collegium Musicum, an ensemble group performing primarily Benaissance music, beginning at 8:30 p.m.

A senior student recital is being offered by clarinetist Susan Frye at 8 p.m. on Dec. 12.

The theater arts departments at GMU plans a Japanese Noh version of "Medea," directed by drama professor Darius Swann, march 7 to 11 at 8 p.m. nightly. Two other shows for the winter semester are being planned by Dr. Jack Jenkins, head of the drama department. Call 323-2450 for information on all GMU events.

The Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) will offer free public performances on Dec. 3 and 4 of the musical play, "Christmas Eve with Winnie the Pooh," based on words and music by A. A. Milne and Fraser Simson. The show will be performed both days at noon and 1:30 p.m. in campus building CC, room 106, 8333 Little River Turnpike. A special 3 p.m. performance to benefit the campus child care center is also planned for Dec. 4. Admission is $1. For more information on the benefit, call 941-1960.

Free public performances of Christopher Fry's "The Lady's Not for Burning" are scheduled as the concluding part of Annandale's Spring Festival of the Arts, may 7 and 21.

The annual festival is a salute to the arts and humanities and features this year an invitational sculpture show as well as campus and community performing groups. Speakers will include writers, journalists, poets and philosophers. Most of the weekday events are schedulled on campus at noon. More information is available by calling 323-3114.

Music programs at Annandale include a Dec. 4 concert by the chorus and madrigals, performing with the Potomac Ballet Company in "A Day for Dancing" based on medieval Christmas carols designed for singers, dancers and instruments. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Church of the Good Shepherd, Burke, Va. The campus wind ensemble offers' performance on Dec. 7 in room 106, building CC, at noon. And an international Christmas concert on Dec. 9 will feature the chorus and campus foreign language clubs in a noon recital in CC120.

A children's concert is scheduled for Dec. 11 by the wind ensemble with the Kings park Civic Band, at 2:30 p.m. in Wakefield Recreation Center, 8100 Braddock Rd. A faculty concert by Francis Lindquis will be held Feb. 22 at noon and a jazz concert will be of fered March 15 at the same hour, both in CC 120. For information on music events, call 323-3346.

An original play by drama department head Robert Clymire will highlight NVCC's fall season on the Alexandria Campus."Lincoln Killed Kennedy!" is the first production in a series of five plays offered in 1977-78. The show is scheduled for three weekends Dec. 2-4, 9-17. Evening performances will be at 8 p.m. and matinees (Dec. 4 and 11) are at 2 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of the main campus building, 3001 N. Beauregard St. Other works scheduled include Jean paul Satre's "Not Exit" (in French) in February; "Trojan Women" in March; "Godspell" in April; and a new multi-arts presentation compiled by Clymire, "Whitman: A Celebration of Spring," in June. There is an admission charge; call 323-4241 for details.

The photography program at Alexandria has a series of free lectures by outstanding photographers. national Georgraphic's Bruce Dale, winner of many international awards, will speak on Thursday, Dec. 3 in the new Showroom Gallery which is part of Balley's Crossroads classroom facility, 3433 S. Carlin Springs Rd. An exhibition by photographer John Weiss will run Dec. 5 through Jan. 12 in the gallery. Admission is free. For information, call 323-4332.

Alexandria also as two more movies planned in its free "Film Watchers" series. "Champion," starring Kirk Douglas, will be shown Dec. 2 and "The Learning Tree," an autobiographical work produced, directed and written by photographer Gordon Parks, is sheduled Dec. 9. Both are at 8 p.m. in room 322 or the main campus building. A joint campus and community Christmas concert is also scheduled by the combined chorus and band on Dec. 8 in Alexandria's main cafeteria.

At Loudoun, a Dec. 7 fall concert by the Northern Virginia Symphony Orchestra is on the agenda in the J. Lupton Middle School, Leesburg, under the direction of conductor Lawrence Wheeler. London also has free faculty concerts on the second Wednesday each month at 8 p.m. during the fall. Call 323-4527 for information.

he Manassas campus has several fine arts activities penciled in for 1978: A ceramics week with open labs and free public mini-classes in February; the third annual high school art contest in April; and a festival of the arts, featuring African dancers, mime, and free character drawings by campus art students in May. For details, call NVCC's toll-free number, 323-3000 and ask for the Manassas campus, extension 213. NVCC's campus at Woodbridge will schedule winter events in the near future. For updated details, call the same toll-free number, 323-3000, and ask for Woodbridge, extension 234.

Marymount College in Arlington is planning several preforming events. One is an original student drama to be produced in Januaryor February, and another a fully-staged theatrical show, probably in March.

The campus craft bazaar is set for Sunday, Dec. 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the student center 2807 N. Glebe Rd. Admission is free. Call Marymount at 524-2500 for additional information.