Leroy Charles Shultz

1936 -

Leroy Shultz, pianist and organist, taught music in four Seventh-day Adventist academies during the 1960s and has been a piano technician for over forty years. He has also published three books on playing gospel music.

Leroy was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, and spent his childhood years in Colorado Springs, Colorado. One of three sons born to Vearl and Rose Charlotte Saloga Shultz, he was the only one to pursue a career in music. Even though his parents were not musicians and there was seldom music in the home, Leroy from his earliest years was attracted to music and started piano lessons at age seven.

Although Leroy continued lessons during his elementary and high school years, it wasn't until he entered Union College, following graduation from high school in 1955, that he was truly inspired to pursue music as a career. He particularly enjoyed his keyboard lessons with UC teachers Neil Tilkens, Betty Christensen, and Eleanor Attarian-Wahlen.

While in College, he married Rose Iris Chaney, a secretarial student at the college, in 1958. They would have two sons, Gregory Lee and David Brent.

Following graduation from UC in 1960 with a B.S. degree in music education and organ as his performance area, Shultz began his career at Mount Pisgah Academy in North Carolina, teaching piano and organ. In 1962, he returned to the Midwest, where he taught for two years at Platte Valley Academy in Nebraska, and then for two more years at Enterprise Academy in Kansas.

Shultz accepted a teaching position in 1967 at Garden State Academy in New Jersey. He was class sponsor for the junior and senior class and at the end of his second year the yearbook was dedicated to him. In addition to teaching keyboard and voice lessons, he also conducted the choral programs at EA and GSA. During these years, he completed over twenty hours of graduate study in music.

In 1969, he enrolled in a piano technician school. At the end of that year the Shultzes moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Leroy began tuning pianos, and Rose became secretary to the academic dean. He also conducted a community choir in the church.

Shultz has now been tuning pianos for over forty years in Lincoln. During that time he has taken advanced training at three more schools, including those at the Baldwin and Yamaha piano companies.

In his work as a piano technician, he has rebuilt and refinished at least seventeen grand pianos. Additionally, he has written a series of three books, Progressive Gospel Piano, on how to play gospel music, each volume including six cassettes. Throughout his career he has continued to play piano and organ, serving as a Sabbath School pianist, playing several solos each year at church services, and providing music for weddings and funerals.

Both of the Shultz children have been active as musicians. Gregory, who possesses perfect pitch, began playing piano by ear at age two and developed an unusual gift for keyboard improvisation. David played the piano as a child but became more interested in guitar as a teenager. Gregory continues today as the owner of a music store. David graduated with an art degree from the University of Nebraska and is following a career in graphic arts.

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Source: Information provided by Leroy Shultz, September 2011; Southern Tidings, 3 August 1960.