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Schultz, Ralph C.

Ralph C. Schultz was born in Dolton, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on June 23, 1932. His music study began when he was five years old. Soon thereafter, his interest in musical composition surfaced. After working with Herman Spier and Rosetter Cole, Schultz earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the Cosmopolitan School of Music in Chicago in 1954. Also in 1954, Schultz completed the course of study leading to the Bachelor of Science in Education at Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois where he studied with Carl Waldschmidt, Paul Bunjes, Carl Halter, and Victor Hildner.

Upon graduation Schultz married Dorothy Ruth Nickel and the couple began teaching careers in Cleveland, Ohio, Dorothy at St. Mark's Lutheran School and Ralph at Luther Memorial School, a consolidated school for Trinity Lutheran Church where he served as organist and choir director. In the summer of 1955 Schultz enrolled at the University of Michigan to study organ with Robert Noehren and composition with Ross Lee Finney. Influenced by Noehren, Trinity Lutheran Church installed in 1957 the first large mechanical action organ in America built by Rudolf von Beckerath in Hamburg, Germany. The instrument gained an international reputation for its quality and it generated new interest in America for the mechanical action organ.

Schultz transferred from the University of Michigan to the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied composition with Marcel Dick, a close associate of Arnold Schoenberg. Music activities at Trinity were broadened to include conducting the Cleveland Lutheran Chorus and Orchestra in a number of concerts and television appearances each year. The Cleveland Institute granted the Master of Music in theory and composition to Schultz in 1960.

In 1961, Schultz accepted the call to chair the music department at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York. Schultz began the pursuit of a doctorate in music education at Teachers College of Columbia University. However, the desire to compose and conduct church music led him to transfer to Union Theological Seminary where he earned the Sacred Music Doctorate in 1967. While a student at Union, Schultz studied organ with Vernon De Tar, composition with Seth Bingham, musicology with Richard French, and conducting with Thomas Dunn. Schultz returned to Union as lecturer in conducting from 1968-1972. Under his direction the Concordia Choir received critical acclaim for performances at Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center as well as various cities in Germany.

Throughout his career as a composer, Schultz has closely identified with music for the church, but he has also written sonatas for piano and oboe, pieces for strings, and a suite for orchestra titled The Intelligent Man. In addition to numerous organ pieces, Schultz has composed extensively for choirs. Major compositions for choir and orchestra include Chorale Mass, To Him Be Glory, and Praise God with Hearts and Voices. Schultz and his wife Dorothy collaborated on many compositions including Sing for Joy!, and special music for the weddings of their six children and baptisms of their fourteen grandchildren. The hymn Love in Christ, now included in Lutheran Worship, was first written for the wedding of daughter Deborah to Kevin Cook.

Schultz retired from the presidency at Concordia College in June of 1998. Upon his retirement, the Board of Regents named him President Emeritus and Professor of Music Emeritus. Year- long festivities surrounding his retirement culminated in a reunion of more than 220 alumni who had sung for him between 1961 and 1998. After four intensive days of rehearsal and fellowship, they produced a magnificent recording and performed to a sell-out crowd at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, New York City. Dorothy and he have moved to a new home in Slingerlands, NY where he continues to be involved as an author, composer, choral clinician and guest conductor for such events as the recent performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor for the "Basically Bach Festival" at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Manhattan.

Dr. Schultz has founded the Jubilate Singers and Orchestra in the Capital Region of Albany, New York. Ninety singers drawn from area congregations have performed Handel's Messiah, Brahms' Requiem, Bach's Passion According to St. John and Christ lag in Todesbanden, and Schultz's ChoraleMass.

A biographical listing for Schultz has been included in Contemporary American Composers: A Biographical Dictionary by E. Ruth Anderson published by G. K. Hall & Co., Boston, Mass. He has also been included in Your Own Way in Music; A Career and Resource Guide by Nancy Uscher published by St. Martin's Press.

Choral music by Ralph C. Schultz