Department of Music
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04/15/14 5:15 pm Age: 1 year

Adventist Musicians Biographical Resource Dictionary


By: Rachel Wood

Former Professor’s 14-Year Project Becomes a Reality

Former WWU professor of music, Dan Shultz.

Dan Shultz, a former Walla Walla University professor of music, has prepared a 992-page compilation of more than 1100 biographies of musicians associated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (The book will be available from Color Press between April 15 and May 1.)
Shultz, who has been editor of International Adventist Musicians Association publications for thirty years, felt the need for a detailed Adventist music resource when he began creating the IAMA website 14 years ago. At the time, his online listing of Adventist musicians comprised less than 20 individuals with short biographies. He realized that there was a need for a larger collection of thorough, accurate information about musicians associated with Adventist music. Shultz wanted to share the story of each of these musicians, how each individual began his or her career and how it unfolded.
Shultz spent the last 14 years writing and researching information about Adventist composers and musicians. His wife, Carolyn, a retired Walla Walla University English professor, helped proofread and edit the book.
The dictionary contains information about more than 1100 Adventist musicians and composers from more than 60 countries and five continents in both secular and sacred music of all types. It contains a representative cross-section of musicians associated with the Adventist church, based on more than 400 interviews with each musician, and/or a colleague or family member, more than 150 information sheets provided by the musician or family. It also includes citations from many Adventist publications from the1850s to present.
As Shultz conducted the interviews, he discovered that each person had a unique history and a fascinating story to tell. He found that many music teachers came from homes in which they were the first to become professional musicians, and their journeys were intriguing.
Also included in the dictionary are 15 supplemental autobiographies, biographies, and complete interviews plus 30 tributes, eulogies, and life sketches. More than 30 Adventist composers are listed along with listings of their music, as well as discographies when applicable.
Shultz came to WWU in 1979 to serve as the chair of the Music Department and also direct the band. After five years, he became the primary teacher in the Introduction to Music classes. In 1997, he started the World Music class and continued to teach both classes until six years past his retirement in 2000.
Shultz says, “As I began my career as a music teacher, I kept hearing names of musicians and meeting colleagues who were having or had enjoyed great careers. Even so, there was very little of substance written about them except for short bios on record jackets and in printed programs, with the usual promotional hyperbole, or incomplete or inaccurate recollections by persons who had known them.”

Shultz hopes that this musical resource will “serve as the beginning for a history of music in the Seventh-day Adventist church, and that will inspire others to write about other aspects of music in our church.”
For more information about this book and how to purchase a copy, contact Dan Shultz at

Published April 15, 2014.

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