Northeast Times

The good ol’ days

On stage: Flut­ist Ed Schultz will per­form high­lights of the 1960s mu­sic fea­tured in Jer­sey Boys next week­end.

When the Philly Pops presents its fi­nal pro­gram of the sea­son next week­end, flut­ist Ed Schultz will be in his usu­al place on­stage at Ve­r­i­zon Hall.

Titled “Six­ties Hits,” the pro­gram fea­tures the four ori­gin­al cast mem­bers of the Broad­way mega-hit Jer­sey Boys. To­geth­er with the Philly Pops Or­ches­tra, they’ll per­form high­lights of the 1960s mu­sic fea­tured in the show.

“I en­joy ‘60s mu­sic — it’s fun to listen to and fun to play,” says Schultz.

The three Philly Pops con­certs — the fi­nal ones this sea­son — take place on May 16-18.

The Elkins Park flut­ist is a long­time Philly Pops mem­ber. He even played in the first con­cert un­der Peter Nero 35 years ago. And he’s been prin­cip­al flut­ist for the Philly Pops for the past 12 years. For most of those years, Nero was con­duct­ing. When he re­tired two years ago, mu­sic dir­ect­or Mi­chael Kra­jew­ski took over.

“He likes in­nov­at­ive pro­grams,” says Schultz. “And he has a charm­ing way with the audi­ence. He has a sense of hu­mor and he can be quite funny.”

Schultz and the oth­er Pops mu­si­cians are also de­voted to Peter Nero. In fact, Nero will lead a Pops con­cert in Cape May on May 24. The ver­sat­ile mu­si­cian is not only prin­cip­al flut­ist with the Philly Pops, but with the Cham­ber Or­ches­tra of Phil­adelphia, the Pennsylvania Bal­let Or­ches­tra, the Academy of Vo­cal Arts Or­ches­tra and Net­work for New Mu­sic. He’s also a reg­u­lar sub­sti­tute with the Phil­adelphia Or­ches­tra and has played with the West Jer­sey Cham­ber Or­ches­tra and Vox Ama Deus.

So his flute is well-traveled. And his cal­en­dar is crowded with mu­sic activ­it­ies — op­era, cham­ber mu­sic, Pops mu­sic and more. Just in the course of a few weeks, the per­form­ances have in­cluded the Academy of Vo­cal Arts pro­duc­tion of the Massen­et op­era Man­on, then two re­cit­als on the same day, and this Sunday and Monday, May 11 and 12, the Cham­ber Or­ches­tra of Phil­adelphia presents an all-Tchaikovsky pro­gram.

“It’s al­ways a pleas­ure to play with my col­leagues in the wind sec­tion,” says Schultz. “We don’t play to­geth­er reg­u­larly, but when we do, we can in­stantly lock in­to each oth­er in terms of mak­ing mu­sic.”

After the cham­ber mu­sic con­certs comes a big leap from Tchaikovsky to ‘60s mu­sic from Jer­sey Boys with the Philly Pops con­certs.

More Broad­way mu­sic comes next month, when Schultz per­forms with the or­ches­tra that will play for Evita. Schultz also was in the or­ches­tra for Phantom of the Op­era and Porgy and Bess earli­er this sea­son.

He not only at­tends re­hears­als for these var­ied con­certs, but puts in prac­tice at home in Elkins Park, where a sep­ar­ate room is de­voted en­tirely to mu­sic. On one wall is a photo of Schultz’s teach­er from the New Eng­land Con­ser­vat­ory, James Pap­pout­sa­kis. There’s also a photo of his late fath­er, Robert Schultz, with his jazz quar­tet. His fath­er was a min­ing en­gin­eer for U.S. Steel, but mu­sic was his avoca­tion. He played cla­ri­net and sax­o­phone with a jazz quar­tet on week­ends. An­oth­er photo shows his moth­er, Bar­bara Bur­well, play­ing gui­tar.

Both of Ed Schultz’s sons have in­her­ited the mu­sic gene. Daniel, 27, played the cello in high school and elec­tric bass in col­lege. Paul, 23, played the flute and now is in­ter­ested in pi­ano. Neither is a pro­fes­sion­al mu­si­cian like their fath­er. Wife Beth Parke is also not a mu­si­cian — she’s ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the So­ci­ety of En­vir­on­ment­al Journ­al­ists. But she’s a mu­sic lov­er who comes to many con­certs.

Schultz plays three in­stru­ments — flute, alto flute and pic­colo. His flute col­lec­tion in­cludes an in­stru­ment from Nepal that’s made of bam­boo and a Nat­ive Amer­ic­an flute that is played like a re­cord­er.

His trusty stand­ard flute — the one he uses most of­ten — was ac­quired in 1972, when he was a fresh­man at the New Eng­land Con­ser­vat­ory.

“It has played many, many notes since then,” he says.

And this month, it will play many more notes, as the busy mu­si­cian per­forms with the Cham­ber Or­ches­tra, the Philly Pops and, next month, Broad­way mu­sic with Evita at the Academy of Mu­sic, which runs from June 17 to 22.

“I en­joy the di­versity that all these groups of­fer,” he says. “And it’s also the op­por­tun­ity to play with many great mu­si­cians.” ••

If you go…

The Cham­ber Or­ches­tra of Phil­adelphia presents a pro­gram of all-Tchaikovsky mu­sic in the Perel­man Theat­er of the Kim­mel Cen­ter this Sunday af­ter­noon and Monday even­ing. For tick­ets, call 215-545-1739 or vis­it www.cham­ber­orches­tra.org

The Philly Pops con­cert, “Six­ties Hits,” is presen­ted May 16, 17 and 18 in Ve­r­i­zon Hall of the Kim­mel Cen­ter. For tick­ets, call 215-893-1955 or go to philly­pops.org

You can reach at rrovner@aol.com.

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