Orwin Allison Morse
1874 - 1967
Orwin (Orrie) Morse taught at Avondale School for Christian Workers, now Avondale College, in Australia for two years, in 1898 and 1899. A vocalist and instrumentalist, he had trained at the Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. The experience at ASCW was not a satisfying one for Morse or the school, with Ellen White complaining about music performed by "unconsecrated instrumentalists," a vague statement that may have been referring to him or his students.
He found employment in 1901 at Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, in its first year of operation. He taught there for three years, leaving in 1904, when sweeping changes in personnel occurred, including the departure of president Edward A. Sutherland as well as Morse.
Curiously, Morse led out in a music program during his time at EMC that taught and performed sacred music only, a preference of the president. There were few class offerings, and only choruses singing sacred music were offered.
Morse then became director of the Stetson University School of Music, a position he held for five years, from 1904-1909. Years later, his family donated a collection of photos of famous musicians to the SU, most autographed or personally signed to Morse, many of them from the 1920s, when he was living in Sioux City, Iowa. Signed photographs from the collection include soprano Amelita Galli-Carci, Swiss pianist Rudolf Ganz, and Austrian contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink. Ganz in his inscription praised Morse for his "sensitive musicianship."
Because he lived in Sioux City during the 1920s, when he was in his fifties, and had contact with internationally noted musicians of that time, it is likely he was associated with a school of music. One possibility would be the Morningside Conservatory of Music, which is now a part of Morningside College. He was living in Deland, Florida, home of Stetson University, at the time of his death at age 92.
This biography is based on information found in the Avondale College centennial history, Avondale, Experiment on the Dora, Milton Hook, Avondale Academic Press, 1998; Emmanuel Missionary College Annual Calendars, 1901-1904; and the Stetson University website.