William Isaac Morey
1887 - 1940
William I. Morey taught music at three Seventh-day Adventist colleges during his career. He enjoyed success at all three schools and is credited, along with George Greer at Pacific Union College, with organizing one of the first a cappella choirs in SDA colleges.
William was born in Valley Center, Kansas, the oldest son of Ellis A. and Thena Thompson. He attended Union College and then taught church school for four years before returning to school, studying first at Friends University and then the Power-Myers Conservatory of Music in Wichita, Kansas. After he completed a degree in vocal music at the conservatory in 1913, he taught at Oak Park Academy in Nevada, Iowa, for four years, continuing to study voice with several teachers during that time.
In 1917, Morey accepted leadership of the choral program at Walla Walla College, now University. He was ambitious and hardworking and inspired the students with his enthusiasm. By his fourth year the choir numbered 120 and he presented the Queen Esther Cantata to a sold-out house in a performance which was widely praised.
In addition to conducting the college and children's choruses, he conducted two other choirs, sang in a male quartet, gave forty lessons each week, and taught "theoretical classes" as needed. He also led the department for the last three of his six years at WWC.
After Morey left WWC, he completed bachelor's and master's degrees in music at the American Conservatory of Music. Following a year as chair at Union College, where he organized one of the first a cappella choirs in Adventist schools, he accepted an invitation to teach at Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, in 1927.
While a student at UC, Morey had met Hazel Harvey. She had graduated from a music conservatory in Pueblo, Colorado, and was an accomplished pianist. They later married and throughout his career in music, she taught piano at the schools where he was employed. While teaching at WWC, she continued to study, taking music classes at the Whitman Conservatory of Music and the University of Washington.
Morey moved to California in the 1930's, where he died in Arlington at the age of 53. Survivors included his wife and a daughter, Mildred Elaine.
Sources: Obituaries, Review and Herald, 26 September 1940, 23, 25; Pacific Union Recorder, 30 October 1940, 18; Lake Union Herald, 8 October 1940, 13. The Educational Messenger, 1926, 27; WWC student newspaper, The Collegian, 1917-1923; and WWC Mountain Ash yearbooks, 1918-1923; 1900, 1920, 1930 U.S. Federal Census Recoerds, California Death Records.