Morley Whitehead studied at the Royal College of Music, London, where his teachers included the late Herbert Howells. During his time there, he was a multiple prize-winner at both the Associateship and Fellowship diploma examinations of the Royal College of Organists, and was also awarded the Silver Medal of The Worshipful Company of Musicians.
He moved to Edinburgh in 1979, upon being appointed Assistant Organist at St Giles’ Cathedral, a post he held for over 10 years. He became accompanist to ERCU in September 1980. In 1991, he left the High Kirk to become Organist & Choirmaster at (what is now) Morningside Parish Church, where he remains in post; and in 2015 became Organist at the Thistle Foundation’s Robin Chapel, where every Sunday afternoon he accompanies the semi-professional choir in their singing of a fully choral service.
In addition to his work with ERCU, Morley has been and continues to be accompanist and organist to a number of Edinburgh’s choirs: Waverley Singers, Edinburgh Grand Opera, Opera Camerata, and Colinton Community Choir, as well as undertaking any amount of freelance accompanying in and around the city – he is “regular” organist to Edinburgh Bach Choir, “Cadenza”, St Andrew Camerata, Queen Margaret University, Open University in Scotland, Dundee Choral Union, etc. He is also in demand as a solo recitalist, and has recently played in all three of the city’s cathedrals, as well as (in February last) St Michael’s, Cornhill, in the City of London (a church with a long and illustrious musical tradition, and where, during his student years, he acted as assistant organist.)
Alongside all this playing, Morley has for many years looked after the very fine Reid Music Library of Edinburgh University – which work he continues to enjoy, despite the necessity of having had to come to grips, in recent years, with all manner of technological innovations (!)
Morley has featured from time to time in broadcasts, on both television and radio (most recently on Radio 4’s morning service), and is accompanist on Edinburgh choir “Cadenza”’s recently published CD, “Bright Star”, a compilation of Christmas carols, but with a Scottish flavour.