Rev. Dr. Lena McLin was a renowned composer, music educator, and pastor who died on October 2, 2023, at the age of 95. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1928, and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she taught music for over 50 years at Kenwood Academy High School and other schools. She mentored many famous singers, such as Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, and Mandy Patinkin. She also founded the McLin Ensemble, the McLin Opera Company, and the Holy Vessel Baptist Church. This post will provide more details about Rev. Dr. Lena McLin’s age, wiki, bio, family, career, net worth, and more.
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin Biography Profile
|Name||Rev. Dr. Lena McLin|
|Date of Birth||September 5, 1928|
|Birth Place||Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
|Age (as of 2023)||95 years (deceased)|
|Profession||Music educator, composer, author, pastor|
|Home Town/State||Chicago, Illinois|
|College||Spelman College, American Conservatory of Music|
|Educational Qualification||Bachelor’s degree in music, master’s degree in music|
Early Life and Education
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin was born on September 5, 1928, in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents Benjamin J. and Bernice Dorsey Johnson. McLin’s parents were close to Reverend A.D. Williams and Reverend William Holmes Borders; her childhood friends included young Martin Luther King, Jr. and his sister Christine. McLin’s uncle was Thomas A. Dorsey, known as “The Father of Gospel Music”.
She attended the Pilgrim Baptist Church as a child, where she was exposed to gospel music and served as an accompanist to her uncle’s choir. McLin graduated from Spelman College in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in music, specializing in piano and violin. She then moved to Chicago and earned her master’s degree in music from the American Conservatory of Music in 1954.
|Father Name||Benjamin J. Johnson|
|Mother Name||Bernice Dorsey Johnson|
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin started her career as a music teacher in Chicago public schools in 1959. She taught at Hubbard High School, Harlan High School, and Kenwood Academy High School. She was the head of the music department at Kenwood Academy from 1969 to 1991. She developed a music curriculum that covered various genres and styles of music, from classical to jazz to rock to gospel.
She mentored many famous singers, such as Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Mandy Patinkin, Deitra Farr, Kim English, Mark Rucker, Robert Sims, and many others. She was called “the woman who launched a thousand careers” by art critic Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune. She retired from teaching high school in 1991 but continued to teach voice lessons at her home until her death.
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin was also a prolific composer and arranger who wrote over 400 works of music, including cantatas, masses, operas, musicals, songs, and instrumental pieces. She founded the McLin Ensemble in the 1950s and the McLin Opera Company in the mid-1950s with her husband Nathanael McLin. She produced and directed many operas and musicals with her company, such as The Cloak (1960), Oh Freedom (1983), The Nativity (1986), The Crucifixion (1987), The Resurrection (1988), The Ascension (1989), The Pentecost (1990), The Second Coming (1991), and The Judgment (1992). She also wrote a textbook titled Pulse: A History of Music in 1977 that covered music from ancient times to modern times.
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin was also a minister who founded the Holy Vessel Christian Center in Chicago in 1982. She served as the pastor of the church until her death. She preached the gospel through her music and her sermons. She also wrote several books on religion and spirituality, such as God Is Not Through With Me Yet (2006), God Is Still Speaking To Me (2007), God Is Still Working Miracles Through Me (2008), and God Is Still Working Wonders Through Me (2009).
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin received many awards and honors for her contributions to music and education, such as the Outstanding Composer Award from the Critics Association in 1971, the Teacher of the Year Award in Chicago in 1972, honorary doctorates from Spelman College and Virginia Union University in 1975, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Music Awards in 2006, and the Living Legend Award from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago in 2011. She died on October 2, 2023, at the age of 95.
Physical Stats and More:
|Height (Aprox.)||in centimeters- 165 cm|
|Weight (Aprox.)||in Kilograms- 65 kg|
Social Media Handles
|Social Media Platform||Handle/Username|
|Facebook Page||Rev. Dr. Lena McLin|
|YouTube||Rev. Dr. Lena McLin|
Who is Rev. Dr. Lena McLin?
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin is an American music educator, composer, author, and pastor who was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1928. She is the niece of Thomas A. Dorsey, the father of gospel music.
What are some of her achievements in music education?
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin taught music in Chicago public schools for 36 years and founded the McLin Ensemble and the McLin Opera Company. She also published a book called Pulse: A History of Music and a library of choral works.
What are some of her compositions and performances?
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin composed over 400 pieces of music, ranging from solo voice to full orchestra, and incorporating both European and African-American musical traditions. She also performed at Carnegie Hall and collaborated with other musicians and celebrities.
What are some of her roles in the church and the community?
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin founded the Trinity Congregational Church and served as its minister of music. She also became the founding pastor of the Holy Vessel Baptist Church. She was involved in various social causes and received many awards and honorary degrees.
Where does she live and what is she doing now?
Rev. Dr. Lena McLin lives in Chicago’s South Shore community and continues to teach, compose, and perform music. She also gives lectures and workshops on music and gospel history.
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