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Reverend Dr. Lena McLin

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Information about Reverend Dr. Lena McLin

Profile image of Reverend Dr. Lena McLin

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
High School Music Teacher
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Turnip Greens, Hamhock
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Alice Had Her Wonderland. Dorothy Had Her Trip To Oz. Cinderella Had Her Ball And Jack Had A Beanstalk Tall. Midas Had His Golden Touch. Rumplestilskin's Name Was Much. Pinocchio Had A Craftsman Wise, And Puss In Boots Was No Surprise. Make Believe Is Fine You See, But Life Is More Than Dreams To Me Cause My Fairyland Is Where I Am, How I Think, And What I Do. And Miracles For Me Are Things That Happen When I Cause Them To. I Believe I Am A Dream. I Am The Theme Of Life's Full Scheme. Without Me, There Would Be No Way For Make Believe To Have It's Day. So Let Me Say To All Who Doubt That What You Want Can Come About That. Just Keep This Little Fact In Mind That All You Need In Life Is Time Cause Your Fairyland Is Where You Are, How You Think, And What You Do And Miracles Are Things Are Things That Happen When You Cause Them To.

Birthplace

Born:
9/5/1928
Birth Location:
Atlanta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
High School Music Teacher
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Turnip Greens, Hamhock
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Alice Had Her Wonderland. Dorothy Had Her Trip To Oz. Cinderella Had Her Ball And Jack Had A Beanstalk Tall. Midas Had His Golden Touch. Rumplestilskin's Name Was Much. Pinocchio Had A Craftsman Wise, And Puss In Boots Was No Surprise. Make Believe Is Fine You See, But Life Is More Than Dreams To Me Cause My Fairyland Is Where I Am, How I Think, And What I Do. And Miracles For Me Are Things That Happen When I Cause Them To. I Believe I Am A Dream. I Am The Theme Of Life's Full Scheme. Without Me, There Would Be No Way For Make Believe To Have It's Day. So Let Me Say To All Who Doubt That What You Want Can Come About That. Just Keep This Little Fact In Mind That All You Need In Life Is Time Cause Your Fairyland Is Where You Are, How You Think, And What You Do And Miracles Are Things Are Things That Happen When You Cause Them To.

Birthplace

Born:
9/5/1928
Birth Location:
Atlanta
See how Reverend Dr. Lena McLin is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Musician, teacher, and composer, Reverend Lena McLin, was born 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. When she was five, McLin was sent to Chicago to live with her uncle, Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the father of gospel music; there she attended McCosh Elementary School and served as a young accompanist for her uncle’s famed Pilgrim Baptist Church choir. After moving back to Atlanta, McLin graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1947. At Spelman College, McLin earned her bachelor of music degree in 1951; she also studied in Chicago at the American Conservatory of Music, Roosevelt University, and Chicago State University.

McLin started her teaching career at Julius H. Hess Upper Grade Center in 1959, moving to Hubbard High School in 1960. As a founder of the McLin Ensemble and the McLin Opera Company, McLin created performance opportunities for African American musicians. McLin taught at John Marshall Harlan High School from 1963 to 1970, leaving to teach at the new Kenwood Academy. At Kenwood Academy, acting as music department chair, McLin created a pilot curriculum that included all types of music, from classical to popular, helping to launch the careers of singer and actor Mandy Patinkin; Metropolitan Opera star Mark Rucker; jazz singers Maggie Brown and Kim English; and rhythm and blues artist Robert “R” Kelly. In 1977, McLin published a music history for youth entitled Pulse: A History of Music.

As a founder of Trinity Congregational Church, McLin also worked as minister of music. In 1982, McLin became founding pastor of Holy Vessel Baptist Church. McLin has published over 400 compositions, including tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gwendolyn Brooks; her compositions range from solo voice pieces to full orchestrations. Sought after nationally as a speaker and workshop leader, McLin is the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1983 and numerous other awards and honorary degrees. McLin has raised a son and a daughter, and remains a resident of Chicago’s South Shore community.

See how Reverend Dr. Lena McLin is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Lena McLin's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about her maternal uncle, Thomas A. Dorsey
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about the origins of gospel music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about the Dorsey family's involvement with gospel music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about growing up in the Baptist community in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about her childhood community in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin recalls what Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was like in his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her earliest childhood memory in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin recalls living with her uncle, Thomas A. Dorsey, in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about her musical training and schooling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her experiences at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her interests and activities at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her experiences at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about her musical instructors and studies at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her experiences at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin explains why she loves the opera 'Cavalleria rusticana'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about her experiences with opera music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about teaching at Julius H. Hess Upper Grade Center and John Marshall Harlan High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about teaching at Kenwood Academy in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about well-known performers who were her former students at Kenwood Academy in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes the curriculum she used while teaching music at Kenwood Academy in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes how she began her career as a composer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about her role as founder and pastor of Holy Vessel Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about her favorite kinds of music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about the assassination and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin shares her theological philosophy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about the celebrities she invited to Kenwood Academy in Chicago, Illinois to address students
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin talks about how Chicago, Illinois can be a training ground for musicians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin narrates her photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Lena McLin performs one of her musical compositions