The Georgia & Nolan Payton Archive of Sacred Musicconsists of music, books, periodicals, documents, audio & visual materials, and oral histories. The primary goal of the Archive is to facilitate research and documentation of collections of African Diaspora sacred music (church music and religious concert music) created and/or performed by the multicultural population of Southern California.
Dr. Lena McLin
Photo: Lena McLin, guest conductor at the Living Legends Festival Concert in 2010.
Lena McLin is a phenomenal presence and legendary figure in the world of music.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, she is the daughter of a prominent minister, whose early Christ based teachings inspired her path of social commitment and service to mankind. The musical influence of her mother, Bernice and her uncle, Thomas A. Dorsey (“Father of Gospel”), impacted her natural gift and created a standard of excellence for her eminent contributions in the field of music. She is a graduate of Spelman College and was honored in April of 2000 with the prestigious Doctor of Humane Letters from Spellman College. She was also awarded Virginia Union’s Doctorate of Humanities. Lena has studied under numerous Masters in the field and has also studied abroad in both Italy and Germany. In recent years, she has been honored with a number of music awards for outstanding excellence and life-time achievement.
McLin is widely recognized as one of America’s premier composers. The Neil A. Kjos Music company has published and distributed hundreds of her works; which include: arrangements of Spirituals, art songs, cantatas, dramatic works, works for orchestra and liturgical masses.
Dr. McLin established the McLin Ensemble, a leading small professional Opera company, which gained national recognition for young aspiring artists, allowing singers from all races to perform in Opera productions..
For thirty-six consecutive years, she taught with great distinction in the public high schools of Chicago, and over the course of a quarter of a century, she has consulted with music and humanities curricula, including faculties at more than forty major colleges and universities nationwide. She is the author of the textbook ”Pulse: A History of Music.”
Known for her inspiration and training of young solo singers and musicians, Lena McLin has trained over 31 famed musical stars. Many are now performing throughout the country in musical theatre, opera, professional choruses and on the concert stage. She gives talented composers inspiration and teaches them how to be creative and arrange for various mediums. To date two of her students, Mark Rucker and Nicole Heaston were signed to the New York, Metropolitan Opera Company and Jonita Latimore has been assigned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
On February 26, 1982, Dr. McLin became an ordained minister. She is the founder of Holy Vessel Baptist Church in Chicago where she has served as Pastor and Minister of Music for more than twenty years. Dr. McLin’s legacy of musical and educational excellence lives on in her daughter Beverly Leathers, son Nathaniel McLin, and grandchildren, Marcell and Kirk Leathers.