LENA McLIN was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Her father was a Baptist pastor and her mother was his Minister of Music. Lena McLin went to live in Chicago with her uncle, gospel composer Thomas Dorsey, when his wife, Nettie, died in childbirth. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Music degree in piano and violin from Spelman College in Atlanta, and then received her Master of Music from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Ms McLin taught music in the Chicago public high schools for 36 years, nurturing hundreds of young singers and musicians. She is also a renowned composer of a wide range of music, including cantatas, masses, solo and choral arrangements of spirituals, anthems, rock operas, soul songs, works for piano and orchestra, and electronic music. Her most famous compositions are Gwendolyn Brooks: A Musical Portrait, Free at Last, Psalm 117, and The Little Baby. In all her pieces, her musical style remains rooted in the church and gospel. Lena McLin still resides in Chicago.