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Someone You Should Know: Musical Mentor Lena McLin

Harry Porterfield Harry Porterfield
Harry Porterfield co-anchors the 11 AM news with Roseanne Tellez and...
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(CBS) — She’s been teaching for more than half a century, and some of the most famous singers in the country were her students.

CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says Dr. Lena McLin is someone you should know.

Let there be music. And there always is when Dr. Lena McLin is present. This week at the South Shore Cultural Center she was honored with the Wisdom Award.

Dr. McLin retired from the Chicago Public Schools back in 1991, but she still teaches music in her home. Many of her students have soared to incredible heights as popular and classical singers, including Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Grammy winner R. Kelly.

“I’m just happy to see them out there, and I’m happy to see them going on and I thank God for allowing me to be some help in directing them,” she says.

Former students who came to congratulate her included Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

“The arts are not something to be taken lightly, and Lena is a testament to that. And I am so fortunate to have had her as a teacher,” Lewis says.

“She just basically allows me to flourish as a singer,” says student R.J. Johnson. “Without her and her technique, I don’t think my voice would be as developed as it is.”

McLin also is a prolific composer of choral music and the pastor of a church.