Dr. Calvin McClinton, a prominent leader of the African-American community in the Alleghany Highlands, has died.

Dr. McClinton was a native of the Covington area, born and raised in the Historic village of Wrightsville, in Alleghany County. Calvin is the son of William and Celestine McClinton and the great-great-grandson of Archie and Mary Wright. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary Jane McClinton-Fortune (Eugene) of Prince Frederick, Maryland, and bother William McClinton Jr. of Chicago, Illinois.

Calvin spent most of his life training young musicians to sing or play musical instruments. 

He began his training locally, studying piano and voice with the late France Rupert. After graduating from Alleghany High School in 1968, he attended Westminister Choir College, which was also the alma mater of Mrs. Frances Rupert. He was a member of the famed Westminister Touring Choir for 4 years and performed with the opera chorus in Spoleto, Italy for 2 years. He received his Bachelor's degree in Vocal Music Education from Westminister and his Master's degree in Conducting from Trenton State College, now the College of New Jersey. He received his Doctorate in 1997 and was named a Fulbright Scholar in 1999. 

After college, Calvin went on to teach general and vocal music in public schools and conduct bands and orchestras for community theatre and civic organizations throughout New Jersey. In 1978 he organized his own theatre company, “The Part-Time Players,” in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. As his career grew as a coach and musical theatre specialist, Calvin went on to teach at the college and university level in Ohio, Michigan, and Washington, DC and later, internationally in Romania, Korea, and Bulgaria. 

Calvin returned to the area in 2005 after retiring from university life and performing, to revitalize his home place and help in the restoration of the cultural and historic community of Wrightsville. Dr. McClinton founded the McClinton Foundation in 2006 to help support young artists and professionals in their pursuit of excellence in the musical theatre art form. Each year the Foundation hosts the Wrightsville Renewal Festival to raise cultural awareness and to open dialogue for shared differences. The festival brings artists, and young interns who share their talents with the community through performances, workshops, and open talks and cultural exchanges. 

Dr. McClinton was a strong man of faith and believed deeply in God and the power of love and community. He served in the community, on many different organizations. He served as Choir Director at Wrightsville Baptist Church for a short period of time and as the Director of Music at Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg, West Virginia. 

Calvin leaves to mourn his three loving nieces, Lisa Fortune-Williams (Kenneth), Alveria Darentiz McClinton-Jointer (Jay), and Veronica Ann Coffee (Omar). Two nephews, Keeatae Hatcher and Lino Williams (Davianna). Devoted special friend, Elizabeth Jordan. A host of great-nieces and nephews, Kayla, Kara, Kendell, Shari Renee (Michael), Russell, Keeatae Jr, and Khaleaa. He also leaves behind relatives in Illinois, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, DC., and throughout Virginia.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, June 4, 2021, at Old Stone Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg, W.Va. Interment will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery.

The family will receive friends on Friday morning from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at Loving Funeral Home.

Those attending the service will be asked to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines including wearing masks, maintaining a six-foot separation from others, use of hand sanitizer as well as following all other posted guidelines. 

The Old Stone Presbyterian Church will be live streaming Dr. McClinton's service through its YouTube channel; https://www.youtube.com/c/OldStonePresbyterianChurch.

Arrangements are being handled by Loving Funeral Home; www.lovingfuneralhome1913.com.