Mary Lynn Doherty

Assistant Director of the School of Music
Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education

Mary Lynn Doherty is the assistant director of the School of Music and the coordinator of music education at Northern Illinois University, where she teaches choral and general music methods, supervises student teachers, works with undergraduate and graduate students as well as area music educators at all levels and conducts the University Chorus.

In 2020, Doherty was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. She has also been nominated for NIU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award four times, representing the School of Music and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Doherty has been invited to conduct ILMEA District choirs (elementary, middle and high school) eight times as well as serving as the conductor of the Rockford High School All-City Honor Choir, the Big Northern Conference Honor Choir, the Little Ten High School Choral Festival, the West Suburban Women’s Festival Choir, the North Central Junior Conference Honor Choir, the Women’s Honor Choir at the UW-Madison Summer Youth Music Camp and numerous district festival choirs.

Doherty was the director of NIU’s Community School of the Arts Children’s Choir from 2008-2016, earning grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund commissions and residences with internationally renowned composers and conductors. She is on the Illinois Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance Committee and serves as the NIU host of the Summer CMP Workshop. Prior to coming to NIU, she was the director of music education and associate conductor for the Choir Academy of the Chicago Children’s Choir.  

Doherty’s research is on vocal health issues experienced by music teachers and she has presented her work both nationally and internationally as well as being published in The Choral Journal and the Journal of Voice. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, the National Voice Foundation and the American Organization of Kodaly Educators. She received her Master of Music degree and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College. Her mentors include Judy Hanson, Brett Goad, Gerald Olson and Weston Noble.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin


  • Coordinator of Music Education
  • Advisory Committee Representative
  • Music Education



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