Jazz News & Notices

Honoring Tom McLaren
WQLN Radio Studio to be Renamed

Tom McLarenRadio studio to be renamed.

WQLN (91.3 FM), Erie's premier public radio station, will be holding a memorial dedication at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the studio, 8425 Peach St., in Erie.

The radio studio will be renamed in honor of Tom McLaren, who served as station manager for over 20 years.  Tom New will dedicate the studio with a placque in McLaren's honor.

The article below summarizes Tom's contributions to JazzErie and the Erie community, including his key role as station manager.  Tom died in December of 2012.

Supportive presence

Tom McLaren, an active leader within JazzErie almost since its inception, died on Dec. 16.  Tom served as JazzErie’s President from 2003 – 2005, after his retirement from active broadcasting at WQLN, continued to work with Jazz Walk and Newsletter committees thereafter. He was a continuing creative, kind, well organized, and always supportive presence within the organization throughout his tenure. 

We will miss him!

Wide-ranging career

A graduate of Georgia Military Academy and Westminster College (New Wilmington, PA), Tom’s multiple fields of interest were evident in his career.  From 1951-54 he taught English at Gordon College in Pakistan.

 He returned to the U.S. to attend Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Theology degree, and was ordained into the Presbyterian ministry in 1957.  Tom served congregations in Syracuse, NY and in Glenshaw, Harrisburg  and Erie, PA, then continued to serve as interim pastor in other NW PA churches.


In 1973, Tom began work with WQLN, soon becoming Director of Radio Programming and Production.  Tom was a key leader in the development of  WQLN’s format of news, jazz, classics and special features which continues today.  He retired from WQLN in 2002.

In addition to JazzErie, Tom also served as an active volunteer with a number of other community organizations, including the Erie Philharmonic.


We've posted Tom's passing on the JazzErie Facebook page. Please add your memories and wishes to his family there. Thanks.


Thanks to Joel Natalie at Press & Tower for use of the photo.

By Dick Thompson
December 21, 2012