To honor Linn’s deep love and commitment to excellence in vocal and stage performance, the Keller family, Linn’s husband Fred and daughters Christina, Susan, and Lorissa, established the Linn Maxwell Keller Professional Vocalist Experience Endowment at Grand Valley State University to provide enrichment opportunities for committed vocal performance students and to encourage them in their professional career development. In appreciation for their generosity, Grand Valley State University named this space the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre.
Linn Maxwell Keller (1943-2016) was a dedicated professional singer who performed in 28 countries, a scholar, a woman of deep faith, and an inspiring mother and life partner. Linn was born in Indiana, the only child of two musicians. Her mother, Adris, was an accomplished pianist and her father, Colonel Roy Maxwell, sang in choruses wherever his military career took the family. Linn spent much of her formative years in Bethesda, Maryland and then traveled the world as a professional vocalist, finally making her home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she was a leader in, and avid supporter of, the performing arts community.
Linn studied music performance at the University of Maryland and earned a Master’s degree in music from Catholic University. As a mezzo soprano, Linn performed on many operatic and concert stages from the Essen Opera House in Germany to Puerto Rico and Carnegie Hall. Her one-woman cabaret shows were performed across the world, including in Edinburgh, Scotland, New York City, and a tour of Australia.
At the peak of her career as a professional vocalist, Linn married Fred Keller and became the second mother to Christina, Susan, and Lorissa. As the children grew, she restarted her career, this time focusing on developing her acting and playwriting skills. She went on to write and develop numerous original shows, including the critically acclaimed Hildegard of Bingen and the Living Light, and St. Hildegard, Trumpet of God, turning both of them into movies.
She was the founder and president of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival and served on several artistic boards. Among her many accolades, she was awarded the Joy in Singing Award and received the National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Grant.