Linda Thomas
Linda Thomas

Linda's musical career began at age seven when she started playing piano. She eventually earned a degree in music education at Southwest Missouri State University and has taught music at the elementary school level for 35 years.

Linda became intrigued by the hammered dulcimer after hearing it played in live performance at the Walnut Valley Festival in the 1980's. "My formal training consisted of maybe five lessons to learn the tuning and set-up of the dulcimer; however, I consider myself pretty much a self-taught player." She quickly mastered the instrument and has become well known both in the US and in Europe as a performer, recording artist and instructor.

Linda took 2nd place in the Southern Regional Hammered Dulcimer Finals at Mountain View, Arkansas in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1997 Linda was a finalist in Lone Star State Dulcimer Competition and took first place there in 1999. In August, 2001 she was first place winner in the Scottish Highland Games Hammered Dulcimer Competition at Denver, Colorado.

Linda has prepared a video, telling more about herself.

Level 2 Ash Grove
This lovely Welsh tune is known all over the world, and is one of the first tunes Linda learned to play on her hammered dulcimer.
Level 2 Children's Song of the Nativity
"Children's Song of the Nativity" is a traditional English Christmas carol. The lyrics were written by Frances Chesterton and tell the story of children waiting for Christmas, travelling to welcome the baby Jesus and offering the Christ-child what little they can - their smiles and tears. Mary welcomes the children and invites them to sleep peacefully in the presence of God, a baby.
Level 2 Denver Belle
This is an old fiddle tune, made popular by fiddler Kenny Baker. Kenny was best known as a bluegrass musician, and he used to say bluegrass music was nothing but a hillbilly version of jazz.
Level 3 Girl I Left Behind Me
This is a long-standing popular folk tune and song, dated by most authorities to the late 18th or early 19th century. In the last video, Dan Delancy joins Linda, playing the melody on his guitar while she plays backup on her hammered dulcimer.
Level 3 June Apple
June Apple is an old time dance tune most often associated with the musicians of southwestern Virginia and the area that borders with North Carolina.
Level 3 Softly & Tenderly
This is a classic invitational hymn from the 19th-century revival tradition, often played at the conclusion of the service when people are invited to make either a profession of faith or a recommitment of one’s life. In this three-part series, Linda teaches us how to play melody, backup, and how to embellish your arrangement.
Level 2 Squire Parsons
Linda originally learned to play this as a processional at a wedding, and now she plays it at coffeeshops, galleries, and festivals.

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