Linda Thomas

Linda Thomas' 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.

Teamed with guitarist Dan DeLancey since 1980, the duo has recorded twelve albums and Linda has published several instructional books with arrangements for hammered dulcimer. Linda also facilitates workshops for beginner to advanced players and has been a competitor at major dulcimer contests. She 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 Thomas demonstrates a great ability and mastery over the hammered dulcimer. She weaves the melody, chords and embellishments into a tapestry of music. She has the ability to make a fast fiddle tune bounce and the sensitivity to perform slower pieces that sing." Dana Hamilton

"Linda Thomas is a solid and rhythmic player who really understands the intricate style of group playing. She knows how to make the melody stand out in a group and is equally at home on back-up playing." Rick Thum

"Linda has the ability to forge a comfort zone including American music and tunes from afar; this is done with an ease which belies the difficulty of mastering such intricate and wide-ranging music." Walt Michael