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Tara Linhardt is a true mandolin virtuoso; in addition, she has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history and traditions of the instrument. She brought both gifts to bear in her contribution to the HVBA’s six-week History of Bluegrass course at Vassar College’s Lifelong Learning Institute.  Her presentation not only demonstrated the mandolin’s role in bluegrass; she also captivated her audience with a detailed account of the instrument’s development and its popularity through the ages. Her ability to convey her passion for her subject brought it vividly to life for all the participants.

--Mike Foley, President, Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association 

(after Tara did a presentation on the history of the mandolin at Vassar College 2019)


March 14, 2012

Dear Tara,

Thank you for your participation in last year’s Appalachian Edge Film Festival, sponsored by Muskingum University. Since its opening in 1837, Muskingum University’s mission has been to “educate the ‘whole person’ – intellectually, spiritual, socially, and physically.”  Our goal is to foster “critical thinking, positive action, ethical sensitivity and spiritual growth” in order to develop people who will “lead vocationally productive, personally satisfying and socially responsible lives.”  I believe your presence on campus has helped us in meeting these goals and succeed in our mission.

It was thrilling to have the film, Mountain Music Project, shown as part of our festival.  The subject of this film, that of intercultural exchange, was relevant to our classes in World Music, American History and Religious and Anthropological Studies.  It was wonderful that you and two traditional musicians were able to come and attend the festival and perform a public concert in addition to being present for the  screening of the film.   The concert was very well-received by both faculty and students, as evidenced by the dancing at the end of the show! This intercultural dialogue, through the language of traditional forms of music, certainly represents the humanistic goals of our institution.  I highly recommend your film and your music to any institution that wants to broaden the international perspectives of their students.

Best wishes for your continued success in all your endeavors. It was a pleasure to host you and your fellow musicians.


Melissa Conroy

Associate Professor of Religion

Department of Religion and Philosophy

Muskingum University

New Concord, OH 43762

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