Kara Barnard, Mountain Dulcimer
Kara Barnard is a nationally recognized multi-instrumentalist, instructor, singer/song writer , and artist. She is the 2022 Walnut Valley Festival National Mountain Dulcimer contest champion. Kara instructs hundreds of beginner to advanced students each year on mandolin, banjo, and dulcimer. She is one of the most highly respected music teachers in Indiana. Her experiences competing in international guitar contests led her to create her own contest in 2010. The Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Contest is held in July each year in Brown County and features guitarists from all over the world. In 2018 Kara launched "Kara's Silver Strings" a mountain dulcimer program that teaches older adults to play mountain dulcimer. She teamed with Eric Rose to assisted living facilities across the country. During her busy performing years Kara worked with many nationally recognized artists and bands such as Tret Fure, Ferron, Wishing Chair, Jamie Anderson, Sindicato, Slats Klug, & Buzzy Jones. She has seven CD's: Chesire Cat, The Water's Edge, Home, Fret Hopping in Brown County, Disphan Brigade, Brown County Waltz, & Flying Down King Street. She has cut down her formerly extensive touring schedule, and now only occasionally performs in Indiana and South Carolina as a solo performer and with her sister, Pam Barnard Hays (as one half of the Barnard Sisters). Kara was counted among the nation's finest guitarists and was also Indiana's top ranked female mandolinist. She placed 5th in the 2009 Walnut Valley Festival National competition & performed and gave workshops at an international convention in Bogota, Columbia. She has written several of her own instructional books and is credited as the technical editor for Banjo for Dummies and Bluegrass Banjo for Dummies by Bill Evans and Wiley Publishing. Kara has received many awards in several areas including music entrepreneurship, mentoring students, and even her lifetime achievement award presented by the Brown County Playhouse in 2013.