Linda Mintener
2017 National Flute Association Distinguished Service Award

Linda Mintener, a flutist and private flute teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin area, graduated cum laude from the Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with James Pellerite and Harry Houdeshel. She continued her studies with Robert Cole at the University of Wisconsin. She performs as a soloist and with the Madison Flute Choir and its elite Chamber Ensemble, which performed at the 2015 NFA convention. She has attended most of the NFA conventions, beginning with the third one in Milwaukee.

Mintener coordinates Chinese Orphans Project of First Baptist Church in Madison. Eleven years ago, she began organizing and performing in annual concerts for the benefit of impoverished rural Chinese orphan children. Many local flutists have performed in the concerts, including the entire Madison Flute Club. In addition, several other NFA members have volunteered to come to Madison at their own expense to perform in the concert, including Alexa Still and her harpist daughter, Jonathan Keeble, Patricia George, James J. Pellerite, and Roberta Brokaw. The project’s purpose is to provide funds to obtain an education for orphaned children who had lost their parents to AIDS, which had been contracted when the adults donated blood in exchange for small sums of money. The project then expanded to include orphans who had been abandoned or whose parents had died of other causes. In the past 11 years, the annual freeadmission Chinese Orphans Benefit Concerts have raised enough funds and sponsorships to send hundreds of orphans through school as far as they were able. This past school year, 95 orphans were in school—nine of them in college. Five children have graduated from college and become self-supporting in professional jobs. Mintener and her husband, Bob, traveled five times into the children’s rural Henan Province villages to visit each orphan in their humble, often one-room, dirt-floor homes, where they live with relatives, generally elderly grandparents. She and Bob will leave after the convention for the sixth visit.

After graduating from college, Mintener spent two years with the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa, where she taught flute at the Lyceé Classique de Musique in Conakry and worked as a French/English interpreter on the hospital ship for Project Hope. She has travelled throughout western Africa.

Mintener is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. Until her retirement, she worked for 28 years for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue as a litigator of their large-claim, complex sales-tax cases. She was also a representative for the Wisconsin State Attorneys’ Union and a member of its bargaining team. It has been her great pleasure to serve for the past 14 years as the NFA’s legal counsel. She has appreciated that NFA is the one place that has recognized her as both a lawyer and as a musician.

Mintener adopted two daughters as babies and subsequently married Bob, who had adopted a baby and had a daughter from a previous marriage. Their children are now adults with children of their own. Linda and Bob have seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren, all of whom (except the baby) are coming to the convention from as far away as New York, Michigan, and Washington, DC.

The Minteners love to travel. They spent four summers in rural China teaching English to English teachers, have participated in wheelchair distribution projects in Jamaica and Vietnam, and have travelled for pleasure to many other developing and developed countries.