Staff Bios

Common Ground on the Hill Staff 2011

Walt Michael, Founder and Executive Director

Staff member since 1994

Duties include artistic direction, curriculum development, supervision of instructors, college relations, board relations, external relations, staff supervision.

Bio: Considered to be a virtuoso of tremendous influence in the revival of the hammered dulcimer, Walt’s wide repertoire ranges from old-time Southern Appalachian, to Celtic, to original compositions. His various musical incarnations, including Bottle Hill, Michael, McCreesh & Campbell and Walt Michael & Co. have taken him from the coal camps of Appalachia to the Closing Ceremonies of the 13th Olympic Winter Games. As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist he has recorded fourteen albums, appeared at the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers and toured internationally. His music has been heard on ABC-TV, NBC’s Tonight Show, Broadway, BBC, TNN, CBC and PBS. Walt is the Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Common Ground on the Hill, and the Artist in Residence at McDaniel College.


Maria Wong, Director of Promotions and Development

Staff member since 2013

Duties include web management, marketing, catalog and flier development, community outreach.

Bio: Maria has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.A. in Speech Pathology from Towson University, and an M.S. in Speech Pathology from the M.G.H. Institute of Health Professions. Prior to joining CGOTH, Maria owned a computer repair business, as well as teaching computer skills to older adults. She was on the Board of the Graduate Institute of Philosophy and a Ruling Elder at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church. She lives in Baltimore with her husband, two sons, and four cats.


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