Traditions Week I: June 24 - June 29
ORIENTATION: Sunday, June 24 in Alumni Hall Theater
Including the DCBU Camp!

Traditions Week II: July 1 - 6
ORIENTATION: Sunday, July 2 in Alumni Hall Theater

Traditions Week III: July 8 - 13
ORIENTATION: Sunday, July 8 in Alumni Hall Theater

FestivalSaturday, July 14

Click HERE to make a pre-registration down payment and reserve your place in the registration queue!

NOTE: 2018 Workshops will be announced in February.

Traditions Week I: June 25 - 30

ORIENTATION: Sunday, June 25 in Alumni Hall Theater
Including the DCBU Camp!

Traditions Week II: July 2 - 7
ORIENTATION: Sunday, July 2 in Alumni Hall Theater

Festival: Saturday, July 8


Schedules-at-a-Glance Evening Events
Faculty  General Info FAQ Register

Course Descriptions
Special Gatherings Distinctive Lectures Literary/Performance Arts Music Courses
Dance Human Arts World Village Visual Arts

View the Common Ground on the Hill Catalog as a PDF HERE.

Quick LinksCourse Fees      Early Registration    Registration Information    Housing    Meals    Your Skill Level

Common Ground on the Hill for Young People    Earning Academic Credit     Safety     Americans with Disabilities Act

General Information

Course Fees:

Full-time, Regular Tuition:   $480 per week (includes all classes and evening events; Festival tickets NOT included. 4 or more classes are considered Full-time)

Early-Bird Registration: $450 per week (Balance MUST be paid in full by March 15, 2017. includes all benefits as noted above.)


1 class period: $230
2 class periods: $320 
(NOTE: Most Visual Arts classes are 2 periods)
3 class periods: $400

World Village: (for children post-kindergarten to 12 years old)      

$200 per week per child (periods 1-4);
$50 per child per week to enroll a World Village child in a 5th period class, or for each adult workshop a child adds to World Village registration. This MUST be arranged by special permission.  See "Common Ground on the Hill for Young People."


  • A $100 deposit is due with each registration form; $50 of the deposit fee is non-refundable. Total balances are due by June 15th, 2017, to hold your spot in class unless otherwise arranged. All fees paid are non-refundable after June 15th.
  • All rates quoted are per week/per individual.
  • Some class workshops include an extra materials fee which is payable directly to the instructor at the first class.
  • For full-time students, Morning Yoga is an additional $50. For part-time students, these courses count as 1 class period.  
  • Tickets for the Common Ground on the Hill’s Roots Music and Arts Festival, July 8, may be purchased with registration.
Ticket Prices Adults Seniors 65+;
Teens 13-18
< 5
Saturday, July 8  $30 $25 $10 per day
with ticketed
FREE with


Already registered and looking for Arrival and Check-In information?
HERE for a printable PDF!

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Early Registration Special

In order to help us plan ahead and reduce Common Ground’s office costs, those individuals registering as full-time participants and paying in full by March 15, 2017, will pay only $450 for a full week’s tuition! You save $30 and help Common Ground at the same time. ONLINE REGISTRANTS: Online Early Bird discount expires at 5 PM EST on March 15. MAIL IN REGISTRANTS: Must be postmarked by March 15 in order to qualify for the Early Bird discount.

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Registration Information

Register online here:

Or by phone: 410-857-2771


            You may register by mail: Common Ground on the Hill, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD  21157

If mailing in a registration form, please fill out a blank registration form and submit one form per week for each person attending. If you are attending both weeks, please fill out a separate form for each week. Please PRINT clearly all of the necessary information.

Class selections are required for registration.

Some classes have a maximum enrollment limit and registration is on a first come first served basis. We strongly urge you to enroll early before class limits are reached.

Each class workshop is 1 or 2 periods and meets for 5 days. (See Daily Schedules, in the top menu.)

Questions? Email:


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Residential participants stay in on-campus dormitory housing with 3 cafeteria-style meals per day for an additional $315–$380 per week, depending on housing option selected. Housing allotments are determined by McDaniel College, not Common Ground on the Hill. While we strive to provide to Traditions Weeks participants the best information on housing available, housing particulars are subject to change without notice.

  Description Cost w/out Linens Cost w/Linens
  Level 1 Air-conditioned suite-style housing $360 $380
  Level 2 Air-conditioned suite-style housing with kitchen $380 $400
  • Linens include 2 towels, washcloth, sheets, blanket, pillow and pillowcase.
  • Suite rooms are double occupancy, 2 beds to a room as part of a suite. A limited number of single rooms are available. First come, first served. Additional $50 REQUIRED to secure a single room. If no longer available, payment will be refunded.
  • Registrants for BOTH weeks ONLY: Lodging for Saturday, July 1 is an additional $50 per person. 
  • Children ages 2 years old and under, not using a college bed are free.Common Ground on the Hill does NOT provide child care for those under age five.
  • Dorms must be vacated by 9:00 AM on Saturday. For those staying to attend the Roots Music & Arts Festival, food and camping are available at the Festival.
  • Residential participants: McDaniel College requires a $56 dorm room key deposit at check-in. Please bring check/cash/ money order for your key. Checks must be made out to McDaniel College. This will be held and returned to you when you return your key at checkout.

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  • Meals commence with a Sunday evening dinner; 3 meals per day Monday–Friday. Vegetarian meals are available. The final meal is breakfast on Saturday morning.
  • Residential participants: meals are included in fee for Room & Board. See above for fee schedule.
  • Commuter participants may purchase meals on a pay-as-you-go basis in McDaniel College’s cafeteria during the week or purchase a commuter meal pass through Common Ground on the Hill. Commuter meal pass cost is $150; Children 5 and under free.
  • Common Ground on the Hill meal times: Breakfast (8:30-9am), Lunch (12:15-1pm), Dinner (5:45-6:30pm)
  • Walk-in meal prices are as follows: Breakfast ($8.00), Lunch ($11.00), Dinner ($15.00)
  • NOTE: The Pub in Decker Center is CLOSED this summer. Meals may be purchased at the McDaniel College cafeteria.

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A Word about Your Skill Level

Common Ground on the Hill welcomes participants at all skill levels, from beginners to advanced.  Please refer to What’s the Right Workshop Skill Level for Me chart below to help you understand our guidelines for placing students interested in studying a musical instrument in the workshops that will be of the most benefit to them as individuals and also benefit whole classes and the camp.  It is also important to note that instructors will observe individual students’ skills the general skill level of a class and adjust his or her presentation accordingly in order to arrive at the most productive and enjoyable instructional experience possible.  

What's the Right Workshop Skill Level for Me? 

Please note that the guidelines below apply to instrumental (and in some cases dance) workshops ONLY

Terms We Use, Explained:

True Beginner

A total novice; someone completely new to the instrument, dance, etc.

Advancing Beginner

Rudimentary experience; ready to learn and move forward with basic skills
(chords and chord changes, playing in time, learning scales, etc)


Some facility with basic skills
(can play and change chords in time, may have some facility with playing scales, tunes, etc.)


Competent in basic skills as above, shows some musicality and perhaps awareness of stylistic elements
of genre(s) etc.


Competent in basic and intermediate skills, is able to learn new tunes and techniques with relative ease and speed, plays with noticeable musicality

Our Skill Levels, Explained:

Skill Level

Best for:

Not so good for:

Example Workshop:


True Beginner, Advancing Beginner

Beginner/Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced

Beginning Guitar


Advancing Beginner, Beginner/Intermediate, Intermediate

True Beginner, Advanced

Old-Time Guitar I


Beginner/Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced

True Beginner, Advancing Beginner

Old-Time Guitar II

To help you understand the nomenclature of our workshop titles:

If a workshop title includes the word "Beginning," it will correlate to Skill Level A. Workshops titles that include a Roman numeral I correlate to Skill Level B. Workshop titles that feature a Roman Numeral II, or include an instructor's name (ie. Old-Time Banjo with Dave Bing) correlate to Skill Level C. Some workshops will have none of these indicators in title, but the workshop description may still include a Skill Level suggestion. Workshop descriptions that do not indicate a Skill Level are open to students of all Skill Levels.


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Common Ground on the Hill for Young People

We encourage families to attend Traditions Weeks!

World Village: This program is designed for children who have completed kindergarten up to age 12. World Village runs in periods 1-4. There are a number of elective classes held during Period 5 that children may attend with a parent/guardian for an additional $50 fee.  NOTE: Students must have completed kindergarten to be enrolled in World Village.

Courses for Tweens (ages 12-15)Young people between the ages of 11 and 15 are encouraged to enroll in workshops with their parents.  If a student between the ages of 11 and 15 intends to take a workshop without a parent present, that young person’s parent(s) MUST contact the Common Ground on the Hill office to obtain permission. Email: or call 410-857-2771.

Students 16 years of age and older may enroll in the workshops of their choice without any additional required steps in the registration process. 

All those under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who is ALSO enrolled at Common Ground on the Hill.

The following courses are recommended for tweens:

Week 1:

  • Visual Arts: Beg.-Adv. Manga; Custom Vinyl Toys; Masks & Tiles: Finding Your Creative Voice with Clay; Make Synclastic Bracelets; Mosaics for Everyday Life - Intro (ages 14 an up); Sculpture Carving (ages 14 and up); Native American Flute Making; Beginning Sewing; Natural Dyes for Natural Fabrics (ages 14 and up); Southern Plains Buckskin Moccasins; T-Shirt Design; Wheel & Dream Catchers
  • Music: Big Song Swap; World Community Choir; Beginning Guitar, Singing with Shelley Ensor
  • Other: American Vernacular Dance Remix; Flatfooting & Clogging; Jazz Era Party Dances;  Latin Dance; Old-Time Jam & Dance Lab; Gentle Yoga; Hatha Yoga; Tai Chi Chuan; YogaRhythmics
  • Most singing classes and beginning-level instrumental classes

Week 2:

  • Visual Arts: Mastering the Basics of Geometric Origami (middle-school and up); Basic Skills in Photoshop; Figure Drawing for Teens: From Human to Hero; Seat Weaving with Shaker Tape; Shrine Carving & Painting (ages 14 and up); Pizza/Bread Oven Building (ages 14 and up); Design Your Own Rya Rug (ages 15 and up)
  • Music: African Drumming; Gospel Choir; Big Song Swap; Beginning Ukulele; Beginning Tin Whistle; Beginning Guitar
  • Other: African Dance; Bustin' Loose; Intro to House Dance; Intro to Popping/Boogaloo; Old-Time Jam & Dance; Southern Appalachian Dance; Afternoon Yoga; Gentle Yoga; Tai Chi Fans; World Dance; YogaRhythmics
  • Most singing classes and beginning-level instrumental classes

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Earning Academic Credit at Common Ground on the Hill

Academic Credit Coordinator: Dr. Pamela Zappardino

Students may elect to earn 3 graduate or 3-4 undergraduate credits per week.
Students will be assigned an Instructor of Record who is a member of the McDaniel College Faculty and who will supervise their work, assign additional work in the form of reflections, papers, readings, and/or projects to be completed after the Traditions Weeks are over and also assign the student’s grade.
Academic Credit Available:
  • Undergraduate: 3 or 4 credits per week in English, Art, Music or Interdisciplinary Studies for an additional $125 per credit beyond the Common Ground on the Hill fees. 
  • Graduate: 3 credits per week in English, Art, Music, Education, or Humanities for an additional $150 per credit (total $450 per week). Credit designation is based on your workshop selections. If your workshops span two or more of these areas, you may focus your follow-up work in the area in which you would like your credits designated.
  • CCPS Employees Continuing Education: 3 graduate credits per week, designated as EDU 551, Diversity Education, unless special arrangements have been made to designate them otherwise. You may take any combination of courses for the 5 periods per day. Common Ground on the Hill will direct bill CCPS for all of your fees, including cost of registration. 
    You will be responsible for any materials fees and, if this is your first time enrolling at McDaniel College, the $75 application fee
    You MUST contact your HR Department for authorization PRIOR to registering with Common Ground on the Hill.
  • Credits are awarded by McDaniel College and are generally transferable to other institutions. Students should check with their own institution for questions about transferability.
  • If this is your first time earning credit from McDaniel College: McDaniel College requires a one-time $75 application processing fee for first-time McDaniel College registrants. Please include this fee along with credit fees on the registration form.
  • Teachers may apply credits earned toward continuing education requirements and should check with their school districts as to reimbursement policies. (Most will reimburse for credits earned through Common Ground on the Hill.)
  • Credit is awarded for overall participation in Common Ground on the Hill activities. In order to earn credits during either Traditions Week I or Traditions Week II, students must register for a full-time schedule of classes – 5 periods per day – AND plan on participating in evening activities as well: concerts, dances, lectures, etc.
  • Do not contact or submit payment to McDaniel College directly. By agreement, Common Ground administers registration and fee collection for all Traditions Weeks credits.
  • To earn academic credits, please fill out the appropriate sections of the registration form and include the credit fees with your payment to Common Ground on the Hill. You will receive more specific information and credit registration forms, along with instructions, shortly after you complete your Common Ground on the Hill Registration.

Due to changes in McDaniel College’s requirements, deadlines for completing credit registration and for submitting completed follow-up work have changed.  Please note the dates below.

June 13 All completed credit registration forms must be returned to the Common Ground office. This means you MUST register for Common Ground in time to receive the credit packet and return it by this date. We are unable to do onsite registrations for credit. 
August 8 All follow-up work must be submitted to your instructor of record (see above) by this date.  

Contact Dr. Zappardino with questions or for more information at

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Common Ground on the Hill will do its best to help provide for your safe and comfortable participation during events but does not accept responsibility for personal property lost on the McDaniel College campus, Carroll County Farm Museum or elsewhere during this time. Please be sure to safeguard your property, including the Participant Badge issued to you at registration. This personal Participant Badge is your passport to events. The Resident’s Wristband provides entry to the cafeteria for meals. The Participant Badge and Resident Wristband are ONLY for the person to whom they have been issued.

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Americans with Disabilities Act

Common Ground on the Hill supports the purposes and goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act and is committed to providing equal access for all individuals with disabilities. As a program affiliated with McDaniel College, Common Ground on the Hill adheres to that institution’s policy of offering an environment free of discrimination and bias in matters involving and affecting individuals with disabilities. The text of this catalog is printed in Calibri type. The catalog can be provided in a large print or Braille format with advanced request. The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to the Carroll County Government and its programs, services, activities, and facilities. Anyone requiring an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or who has a complaint should contact Madeline M. Morey, The Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, 410-386-3800, 1-888-302-8978, MD Relay 7-1-1/1-800-735-2258 or email as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours before the scheduled event.


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