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Welcome to Traditions Weeks
Celebrating 30Years!

Traditions Weeks are individual weeks of classes, concerts, dances and other activities in the traditional roots-based arts, normally held on the campus of McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland.
Traditions Weeks 1 (June 24-28) is VIRTUAL in 2024.
Traditions Week 2 (July 7-12) will be IN-PERSON.
Traditions Week 3 will return in the future.

NOTE: The Roots Music &Arts Festival is on July 13, 2024

Download a PDF of the 2024 catalog

Image of a clock
Weeks 1 VIRTUAL; Week 2 on the campus of McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157
Image denoting cost
Tuition starts at $121. Learn more >
View Class Categories

General information

NOTE: We suggest looking through courses and writing down your list prior to enrolling! You can get to the enrollment form from ANY class description or click HERE.

NOTE: To ensure correct pricing when selecting classes across Traditions Weeks, please complete enrollment for each student's classes in the same enrollment.

Class Period


Class Periods

Note: Most Visual Arts classes are 2 periods

Class Periods

Early bird price $575

Additional Information

  • REMINDER: Weeks 1 is ALL-VIRTUAL in 2024! Week 2 is IN-PERSON! Week 3 will return in the future.
  • Interested in registering from outside the U.S.? We can help - please email us at commonground@commongroundonthehill.org. Our registration system does not accept out-of-country payments, but we will work with you to get your registered!
  • Tuition cost is determined by the number of periods that a class spans. Most classes are a single period. A 2-pd class (e.g., Hammered Dulcimer classes or most Visual Arts classes) will cost the same as 2 single-period classes. ALL classes run for 5 days, Monday to Friday. There are a total of 5 periods available in a day.

    For instance
    (1) IF a single period class is $121 THEN
    (2) single period classes (or one double-mod class such as most Visual Arts classes) would be $242 (2 x $121)
    (3) single period classes would be $363 (3 x $121)
    (4) single period classes would be $484 (4 x $121)
    (5) single period classes (Full-Time registration): $605
    Early bird pricing for full-time (5-pd) registration is $575; Early bird pricing ends April 15, 2024.
  • A $100 deposit is due with each registration form; $50 of the deposit fee is non-refundable. Total balances are due by June 1, 2024, to hold your spot in class unless otherwise arranged.
  • No refunds are available within 30 days of the start of the enrolled week.
  • All rates quoted are per week/per individual.
  • Some class workshops include an extra materials fee which is payable directly to the instructor.
  • Classes run 5 days, Monday-Friday.
  • Single period classes are 75 minutes.
  • Classes may be taken across the weeks. For instance, you may choose 2 single-period classes in Weeks 1 and an additional 3 single-period classes in Week 2 to receive the Full-Time registration cost.


Common Ground on the Hill is committed to the health and safety of our community. We have put the following policy in place, which will be reviewed each month leading up to Traditions Weeks:

  • All IN-PERSON participants, instructors, volunteers and staff are encouraged but not required to be fully vaccinated.
  • Masking will be encouraged but not required in all indoors locations, unless requested by an instructor.
  • Students are encouraged to be mindful. If symptoms occur, students should refrain from attending classes or gatherings and see a health professional.

A word about your skill level

Please refer to What’s the Right Workshop Skill Level for Me? in the Skill Levels tab above 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 and 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.

A reminder about class times

Classes run Monday-Friday. All classes are listed in Eastern Daylight Time.

  • Period 1: 9 - 10:15 AM
  • Period 2: 10:30 - 11:45 AM
  • Period 3: 1 - 2:15 PM
  • Period 4: 2:30 - 3:45 PM
  • Period 5: 4- 5:30 PM

Images of Traditions Weeks students engaged in art, music and tai chi

Welcome to Traditions Weeks!

Information and links that will help you to have the best experience at this year's Traditions Weeks!

IF YOU NEED TO CONTACT US please email commonground@commongroundonthehill.org OR maria@commongroundonthehill.org

REMINDER: All classes and events are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) - that is, Daylight Savings Time in the Eastern Time Zone. Classes run Monday-Friday.


Executive Director Walt Michael


Executive Walt Michael welcomes you to the Virtual Traditions Weeks 2024 with some song and sage advice, as well as tips for how to make the most of your experience. Many of your questions will be answered in this short informational session, so plan to stop by! This event will be streamed on the Common Ground on the Hill YouTube Channel, found HERE.


Monday -Friday, 4-5:30 PM. During the virtual week, our flagship course is open to ALL! To receive the Zoom access link, contact us HERE.

Speakers TBA.


Gallery Talks: Monday - Friday at 6:30 PM

  • Traditions Week 1 talks will be available online the day AFTER the presentation.
  • Traditions Week 2 talks will be at Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall

Gospel Choir: Monday - Friday at 6:45 PM, location TBD

Keynote Lectures: (Mondays only) at 8 PM

  • Traditions Week 1 Keynote will be streamed live on our YouTube channel.
  • Traditions Week 2 Keynote will be in WMC Alumni Hall.

Evening Concerts: (Tuesday - Friday) at 8 PM

  • Traditions Week 1 (Friday only) will be streamed live HERE.
  • Traditions Week 2 Evening Concerts will be in WMC Alumni Hall.

Enjoy both weeks with the whole family!

A complete schedule of GALLERY TALKS will be released soon!

Traditions Weeks are funded in part by

Logo of the Maryland State Arts Council
Logo of Maryland Traditions of the Maryland State Arts Council
Common Ground on the Hill is proud to be a Maryland Folklife Center
Logo of the Carroll County Arts Council
Housing Rates
Level 1
Dorm style housing
NOTE: Level 1 Housing is NOT available in 2023.
Level 2
suite style housing

Residential participants stay in on-campus dormitory housing with three cafeteria-style meals included per day, from dinner on Sunday of arrival through breakfast on the Saturday of departure.


Rented linens include 2 towels, washcloth, sheets, blanket, pillow and pillowcase for an additional $30 per week.

additional housing information

  • NOTE: Level 1 housing is NOT available in 2024.
  • Dormitory rooms are double occupancy, two beds to a room, with shared bathrooms on a hall. Suite rooms are double occupancy, 2 beds to a room, with a living area and shared bathrooms within the suite. A limited number of single rooms are available. Room placement is first come, first served.
  • Participants must bring their own blankets and pillows, sheets, towels, soap and other personal items.
  • Single room: additional $100. If single rooms no longer available, payment will be refunded.
  • Dorms must be vacated by 9:00 AM on Saturday.
  • Saturday stays available in Level 2 housing only, for an additional $100 per person. Available for July 13 only.
  • 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.
  • Motor Home electricity hookups: $150 per week. Hookups are 15/20 amp 120 receptacles. Call Common Ground on the Hill office (410-857-2771) to reserve. Only 2 hookups are available, so reserve early!

lost key replacement

Lost key replacement is $60, which will be billed to your credit card on file.


Housing plans INCLUDE three cafeteria-style meals included per day, from dinner on Sunday of arrival through breakfast on the Saturday of departure.

NOTE: Lost full-service meal bands can be replaced at a cost of $170. We recommend taking extreme care with your meal band!

Lunch Band: $60

Lunch-only bands enable the purchaser to access all-you-can-eat lunch in the cafeteria from Monday to Friday during Traditions Week 2.

Lunch & Dinner Band: $120

Lunch and Dinner-only bands enable the purchaser to access all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner in the cafeteria from Monday to Friday during Traditions Week 2.

Standard Meal Rates without a band

Walk-in prices, all-you-can-eat:

  • Breakfast - $TBA
  • Lunch - $TBA
  • Dinner - $TBA

Earning Academic Credit

Learn more about academic credit

Undergraduate Credit


graduate Credit


Skill Levels

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 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

Skill levels explained


Skill Level

Best For:
The Beginner, Advancing Beginner
Not so good For:
Beginner/Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced
Example Workshop
Beginning Guitar

Skill Level

Best For:
Advancing Beginner, Beginner/Intermediate, Intermediate
Not so good For:
True Beginner, Advanced
Example Workshop
Old-Time Guitar 1

Skill Level

Best For:
Beginner/Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced
Not so good For:
True Beginner, Advancing Beginner
Example Workshop
Old-Time Guitar 2

understanding 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 numeral 1 correlate to Skill Level B. Workshop titles that feature a numeral 2, or include an instructor's name (i.e., Old-Time Guitar with Danny Knicely) 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.


How to Register

NOTE: Registration will be easiest on a tablet or computer.

Have you made a list of your desired classes? Ready to register?

Click Here to Download PDF of Enrollment Form
online enrollment opens soon

Registration Tips

Here are a few tips that will help you navigate our registration system:

Make sure to read all questions carefully, and complete every section.

When selecting courses:

If you can't see the desired Tradition Week, click the right arrow at the top of the calendar to advance to show the next week.

To see the full list of daily classes in a week, use the View More link at the bottom.

Look for your desired class based on the time period. In the example below, the LEFT rectangle represents 2-pd classes running from 9-11:45 AM. The UPPER RIGHT rectangle represents Period 1 classes and the LOWER RIGHT rectangle is Period 2 classes. You can scroll down to see the blocks representing classes in the remaining periods.

Click on the rectangle representing your desired class. This will open a list of classes in that block, each with a check box at the right to select that class. Classes are listed alphabetically. Scroll to your desired class and select it.

After you make your selection, click the Selection Done button (shown below) to move out of the course list and choose your next class. You will not be able to make a selection in a time slot that you already have filled. For instance, if you select a class that runs during Periods 1 & 2, you will not be able to add another class in Period 1.

Now you will see a green bar on the block that shows the name and period of the course you selected.

NOTE: If you accidentally clicked the wrong class, just click again on the desired block to go back in and make a new selection.

Repeat this class selection process until you have selected all your desired classes for that week and then click the Done Class Selection button (pictured below) at the TOP of the screen.

If you wish to take classes in more than one Traditions Week, repeat the process by clicking View More for the next desired week as at the top of these instructions.

To ensure correct pricing when taking classes in more than one Traditions Week, make sure to register ALL your classes within the same enrollment - do not create a separate enrollment for each Traditions Week!

When all desired classes have been selected, click EITHER the DONE or SELECTION DONE buttons. You will return to the enrollment page, now with your class selections listed.

Add Waitlist selections if desired, and continue applications questions.

Fill out Pricing Options

NOTE: Make sure that you select any additional options such as Housing or Linens

To add another participant, repeat the entire process by clicking the Add Another Participant button.

When all participants have been added and courses selected, you will be ready to process your payment.

You will receive a confirmation email which may take 15-20 minutes to arrive in your inbox.

If you have questions or issues, please contact us at commonground@commongroundonthehill.org OR maria@commongroundonthehill.org

Make it your tradition.

Example of a Traditions Weeks schedule

With over 350 workshops taught by 200 nationally and internationally recognized instructors, this is an opportunity to both dive deep into your chosen interest and to cast a wide net into the vast array of classes we offer!

View schedule

Traditions Weeks Instructors

Academic Credit

Did you know?

You can earn undergraduate and graduate credit when you take Traditions Weeks workshops, including classes in traditional visual arts, music, film, lecture, and more! Credit available for up to two weeks of classes, across the three Traditions Weeks. REMINDER: Traditions Week 1 is ALL VIRTUAL; Traditions Week 2 is IN-PERSON.

Diverse students engaged in Traditions Weeks activities
Academic credit is available for participation in Common Ground on the Hill and requires full participation in the Traditions Weeks Program as well as additional assigned work. Both graduate and undergraduate credits are offered by McDaniel College.
NOTE: See complete information in the tabs above.

For Undergraduate Credit information, see the Undergraduate tab above.

Full participation for graduate students is defined as registering for a total of 5 workshop periods for every 3 Graduate credits to be earned. Attendance at a specified number of art talks, evening concerts, and keynote addresses is also required.

Participants may also elect to earn academic credits across the Traditions Weeks summer program.

Once you have registered for Common Ground workshops and noted a desire to earn credits you will be assigned an Instructor of Record who is a member of the McDaniel College Faculty and who will monitor your work during Traditions Weeks, oversee your work outside of Traditions Weeks, confer with you about your final project, and assign your grade.

You will also receive a course syllabus and other helpful materials.

NOTE: Credits are awarded by McDaniel College and are generally transferable to other academic institutions. Participants should check with their own Institution for questions about transferability.

Traditions Weeks students doing yoga, showing art and music


  • The 2024 Graduate Course Number and Title is  PDE 560 Unity and Difference in Traditional Arts.
  • For graduate credit, participants will enroll in Traditions Weeks classes of their choice, learning from Common Ground on the Hill artists, musicians and lecturers. In addition, credit earning participants are assigned a McDaniel College Instructor of Record who oversees, facilitates and grades the out-of-class work required of credit students.
  • McDaniel College requires that you have an undergraduate transcript on file with the College. Once you have registered with Common Ground on the Hill, the College will contact you if they require you to send an official transcript.
  • Participants may earn 3 or 6 graduate credits through full participation in the Traditions Weeks program. Full participation is defined as registering for 5 class periods of classes for 5 days for 3 credits and 5 periods per day for 10 days for 6 credits.
  • You may take classes across one or both weeks as long as your total meets the requirements. (For example, you could take 2 periods of classes for 5 days in Week 1 and 3 periods of classes for 5 days in Week 2 in order to earn 3 credits)
  • Attendance at live/virtual events: art talks, evening concerts, keynote addresses, the festival and other activities is also required: 5 evenings for those earning 3 credits and 10 evenings for those earning 6 credits. Again, these can be spread across all weeks as fits your schedule and number of credits. (Most Evening events are recorded and appear fairly quickly on the Common Ground on the Hill Official YouTube site and so can be viewed asynchronously.)
  • The course has an 8-week timeline with a great deal of flexibility built in. The Blackboard site will open for a “soft week”  called Week 0.  During this week, you should make sure your McDaniel Credentials can get you into the site and you should get familiar with how the site works.
  • Weeks 1 has some Introductory activities, while weeks 3, 6, 7 and 8 have no structured activities, giving you the option to plan your time as best meets your life schedule and the number of credits you are earning.
  • Resource materials in the form of readings and some video will be made available on McDaniel’s Blackboard Platform or on the internet. You will be discussing these materials with your colleagues in the course on Blackboard during two weeks: Week 1, right before Traditions Weeks and Week 5, just after Traditions Weeks. (See Schedule tab above.) You may certainly use you time in week 3 (between the online and in person weeks) to work on your learning logs, further discussion and so on.
  • Your last three weeks are for you to complete your final project and so have no other scheduled activities.
    See the full Schedule on the Graduate Schedule tab above for important details.
  • McDaniel College requires 112.5 hours of attendance and outside work per 3 credits earned.

Carroll County Public School Employees Continuing Education

Three or six credits are available, designated as PDE 560 - Building Community Though the Traditional Arts.

As noted above, you may take any combination of classes across Traditions Weeks to meet the 3 or 6 credit requirements. Common Ground on the Hill will direct bill CCPS for your Common Ground on the Hill and credit registration fees at a special discount rate of $1191 per 3 credits or $2382 for 6 credits. You will be responsible for any materials fees if applicable.

All CCPS Employees MUST contact the CCPS HR Department for authorization PRIOR to registering with Common Ground on the Hill. Check “cohort” on this form to trigger direct billing. CCPS informs us weekly about those who have received this authorization. Once you have obtained this authorization, you must complete your registration with Common Ground on the Hill.

Teachers/administrators in districts other than Carroll County

May likely also 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). The 2024 tuition and fees for earning three credits totaled $1241. Tuition and fees for earning six credits doubled to $2482.

Graduate Credit Schedule:

Summer 2024

week 0: june 10-16

Course opens for students to familiarize themselves with content and requirements. Participants may start reading, viewing materials and introducing themselves on Blackboard if they wish. This is also the time to make sure you can access email, Blackboard and so on.

Week 1: June 19-25

Participants can  begin interacting with assigned materials and responding to introductory prompts  in the Blackboard discussion forums.

Weeks 2 &4: July 24-28 (online) & July 8-12 (in-person)

Participants Take part in their chosen CGOTH classes. Those earning 3 credits will take 5 periods of classes over the 2 weeks; those earning 6 credits will take 10 periods of classes.  

In addition, Participants will attend evening activities: art talks, concerts and keynote lectures. 5 evenings are required for those earning 3 credits and 10 evenings for those earning 6 credits. Again, these can be spread across the weeks as fits your schedule and number of credits being earned.

During these weeks, Participants will be blogging about their experiences on Blackboard.  

Time outside of classes/ evening activities/blogging is available to read/view assigned materials.

Weeks 3: July 1-5

There are no scheduled activities during this week. Participants can use this time to work on reflection blogs, thinking about potential final projects, or just relaxing!

Week 5: July 15-19

Participants will respond to Discussion Board prompts as they complete their reading/viewing of materials. This is the final structured week.

Weeks 6, 7 & 8: July 20 - August 7

Participants will work with Instructors of Record to complete their final projects. These projects are due to the Instructors of Record by August 7.

August 13: Grades to be submitted.

Graduate Deadlines & Withdrawal Information

graduation credit Application Deadline

2024 Deadline to apply for Academic Credits and complete all registration requirements through Common Ground on the Hill June 1, 2024.

coursework completion deadline

2024 Deadline to submit your outside coursework and any projects to your Instructor of Record August 7, 2024.

withdrawal deadline

Withdrawal deadline is June 5, 2024.  

After the deadline, withdrawal from participation in Common Ground on the Hill for Academic Credit will incur a fee (up to the total cost of participation), the total of which will be dependent on when that withdrawal is initiated. Any refunds that may be made after this point will have this fee deducted from the total returned.

Undergraduate Deadlines & Withdrawal Information

All undergraduate deadlines and withdrawal follow the schedule of the McDaniel College Undergraduate 2024 Summer Session. 2024 Information TBA.

Traditions Weeks students engaged in diverse activities

McDaniel College Undergraduate 2024 Summer Session


Undergraduate credits at Common Ground on the Hill Traditions Weeks are offered by McDaniel College.

Students seeking McDaniel College credit must enroll in 5 classes taking place over a one or two week period, in addition to attending live/virtual events including art talks, evening concerts, keynote addresses, the festival and other activities. Students should attend 5 evenings for those earning 4 credits. Again, these can be spread across Traditions Weeks as fits your schedule and number of credits.

TUITION & CREDIT COST (4 Undergraduate Credits) =$1349

Contact the Common Ground on the Hill office for registration and tuition information, and with questions: commonground@commongroundonthehill.org.

Special Session: 2023

4 Credits

Course # TBA ~ American Cultural Diversity:  Artistic Expression

Instructor:  Walt Michael, McDaniel College Artist in Residence and Executive Director, Common Ground on the Hill.

This course introduces students to issues of cultural, ethnic, racial, and artistic diversity in American culture focusing on but not limited to musical artistic expression as encountered at Common Ground on the Hill’s summer Traditions Weeks, both in person and virtually. Students explore how acts of artistic and cultural imagination have given meaning, power and definition to these cultures' understanding of America and their relationship to this country. The course will study and enjoy traditional music associated with these different cultures to develop an awareness and appreciation of their contributions to American life.

Veterans Initiative

Did you know?

Veterans face as many challenges upon returning home as they do in the field of battle. They also possess myriad skills and leadership qualities that our nation needs, and their experiences offer an opportunity to broaden the dialogue about critical issues here on the home front, and to enrich all of our lives. Explore below to learn more.

After bravely answering the call of duty, too many veterans are lost in the physical, financial and psychological struggles that await them upon return. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide are epidemic, and returning to a "normal" life is a long term process. Some never truly make it home.and graduate credit when you take Traditions Weeks workshops, including classes in traditional visual arts, music, film, lecture, and more! Credit available for up to two weeks of classes, across the three Traditions Weeks.

In 2012, Common Ground on the Hill launched its Veterans Initiative, providing full scholarships for ten veterans to attend the Traditions Weeks summer workshops at McDaniel College in Maryland. The experience was transformative. Both veterans and civilians thrived in an environment of mutual respect and sharing, engaging in an essential and difficult dialogue.

The Common Ground on the Hill Veterans Initiative seeks to provide a safe space for veterans to grow and to share, to process their experiences and teach others, while gaining a new perspective from their peers at the summer workshops. It's difficult to explain the transformative effect of Common Ground on the Hill unless you have experienced it. But the veterans who have participated in the Common Ground Veterans Initiative spoke of nothing less than a life-changing impact.

"I just want to thank you all, for saving my life."
- Josh Hisle, USMC

"What I've already experienced here, if we could give that to other veterans, that's a gift to the world."
- Scott Blakley, USMC

"I felt very alone with my ideas about the war. I am not alone now I realize. There are others who feel as I feel and I can talk to them."
- Frank Morales, U.S. Army

"I want to mentor two vets next year and help with expanding the process of new Veterans experiencing CGOTH."
- Travis Elfgren, USMC

"I felt Invisible for so long, I haven't made new friends in years, especially since I came back the last time. I don't go out, I stay to myself a lot. Since CGOTH Vet week I now realize I can talk to people and make non-vet and new vet friends. Needed to come out from behind my wall."
- Michael Lemke, U.S. Army

"On the surface, Common Ground on the Hill is a 1-2 week program of immersion into traditional arts and opportunities to listen and discuss current social and environmental issues that challenge us. At its core, it is a mind-altering experience. I am ever so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in CGOTH for the last 5 years, particularly this year, when I joined a class with a group of veterans led by Josh Hisle in an effort to focus on the lives and specific challenges vets face as they return from combat. The veterans receive scholarships to attend Common Ground, where the traditional arts serve as a voice for them to convey thoughts and emotions that are too often marginalized by society. I am grateful to these heroes for sharing their opinions and experiences, difficult as they may have been to express."
- Brenda Anna, Common Ground on the Hill Traditions Week participant

Veterans initiative scholarship Application

Email maria@commongroundonthehill.org to request a Veterans Initiative Scholarship Application.

Return your completed application:

Contact Common Ground on the Hill with questions.

The Footgolf Fundraiser returns!

July 2, 2023

Cost $40 ($30 Early Bird)

8:30 AM Check-In; 9 AM Shotgun Start

QUESTIONS? Email Katie, Kathryn & Becki at vetsoccertourney@gmail.com


  • 18 holes of Footgolf
  • T-shirt
  • Door Prize entry
  • One (1) Free Ticket to the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music & Arts Festival (July 8) on the McDaniel College campus


  • Door Prizes and 50/50 (drawn at the end of the tournament)
  • Raffles drawn on 7/8 at the Festival


  • Teams of 2 or 4 people
  • Tennis shoes or indoor soccer shoes ONLY
  • Bring your own ball; limited number available
  • Athletic attire suggested
  • First-Come, First-Served cart rental (additional fee)


Picnic at McDaniel Golf Clubhouse following tournament with bake sale and Kona Ice. Additional raffles available! You do not have to be present to win.


footgolf registration

Class Change Form

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Something For Everyone

Schedule a week or two, or three! Or, just sprinkle some classes in between other commitments.

Week 1

Download Schedule

Week 2

Download Schedule