IN-PERSON 53rd Deer Creek Fiddlers' Convention

Come enjoy Band & Individual Competitions, Southern Appalachian Clog Dancing Competition and more!, this year returning to the Carroll County Farm Museum


Sunday, June 2, 2024

Recipient of a 2024 Maryland State Arts Council Heritage Award

Presented by Common Ground Downtown, a partnership of Common Ground on the Hill and the Carroll County Arts Council.

FEATURING: Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass in Concert

6 PM Performance to follow the competition

Beer Garden ~ Shade Tree Picking ~ Craft and Food Vendors ~ Clogging & Flatfooting

Includes a performance and workshops by the Carroll County Cloggers.

Purchase tickets and register at the gate!

2024 Ticket prices:
  • All Contestants (Youth and Adult): $15
  • Non-Contestants age 13 and over: $20
  • Non-Contestant Children 12 and under: FREE
Registration opens at 9 AM. Competition begins at 10:30 AM

A Maryland tradition since 1972, the convention returns to the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland. The event consists of competition in a wide variety of traditional roots-based categories including instrumental and vocal music, Southern Appalachian clog dancing, youth categories and more. Prizes are awarded in all categories to include musical instruments and scholarships to Common Ground on the Hill Traditions Weeks.

The day concludes with a performance by beloved bluegrass band Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass!


  • Big Hats Brick Oven Pizza
  • Traditional Authentic Mexican Food Truck
  • Kiddie Kandy Treatz
  • Kent Island Spice Co.
  • Senajawen Indigenous Arts
  • Ewes-ful Fiber Arts
  • Sonja Secrets Aromatherapy
  • Instruments by Thomas Precht, Luthier
  • Steve Mandell Memorial Music Scholarship

Competition Rules and Information HERE.

Maggie Sansone (seated) and Ken Kolodner at the 1979 Deer Creek Fiddlers' Convention

3nd Annual Eileen Carson Schatz Memorial Appalachian Dance Contest

From her early days in the Green Grass Cloggers, then the Fiddle Puppets and ultimately Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Eileen Carson Schatz’s determination, spirited dancing and visionary choreography brought traditional dance to countless people. Since first meeting in 1974, Eileen and I traveled the same roads to festivals and stages throughout North America and Europe. When I planned the very first Common Ground on the Hill Traditions Weeks 26 years ago, I knew exactly whom to ask to bring dance to our curriculum. A dance class with Eileen left students with far more than dancing skills. They emerged from her classes with a deeper knowledge of self and others as well as skills with which to maneuver and grow in this challenging world. We should all aspire to Eileen’s joyous embrace of sister and brotherhood among all peoples. Eileen was a bright light in which we shall continue to see one another.
- Walt Michael, Executive Director, Common Ground on the Hill

The Claude Martin Memorial Fiddle Award

Common Ground on the Hill announces the Claude Martin Memorial Fiddle Award, to be presented annually at the Deer Creek Fiddlers’ Convention. “Fiddlin’ Claude” lived and breathed the instrument. From his childhood years at Traditions Weeks through his young adult years learning and playing the fiddle in numerous settings with masterful players, to his first-place ribbons at Deer Creek, his achievements are emblematic of what Common Ground on the Hill is all about. We celebrate Claude in the context of  the Martin Family Band as well as a large circle of people who encountered and loved him for his musical gifts, his generosity of spirit and his quiet countenance from which sprang energetic and inspired fiddling. In establishing this award, it is our hope that generations will come to know Claude and strive to play the instrument that he loved beyond measure.
- Walt Michael, Executive Director, Common Ground on the Hill

Visit for videos, photos, and more information about Claude.

Many thanks to our prize sponsors:

Thomas Precht, Luthier

This program is funded in part by

grants from:


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