IN-PERSON 52nd Deer Creek Fiddlers' Convention

Come enjoy Band & Individual Competitions, Southern Appalachian Clog Dancing Competition and more! One ticket gets you into the Fiddlers' Convention AND the Roots Music & Arts Festival - a whole day of fun!


July 8, 2023, as part of the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music & Arts Festival

Purchase tickets and register at the gate!

NOTE: Ticket holders do not need to print out a ticket; just give your name at the gate.

Registration opens at 9 AM. Competition begins at 10 AM

A Maryland tradition since 1972, the convention moves onto the McDaniel College campus in Westminster, Maryland, as part of the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music & Arts Festival. 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.
Following the Fiddlers' Convention, participants tickets include access to performances from artists including Tom Chapin, Steafan Hannigan, Guy Davis, Professor Louie, Nicolas Carter, Kelly Brzozowski, Footworks Percussive Dance, Ken Kolodner, John Haywood, Tom Mindte, Michael Ronstadt, Karen Ashbrook & Paul Oorts, and MANY MORE! Find out more about the Roots Music & Arts Festival HERE!

Rules and information HERE.

Tickets and registration available at the gate.

2023 Ticket prices: Contestants (includes full Festival access)

  • Adult Contestants: $20
  • Youth Contestants (12 and under): $15

2023 Ticket prices at the gate: Non-Contestants (includes full Festival access)

  • Regular Adult Admission: $40
  • Senior Admission (ages 65+): $35
  • Children ages 13-17 or with college ID (up to age 22): $20
  • Children 12 and under: FREE
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.


Something For Everyone

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

Week 3 - returning in the future

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Week 1

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