A Maryland tradition since 1972, the convention has taken place at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland. This year, the Convention moves into virtual/online format and thus becomes a world-wide event. The event consists of performances and competitions 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. Contestants submit their performances online (See Rules). The performances are then judged and subsequently seen online on June 6th, when winners are announced.
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.