Music, arts in spotlight

Festival: Common Ground on the Hill's festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum promises an eclectic range of musical styles


Musical renaissance man Peter Rowan and other acclaimed performers will perform at the second American Music and Arts Festival tomorrow and Sunday at the Carroll County Farm Museum outside Westminster.

Sponsored by Common Ground on the Hill, the festival spotlights a range of music from blues to folk, bluegrass to gospel.

Rowan, who will perform Sunday, is perhaps best known from his early days with Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, but his career spans four decades.

He wrote the "The Walls of Time" and "Panama Red."

Common Ground is a program in residence at Western Maryland College that promotes diversity by enabling people to learn about other cultures through music, art and philosophy.

"Sure, we all have differences, but we have even more in common and we can get together through the arts and share those experiences," said Common Ground founder Walt Michael, a WMC alumnus and international folk recording artist who will perform at the festival with Walt Michael & Co. and local band Sangmele.

Bill Keith, one of the great banjo players who developed his own technique called the Keith style will also perform. He also played with Monroe.

Other performers will include Tom Ware of Blues Nation, an all-Native American blues band; Guy and Candie Carawan; Scotland's Heather Heywood, Bob Blair and Wattie Lees; percussionist Nedy Arevalo and the World Drumming Circle; African-American folk and blues artist Sparky Rucker; Sankofa, a Baltimore-based African dance and drumming troupe; and the female trio Hot Soup.

The festival includes storytelling, poetry, a juried arts and craft show, and a children's program. Entertainment begins on several stages at 10 a.m. on both days; tomorrow's concerts are scheduled until 9 p.m. and Sunday's run through 5 p.m.

Weekend tickets for adults are $25. Tomorrow-only tickets are $18 and one-day tickets for Sunday are $12. Youths age 18 and under are $5 each day, and children age 12 and under are admitted free. Participants are invited to camp out nearby ($5 per person per night).

Information:; or contact Walt Michael at, or 410-857-2771.

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