2021 Common Ground Song Contest

Common Ground on the Hill was founded on the premise that there is a common human thread unifying all people expressed in our various artistic traditions. Our mission is to make this thread a path towards human understanding, tolerance, fulfillment, and enjoyment.  After twenty-five years, it is still a driving force in education and celebration of the arts in Maryland. 

For the third year running, Common Ground on the Hill has held a songwriting contest, open to any original song in the bluegrass, old-time, Americana or folk genres. Nancy Beaudette, along with Dawn Kenney, Dave Morris and Mike Mitchell served as judges for the 2021 competition. “Clearly songwriting is one thing that thrived during the pandemic,” said contest coordinator David Morris. “We had a record 80 entries this year, and the overall quality of the submissions was impressive, making it tough for the judges to identify a handful of winners.”

First place went to Kevin Hale. If you read the fine print on bluegrass charts, you’ve seen his name in the songwriting credits. His song, Lord Don’t Let Me Die Alone, earned the $300 top prize from the panel of judges. Kevin finished second in each of the first two years.

Jennifer Burkholder’s Blackbird Callingwon the $150 second prize, and Colleen Anderson picked up third place honors and $75 for Sap is Gonna Rise.

Honorable mentions were presented to Myrna Riquier and Patrycya Hill for Hear That Train, and to Mark Schatz for You Name The Baby.

More information about the organizations camps, concerts, festivals and contests can be found online.