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Singing, storytelling a chance to find common ground (McDaniel College)

The Carroll County Times

July 3, 2017


The group stood in a horseshoe broken into three sections, each carrying a different harmony.

The three parts together created a bluesy melody, a repetitive refrain sang over and over as the voices grew stronger and more confident.

"Must be something, must be something we can do," the group sang.

Jonathan Gilmore, of Baltimore City, stood in the center of the horseshoe in a black shirt, green camouflage shorts and high-top converse sneakers. Gilmore sang riffs over the crowd, improvising as the collective voices swelled.

As the song grew, the group moved in closer, members of it shaking hands and hugging one another.

Gilmore's singing was part of the first day of his Common Ground on the Hill class, Sing Out Loud: Blues Shouting.

Common Ground, a two-week series of classes focusing on arts, music and culture held annually at McDaniel. But, Monday's class was different than the average Common Ground class.

The program was mashed together with the Great Story Swap class as a part of a special gathering called The Search For Common Ground. Common Ground Executive Director Walt Michael said he wanted to bring these classes together to play off each other.

"I wanted to start off with stories and song from people who do work in communities," Michael said.