Disputes Over the Spelling of CHS’s Annual Music Festival


Photos of “Commstock” from the CHS 1997 Yearbook, where the event is spelled with two “m’s.”

For the last several weeks, Forum Council’s main project has been planning the annual CHS music festival. Between auditions, getting equipment, planning logistics and activities like food and games, an issue has arose — is the iconic event spelled, “Comstock” or “Commstock”?

In the past few years, the event has been spelled “Commstock.” However, in 1996 news articles collected by Ann Arbor District Library, the event was officially named “Comstock.”

A handful of retired teachers like Mike Mouradian, Elaine Headly and Pam Kirchen all agree that the event was spelled with only one “m,” as “Comstock.” Mouradian believes the origin of the change may have been a couple of unofficial posters with the name written as “Commstock.”

Ryan Silvester, FoCo advisor, says all the materials passed down from Matt Johnson (the previous FoCo advisor) say “Commstock.”

“I’ve always seen it called ‘Commstock’ with two ‘m’s,’” Silvester said.

Matthew Castilho, forum council president, likes the new spelling even if it isn’t official. He believes it is a good fit, because the two “m’s” in “Commstock” match the two “m’s” in “Community.”

But with no clear answer between, Silvester wants the decision to be up to the school.

“It’s important to honor [the] history and roots of the festival,” Silvester said. “It would be interesting to see how the student body views it.”

Even with the disagreement over the spelling, the music festival continues this year. Taking place on Friday, April 28, “Commstock” (or “Comstock”) will be on the front lawn of Community from 3-6.