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Life at McCormick February 19, 2019

Music Connects McCormick: Sage Against the Machine

Sam Durphy, an employee at McCormick for 36 years and now serves as a Training Manager at the Hunt Valley Plant, started Sage Against the Machine with a congo drum and an idea. Sam, who’s position works with different divisions and departments across McCormick facilities, wanted to connect employees with similar musical interests regardless of where they worked within the company. With thousands of employees across the various facilities throughout Hunt Valley, Maryland, it’s easy to work within the day-to-day capacities of your position and interact with the same people. Sam wanted to break down these walls by bringing people together through a shared passion for performance and music. 

“Sage Against the Machine” was born in 2015 and has grown to include eleven employee participants. From the very early days of the band’s meetings and rehearsals, Sam’s vision of bringing technicians from manufacturing facilities, scientists from the Innovation Center and various employees from corporate offices was actualized. The band served to bridge the divide between different employees and brought unique perspectives to the rehearsal space, as well as to the day-to-day work of employees. These new ideas and points of view helped band members professionally and in their performance as a group. 

As awareness of the band’s collective talents grew, so did their opportunities to perform. Starting with McCormick’s annual Charity Day celebration, Sage Against the Machine soon fielded requests to perform at company holiday parties, finance meetings and other prestigious gatherings. 

The morale and spirits raised by Sage Against the Machine are not exclusive to those in the band. Sam and the collective group of artists who now comprise the band love to feel the energy and support from their coworkers when they perform. It’s been eye-opening across the board when a fellow employee shares in the realization that their office-mate has an amazing singing voice or plays the drums like Ringo Starr or can really light up the keys of a piano. 

Sage Against the Machine draws a crowd whenever they perform. Whether in the parking lot of the new Global Headquarters or a ballroom, they welcome their members to play their favorite songs while also inviting those with more hidden talents onstage to share in the fun. A source of joy for all who participate and take in the performances, Sage Against the Machine has united employees across our Hunt Valley campus through the power of music.