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American Ellen

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Hey, Camp Fans!

Growing in popularity as of late, The Petersens are a family bluegrass band that has toured in Branson for years. They’ve taken to the Internet this year in response to the coronavirus restrictions they’ve faced in live performances and their name is starting to get around. Second oldest in the family and banjo player for the band, Ellen Petersen is slightly more famous than the rest of this talented family thanks to her appearance on ‘American Idol’ back in 2015.

Though she hasn’t disclosed the name of the camp she attended, Ellen recalled in an interview her trip to a bluegrass camp in West Virginia. She injured her ankle that summer and was limited to the activities she could participate in for camp. That’s when she attended the camp’s yodeling workshop and learned to yodel…like a pro!

While the entire family is extremely talented in working both on the stage as well as behind the scenes, Ellen’s voice, her banjo playing, and marketing skills for the band are all extremely impressive. You can tell from her ‘American Idol’ audition (as well as the judges’ reactions to her), that Ellen belongs on the stage as a born-performer.

After her exhilarating ‘American Idol’ ride, Ellen went on to college at Missouri State University where she earned her MBA with a graduate certificate in Marketing—a credential she puts to good use, as she markets full-time for her family’s band.  

Just outside of her business affairs, Ellen recently married Michael Haygood of The Haygoods which is another performing family in Branson. Congratulations to the both of them!

Though they could be applied to anybody, Ellen gave some inspirational words for other folks who find themselves drawn to stage performances. “Stay true to who you are as a performing artist and go for it,” she says. “Just go for it!” Enjoy discovering the lovely sounds of The Petersens for yourself. Follow your dreams. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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