Ellen is the second oldest Petersen sibling and banjo player for the band. Ellen was first handed a banjo while the family was at its first bluegrass festival at which the kids’ dad decided the family should become a bluegrass band. Ellen graduated from College of the Ozarks in 2014 with a bachelors degree in Chemistry and moved to Oklahoma City to work as a laboratory technician. That summer she auditioned for American Idol for fun as its bus tour went through Branson and she ended up making it to the top 48 on Season XIV. (See her initial audition here
and read an interview about her journey on the reality TV show here
.) After American Idol, Ellen moved back to Branson to focus more on music and earned her MBA with a graduate certificate in marketing at Missouri State University
. Now, Ellen enjoys marketing their family’s band full-time heading up their YouTube content, social media, and website. In January of 2020 she married Michael Haygood of The Haygoods
, another performing family in Branson. Read all about their fun proposal
! The best way to make Ellen smile is a bouquet of fresh flowers.