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  • The Petersens entertain millions on YouTube

    The Petersens entertain millions on YouTube

    Local award-winning American roots music band, The Petersens, the #1 show in Branson since 2018 according to TripAdvisor, has reached millions of viewers via their YouTube channel. “People have traveled from all over the country to see our Branson show after watching us on YouTube and getting to know us through our online presence,” said Ellen Petersen, director of marketing and band singer and banjo player. The Petersens have posted over 20 music videos to their YouTube channel, which has over 100,000 subscribers. Their cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” has over five million views. Their rendition of Patty Cline’s “She’s Got You” and their cover of Alice Merton’s “No Roots” each boast one million views.  “It has been really cool to reach new people from all over the world through YouTube,” Petersen said. “In addition to our American fans, we have a strong following in Germany, Canada, the UK, France, Brazil and Australia.” The Petersens’ YouTube channel also features their vlog (video blog), which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the Petersens’ lives. Their videos, set in unique locations that often highlight the natural beauty of Branson, are shot live to keep them authentic. “People really enjoy the pure and organic feel of our videos” said Petersen. “They get to see our unique personalities and the wonderful relationships we have with each other.” The Petersens continue their tenth season of performing at the Little Opry Theatre in the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex. Their shows are Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. They will also perform at Silver Dollar City select dates this Spring.
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  • Michael and Ellen Haygood’s Wedding

    Michael and Ellen Haygood’s Wedding

    Love is in the Air On January 11th, Ellen Petersen became Ellen Haygood when she married Michael Haygood from The Haygoods, another performing family in Branson. Read all about their fun engagement here. The wedding celebrations took place in Branson, Missouri with the ceremony held at their church, First Baptist Church Branson and the private reception at the Branson Airport. The Wedding Party The Maid of Honor was the bride’s sister, Katie Petersen, and the Maiden of Honor was Julianne Petersen, the bride’s little sister. The bridesmaids were Catherine Harvey, Nicole Sager, Arielle Metzger, Ashley Bressler, and Veronica Coleman.  The Best Man was Michael’s older brother, Patrick Haygood, and the groomsmen were Jason Harvey, Matt Petersen, Michael Maples, Anders Fredlund, Jay McManus, and Chris McLemore.  The flower girl was Everlee Haygood and the ring bearer was Xavier Haygood.  The Wedding Day The bridal party got ready and took pictures at Rock Canyon, a beautiful resort right in the heart of Branson.  The wedding ceremony took place at the bride and groom’s church, First Baptist Church Branson, with pastor Jeremy Thomas officiating. The ceremony musicians were The Johnson Strings with Emmet Franz playing a special number during communion. Reception A private reception was held later that evening from Michael and Ellen’s family and close friends at the Branson Airport. The couple fell in love flying together so it was really sweet to be able to highlight their personalities through all the celebrations. Michael video mapped the wedding cake by Sugar Leaf so it changed colors and images throughout the night. For their first dance, they danced to Extraordinary Magic by Ben Rector. Michael surprised Ellen with fog so it looked like they were dancing on clouds and then had a snow machine for the grand finale. Nothing short of magical. Ellen’s siblings played “Today” by John Denver for the Father-Daughter dance. It was sentimental to them because their dad sang them to sleep every night with that song growing up. Michael also arrange for a firework display at the reception! Ellen and Michael left for their honeymoon following the wedding and returned in time for Ellen to kick off the Petersens’ 10th season in Branson on February 1st. The Haygoods kicked off their season at the Clay Cooper Theater on February 8th. Michael and Ellen will both continue to play music with their own families and look forward to many more wonderful years together entertaining in Branson, Missouri. Thank you for all your support as the couple begins their new life together.
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  • Ellen Petersen and Michael Haygood Celebrate Engagement

    Ellen Petersen and Michael Haygood Celebrate Engagement

    Engagement Announcement On October 13th, 2019 Michael Haygood of The Haygoods proposed to Ellen Petersen of The Petersens at Gaston’s White River Resort. Michael and Ellen began dating in 2016 after meeting at The Haygoods show and finding common ground over their love of aviation, music, and faith. The Proposal The proposal was a complete surprise to Ellen as she thought they were flying down to meet her dad and uncle for dinner. Gaston’s is a favorite spot and has sentimental value to the Petersen family because that is where parents, Jon and Karen, went on their first date many years ago. When Katie, Ellen, Matthew, and Julianne were young their dad would also fly them down to eat ice cream and watch planes take off and land on the grass runway. Michael’s brother, Patrick, helped with the proposal surprise by pretending to steal their plane to lure Ellen out to the perfect spot in the middle of the runway. That’s where Michael got down on one knee and asked Ellen to marry him! Their friend, Beckie Fairchild of TGC Photography, was there snapping pictures and took some more while waiting for their surprise ride back to Branson. Sunset Helicopter Flight Michael doesn’t do anything halfway. He knew he didn’t want to pilot his plane back to Branson after all the emotions and excitement of getting engaged, so he hired Chopper Charter to be their chauffeur. There is nothing like a sunset flight over the Ozarks in the fall. Just as the sun was setting the helicopter flew around the side of the Chateau on the Lake where all of their family and close friends were leaning off the deck and waving. It is such a blessing when two people decide to start a new life together and their people are excited and supportive. Ellen and Michael both intend to keep doing exactly what they have been doing and use the gifts God has given them to entertain Branson audiences with their families. Wedding details have not been set, but are definitely in the works! To keep up with more behind the scenes information, follow The Haygoods and The Petersens on Facebook or Michael and Ellen on Instagram. Thanks again to TGC Photography for capturing such special memories.
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  • The Petersens Release Gospel Album

    The Petersens Release Gospel Album

    The Petersens release all-gospel album, “Homesick for a Country” BRANSON, Mo. – August 9, 2019 – The award-winning bluegrass band, The Petersens, announces the release of their first all-gospel album, “Homesick for a Country,” on August 9.   “Homesick for a Country” is a compilation of the most loved and requested gospel songs The Petersens have performed at their Sunday gospel show at the Little Opry Theatre over the past two years.   “While we love singing fun bluegrass songs, there is something special about gospel songs,” said Ellen Petersen, director of marketing and band banjo player and vocalist. “Singing words that we believe and watching God use this music to open people’s hearts and bring them hope and encouragement is a truly special experience.”   Shortly following the release of “Homesick for a Country,” The Petersens will travel to Finland to play at the American Bluegrass and Gospel Festival on August 17, followed by their fourth Irish tour from August 21-26.   The Petersens will return to Branson in time to play at the Southern Gospel Festival at Silver Dollar City on August 29 and will resume their regular performance schedule at the Little Opry Theatre: their bluegrass show at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and their gospel show at 2 p.m. on Sundays.   “Homesick for a Country” is available for pre-sale on iTunes, Spotify, and petersenband.com prior to its release on August 9. For more information about The Petersens or to book tickets, please visit tickets.petersenband.com or call (417) 335-4832.
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  • The Petersens Maintain Rank as #1 Show in Branson on TripAdvisor

    The Petersens Maintain Rank as #1 Show in Branson on TripAdvisor

    Local award-winning bluegrass band, The Petersens, known for their tight harmonies and warm sibling humor, have maintained their rank on TripAdvisor as the #1 show in Branson for over a year.   “We are so honored to receive the positive feedback from our fans on TripAdvisor,” said Ellen Petersen, director of marketing and band banjo player. “Bluegrass is all about authentic music, strong vocals and family values. I think many people enjoy our show because our music reminds them of their roots.”   Though many of their fans grew up listening to bluegrass music, The Petersens, one of the younger performing groups in Branson, have succeeded in introducing the genre to a new generation of fans.   “We have a lot of fun putting our own Americana flare on our music so that it appeals to audiences from all walks of life,” said Petersen. “Many people come to our show thinking they’re not bluegrass fans, but they end up changing their minds by the end of the show. It’s a great honor to be a part of making someone a new fan of this music that we love.”   This summer The Petersens continue their ninth season of performing at the Little Opry Theatre in Branson. Through mid-August, they will perform their bluegrass show at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and through July they also perform on Saturdays at 2 p.m. On Sundays at 2 p.m., they perform their gospel show.
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  • 2019 Branson Show Season Kicks Off

    2019 Branson Show Season Kicks Off

    2019 Starts Off With a Bang! As Spring approaches, several people have asked us when we start back into our regular 2019 Branson show season. The answer: March 3rd! But it gets a little complicated… This March we’ll be playing at Silver Dollar City! We play at the Dockside Theater Wednesdays through Sundays March 13th – 31st, April 5th and 7th for Young Christians Weekend, and May 4th – 5th for their Bluegrass & BBQ Festival. Phew! That’s a lot. 2019 Branson Show Season We will still be playing our regular bluegrass show at the Little Opry Theatre Tuesdays at 2 PM. Confused yet? This may help for March…. What a Spring! Thanks for making the Saturday evening shows so much fun and for making the Worst Show of the Year one of the most fun nights of our entertaining career! We haven’t laughed that hard on stage, well, EVER! And you all were great sports as we danced, played keytars, and sang the Backstreet Boys. We are already coming up with terrible ideas for next year. The overwhelming amount of support our Branson community and friends show us never fails to encourage us.   As always, thank you so much for supporting our family and our musical journey. Catch us all throughout the year performing in Branson and on the road. Visit the Show Dates page for a full list of performances. We would not be able to do what we love without you! See you soon.  
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  • The Petersens Return from Third Irish Tour

    The Petersens Return from Third Irish Tour

    Award-winning bluegrass band, The Petersens, returns to Branson from third Irish tour   Branson, Missouri – February 6, 2019 – After completing their eighth season at the Little Opry Theatre in Branson in December, award-winning bluegrass band, The Petersens, traveled to Ireland for a nine-stop tour.   “Our favorite parts of Ireland are the people and their love of music,” said Ellen Petersen, director of marketing and band banjo player. “People listen very intentionally to the music and take everything to heart. Everyone is also very hospitable and feels like family.”   Before embarking on their musical tour, The Petersens visited parts of England, including Oxford where Musical Leader and Fiddle Player Katie Petersen studied in 2015 and the Lake District. They also traveled to the highlands of Scotland and to Edinburgh before arriving in Ireland to begin their tour on January 19.   The nine-consecutive-day tour began at the Shannonside Music Festival at Bunratty Castle, where The Petersens were double billed with the Grammy-nominated bluegrass band, Special Consensus.   During their performances at the Schoolyard Theatre in Charleville, Co. Cork and at the Community Hall in Ballydehob, Co. Cork, they shared the stage with Irish family bluegrass band, Cup O’Joe.   “We loved being on stage with other performers who share our commitment to preserving the bluegrass traditional style and songs,” said Petersen. “The energy in the room was amazing.”   The tour finished on January 27 at the Old Schoolhouse, a restored centuries-old school, in Clashmore, Co. Waterford.   “So many of the venues we played in have a rich history, which makes playing them very special,” said Petersen. “Our love of playing these venues is similar to our love of playing bluegrass music—it’s cool to be a part of bringing them to life again to a new generation.”   The Petersens will bring their tight harmony and sibling humor back to Branson in 2019. They will perform their bluegrass show on Saturday evenings in February and their gospel show on Sunday afternoons through March 10 at the Little Opry Theatre.   Beginning March 13, The Petersens will perform Wednesdays through Sundays at Dockside Theater at Silver Dollar City, in addition to Tuesdays at the Little Opry Theatre.
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  • Winter Ireland Tour 2019

    Winter Ireland Tour 2019

    For more show dates of The Petersens, click HERE. The Petersens have their albums available for order here, or you can stream them through Apple and Spotify.
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  • Thanksgiving Traditions

    Thanksgiving Traditions

    Here are five simple traditions our family does every year for Thanksgiving!   The holidays can be some of the best and busiest times of the year. Unless you are intentional, it can be easy to go through the motions rather than treasure these sweet family moments. We have found that having some fun and simple traditions not only brings back precious memories of the past, but it gives us a structure that helps guide the day along. 1. Start off the day with a 5k! We have had so much fun through the years participating in different Turkey Trot races on Thanksgiving morning. You can dress up as something silly or bundle up from the cold in as much clothing as running allows. It is so rewarding to start the day thankful for your health and spending time with friends. Besides, with all the food you are going to consume later on, getting a workout in at the beginning of the day is never a bad idea. This year you will find us at the Turkey Trot at the Branson Landing. 2. Have everyone bring at least one dish. Not only will this relieve the stress of the primary meal organizer (God bless our mother) but it makes people feel like they are a part of the meal instead of just showing up. Everyone has their own flair when it comes to cooking so it is fun to see different personalities and styles emerge with each dish. Through the years *most* of us have a signature dish that we are expected to bring and Katie has definitely perfected the pumpkin roll.    3. Assign seats with fun place cards. Group dynamics matter and there are some people that naturally click better with others. Let’s just be honest. Sometimes certain family members should not sit by each other. Matt and Julianne have to be separated every year… Why not go ahead and make sure your dinner time will be as harmonious and fun as possible and coordinate the seating? We plan things out ahead of time with fun Thanksgiving themed place cards. Click here for a DIY tutorial on how to make them. 4. Sit at one table. This may not be possible for everyone due to space, but we always put a lot of effort into making sure everyone is together at one table. There have been many times where we have sat on piano benches and pulled up card tables to make it happen. It might not make for the prettiest picture or table setting, but family unity is always worth it.  5. Have a fun game planned! We have loved playing Quiplash as a family. It’s perfect for old inside jokes, creating new ones, and people of all ages! All you have to do is grab a computer and your cell phones so the set up is quick and easy. Another game that has recently been introduced to us by our dear friend Kami is Unstable Unicorns. It is ridiculous and definitely brings out more of the competitive side of the siblings. Often times after dinner everyone is ready for a nap so grabbing a cup of coffee (PTL for Expresso Branson) and having those quick, fun games ready is sure to liven things up again and keep everyone together. What are some of your family’s favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Leave a comment below to share! The Petersens perform bluegrass and gospel music in Branson, MO. To book tickets to their live Branson show click here, or you can keep up with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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  • Terry Awards – The Petersens Win Little Big Show and Fiddle Player of the Year

    Terry Awards – The Petersens Win Little Big Show and Fiddle Player of the Year

    Katie Petersen Wins Fiddle Player of the Year When it comes to playing the fiddle, it’s hard to find anyone who does it better or with as much heart as our lovely Katie. This past year she has spent many extra hours practicing and taking her talent to the next level and we love seeing her recognized for all her hard work. This award was an especially high honor because of the other incredibly skilled fiddle players who were nominated and grace stages day after day in Branson, Missouri. Other nominees included Nathan Agdeppa of The Baldknobbers, Wayne Massengale of Grand Country, Amy Dutton of The Duttons, Janice Martin of A Janice Martin Cirque Show, and Louis Darby of The Sons of Britches. The Petersens Win Little Big Show of the Year The Little Big Show of the Year award is given to a show that performs in a theater that seats less than 500 people. We are so honored to be given this award and to play week after week in the Little Opry Theater. The small size of our theater allows us to interact with our audience and provides an intimate feel and connection unlike any other venue in Branson. Other nominees included The Sons of Britches, Johnson Strings, A Tribute to George Strait Dinner Show, Doo-Wop & The Drifters, and 50 Years of Kenny Rogers. The Terry Awards The Terry Awards is an incredible organization founded by Terry Beene as a way to recognize entertainers in the Branson community. For more information about the awards, you can visit their website here. The event is open to the public and you can like their Facebook page for more updates and pictures. Many thanks to The Branson Insider for the pictures.
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  • The Petersens Perform at Ellsworth Correctional Facility

    The Petersens Perform at Ellsworth Correctional Facility

    Our Most Captive Audience On The Road Again For the past several years our family has had the opportunity to travel and play music in different countries. We are set to return for our third Ireland tour in January of 2019 and are currently on our second tour in Canada this summer.  It is an honor to share the American culture through our music while creating fun memories and stories along the way. The full-time Branson show is our dream job, but it is fun to shake things up a bit, explore very different venues, and grow as a band. In addition to touring internationally, our new 2018 Branson show schedule allows us to take short road trips to a larger region. In June we played evening shows in the cities of Abilene and Hays, Kansas, through BDS Productions reuniting with old friends and making new ones.  We were treated so well and had a great time. It was a blast! We also added an early afternoon program at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility. This would be our first opportunity to perform in a correctional institution.  Randy and Emmett Franz said they had spent a lot of time in and out of prison (playing music, of course) and that it would be a great experience.  We accomplished all the extra paperwork for ourselves and our equipment for pre-approval. Surprisingly, both the banjo and Matt made the cut. Ellsworth Spiritual Life Center Inside Ellsworth Correctional Facility stands a small beautiful chapel called the Spiritual Life Center (SLC) which seats around 300. It is the pride and joy of the prison and the community.  The surrounding private and corporate community raised funding for the materials, and the “offenders” built it themselves. We passed through security and questioning, then were escorted to the chapel. It actually had a great stage and a complete sound system.  Everyone was so proud of the chapel and eager to assist us in any way. Two guards were stationed in the back of the room during the standing room only concert in case they were needed, but, truth be told, we have never played to a more appreciative and attentive crowd. They cheered for all the instrumental solos, clapped along during our upbeat bluegrass songs, teared up during Beulah Land, gave a standing ovation for More Than a Name on a Wall, and screamed out “GET IT, MAMA!” louder than we’ve ever heard. A Moving Experience After the show, every single man stood in line single file to get our autographs on specially made postcards with our pictures.  They thanked us for taking the time to visit their facility. They said they laughed at how Matt picked on us. It reminded them of their childhood and siblings. They loved how proud we were of Julianne as she sang and played her mandolin. I was humbled by how they said they saw Jesus in our family. They were grateful to us for coming out of our way to bless them.  One comment I remember in particular was from an older gentleman with tears in his eyes. As he shook my hand he said, “You made me feel free for an hour.” Bittersweet Reflections Overall it was a bittersweet experience.  We all walked to the van thoughtful of the contrasts we had witnessed, men who were paying the price of imprisonment for crime, yet some were full of love and hope there.  The Christian community was loving and strong for each other. The love shown from the chaplain, his wife, and the town who cared for these men and sacrificed to make it a better place.  We all agreed we wanted to reach out to this segment of society again. It was a great reminder of the hope and promise God offers everyone and how beautiful it is to share that message with others. Our dad has always prayed Philemon verse 6 over our family’s music. “And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” We all have so much for which to be thankful.
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  • The Petersens at Silver Dollar City’s 2018 Bluegrass & BBQ Festival

    The Petersens at Silver Dollar City’s 2018 Bluegrass & BBQ Festival

    Bluegrass and BBQ Festival Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and BBQ festival has arrived again and for the Petersen family this is the most wonderful time of the year! Bluegrass enthusiasts, including many family bands, from all over the country and even the world will be traveling to Branson, MO to participate and listen to their favorite music and musicians.  In the bluegrass community, the month of May in Branson becomes a big family reunion. KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Competition One of the highlights of the festival will be the 17th annual KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest on May 26 held in the Opera House at Silver Dollar City. Young bluegrass players, under the age of 21, accompanied by family members will compete as bands in two rounds for separate panels of judges. The contest is much more than a competition for the participants. It is a time of networking, building lifelong friendships, learning and encouragement for everyone involved. Frequently, the participants gather the evening before the contest to perform their songs for each other to offer constructive criticism and encouragement to their fellow musicians. On contest day, the bands cheer each other on both backstage and from the audience. The Petersen family thoroughly enjoyed playing in the KSMU contest for several years and had two second place finishes.  Even though their contest days have ended, the friendships have endured and grown over the years and they now enjoy going and cheering on the next generation of bluegrass kids. The Draw of Bluegrass Community The community of bluegrass musicians and fans is what initially attracted the Petersens to bluegrass music. In 2004, the Petersens were vacationing in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and attended their first bluegrass festival. After meeting several of the musicians and family bands at the festival, the Petersens fell in love with the bluegrass family and began their own bluegrass journey.  Fourteen years later the Petersens perform full-time as a bluegrass band with their own show in Branson, MO.  The Petersens perform three days a week at the Little Opry Theatre located inside the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex and perform in special engagements in other venues by request. The Heart Behind the Bluegrass Festival The Petersens are very grateful to Silver Dollar City, the Herschend family and D. A. Callaway for providing their first stage and wonderful fans to play for at the Bluegrass and BBQ Festival. The heart and driving force of the festival is D. A. Callaway who encouraged the family from the very beginning giving them the Medicine Wagon stage for performances in 2007.  Mr. Callaway has encouraged  many families with his kind words and respectful treatment for bands at all levels of ability.  He has connected the bluegrass community in many wonderful ways by providing venues and making introductions.   His particular heart for young musicians and families playing bluegrass music together along with Silver Dollar City’s outstanding stages and patrons continue to inspire new musicians and promote established bands.  The Petersens’ opportunities to perform at the park allow them opportunities to grow as a band, gain new fans and play alongside the world’s best musicians.  The Petersens will be performing at the Bluegrass and BBQ festival this year on May 10th and 11th at the Dockside theatre. They will perform four shows per day at the following times: 11:15 AM, 1:30 PM, 3:45 PM and 5:00 PM. The Petersens in Branson If you are unable to catch The Petersens at Silver Dollar City, you can find them all year at the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex. Their show is currently rated #2 on TripAdvisor out of 153 shows and attractions in Branson. They perform their Bluegrass and Gospel show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 PM and their all new Gospel show on Sundays at 2:00 PM. You can find their upcoming show schedule here.
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