Charles Pettee’s interactive in-person and virtual performances are a fun way for students to experience the depth and variety of folk music styles enjoyed by the peoples of NC from the Pilgrims to the present! K-2 audiences get to “Catch the Bluegrass Bug” (aligns with NC Essential Standards for Music and Social Studies), by clapping on beat, singing great traditional songs, and enjoying real Bluegrass guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and banjo playing! Grades 3-5 get to “Bluegrass Stomp” through history, as Mr. Pettee sings and shares stories that connect with NC Essential Standards in social studies and music, as well as any particular standards/themes requested by the school. Students are encouraged to connect the sounds and styles of music with the cultures that lived in NC then and now, and to see how one culture has contributed to another. With plenty of opportunities for the students to clap along, laugh, and sing, the overall goal of both programs is to celebrate all of the cultures in our community, and to appreciate the ways our gifts combine to make great music for all.
Charles Pettee is a guitar and mandolin-wielding songwriter and singer from Asheville, NC with a strong commitment to music education who loves sharing the catchy rhythms and melodies of southern Bluegrass and Folk music, as well as the segregation-defying stories behind this culturally diverse tapestry of sounds. Transitioning from fronting Chapel Hill, NC’s world-traveling Bluegrass band The Shady Grove Band for over 25 years, Mr. Pettee has become a master teaching artist and music educator whose programs and residencies feature interactive audience participation and are in high demand throughout North and South Carolina. Pettee offers a number of age-adjusted presentations that align with SC and NC Standards for both Music and Social Studies for grades preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Along with his group “Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm,” Mr. Pettee also performs at festivals and special events with many of NC’s finest acoustic musicians, including with his son, guitar player Jackson Pettee, under the name “Slippery Hill,” with whom he is currently at work on his 14th CD/album. He has logged over 6,000 performances over the course of his career.