Who Are The Petersens?
The Petersens is a family band consisting of siblings Katie, Ellen, Matt, Karen, and Julianne, their mom, and dear friend, Emmett Franz. The four siblings grew up playing music together throughout their childhood.
In 2003 they were introduced to bluegrass music, which is a genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the United States. As a band, they had their first live performance in 2005 at their local church – Church of Mountain Grove, MO. Their family cover of John Denver’s “Country Roads” has racked up an impressive 30 million views.
Katie is the oldest of the four siblings and the lead band member. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Chemistry from the College of the Ozarks in 2014. Katie then moved to the UK to a place called Oxford to continue her studies.
Scroll down to watch the family band’s awesome version of ‘Country Roads’.
The second oldest in the band is Ellen, the banjo player. She began playing the banjo after her dad decided the kids should become a bluegrass band, she fell in love with the instrument and the rest is history. She also graduated from the College of the Ozarks in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry.Watch their beautiful version of Mamma Mia in the video below.
Matt is the only boy in The Petersen band. He runs most of the business aspects of the band and is a major personality during the bands stage performances. Matt plays the guitar and managing the bands bookings whilst also dealing with the technical side of their performances. According to their official website – he loves a banjo joke!
Julianne Petersen is the youngest of the family band. She started playing the mandolin for the band in 2017. Julianne is a mulit-talented performer with a history of buck dancing whilst playing the violin at the same time. She was always a major hit with audiences when the band performed.
Emmett Franz is the most recent addition to the family band. His musical style and personality have pieced together with the other members perfectly. He is known as an adopted brother for Matt as they share many similarities and not just their love for music. Emmett toured with his family band “The Franz Family” professionally for 20 years.
Karen Petersen is where all the talent came from, the mother of the group! Music has always been a massive part of Karen’s life having played the trumpet through her school years and achieving a master’s in music theory from Arkansas State University. Her husband, Jon, through Campus Crusade and followed him around in the Air Force for 23 years.
Originally the band had Katie playing the fiddle, Ellen playing the banjo, Matt playing the bass, and the baby of the family Julianne singing and dancing. This was all complemented by their mother Karen playing the Manolin and father Jon playing the guitar.
As with all bands, things changed and Julianne took up the mandolin and Karen changed to playing the bass. Matt took over the guitar from his dad.