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Charles Pettee - Hear the Sound

Charles Pettee - Hear the Sound

Charles Pettee loves his “second career” as a performing teaching artist where he shares the ongoing multicultural story of Bluegrass Music! After an acclaimed career featuring over 3,000 performances as singer, mandolin player and songwriter with the world travelling Bluegrass group The Shady

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Bluegrass: North Carolina's Global Music


Program Description

“Bluegrass: North Carolina’s Global Music” (grades 6-12) picks up the international and historical themes from Charles Pettee’s “Bluegrass Stomp” (grades 3-5) program, and expands on these for middle and high school audiences. Singing and performing on guitar, mandolin, banjo and harmonica, Mr. Pettee surveys the development of American folk music over time, and shows how NC Bluegrass


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Program Detail

Program type: Assembly/Performance, Out-of-School-Time, Workshop
Artistic Discipline: Music
Cultural Origin: African, American, European
Subject: Music, Social Studies / History
Population Served Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

Year-round on a first-come first-served basis

Available times:

Any time of day or night, as desired by the presenter.

Length of :Program 45-60 minutes
Space / technical requirements:

10′ by 15′ performance space, one six-foot table, general stage lighting, (when possible). Artist brings complete sound system included in the fee.


Gym, cafetorium, multi-purpose room, music room, classroom, library – any space determined by the presenter to be adequate for the audience

Fees / Ticketing:

One show = $550.00 (including sound system and travel)
Two shows, same location = $850.00 (including sound system and travel)


NC Standard Course of Study:

SL4: “Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.” In his presentations, Mr. Pettee demonstrates a variety of musical styles from around the world that combined in the US to provide the ingredients for NC Bluegrass music. By the end of a program or residency, many students will be able to “hear” how, for example, sounds from West Africa played on a banjo, have been carried over to the harmonica or guitar to make what are now known as “blues” music. Mr. Pettee also describes how these “blues” sounds form the basis for Bluegrass, Jazz, and Rock. L3: “Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.” Regarding music as “language” please see the SL4 and R6 above. Regarding song lyrics as language with different meanings and uses, every program contains a variety of songs, whose lyrics express either historically significant moments (e.g., the Civil War, or the Underground Railroad), tell stories (e.g., “The Lollipop Tree” song), or simply provide clever, catchy rhythms and rhymes (e.g., ‘Old Joe Clark” or “Ain’t No Bugs on Me”)

NC Essential Standards:

* 6.ML.1.3 Recognize expressive elements (such as dynamics, timbre, blending, and phrasing) of music. * 6.MR.1.1 Illustrate perceptual skills by moving to, answering questions about, and describing aural examples of music of various styles and cultures. * 7.CR.1.3 Understand the functions music serves, roles of musicians, and conditions under which music is typically performed. * 8.CR.1.1 Understand the role of music in North Carolina and the United States in relation to history and geography. * B.CR.1.1 Use music to explore concepts in world history and relate them to significant events, ideas, and movements from a global context. * B.CR.1.5 Compare the various roles that musicians can and do perform and the conditions under which music is performed. * I.CR.1.5 Classify specific musical works in terms of the particular culture and time period in which they were produced. * P.CR.1.1 Understand the role of music in United States history as a means of interpreting past eras within an historical context. Social Studies Connections: *7.C.1.2 Explain how cultural expressions (e.g. art, literature, architecture and music) influence modern society. *8.C.1.1 Explain how influences from Africa, Europe, and the Americas impacted North Carolina and the United States (e.g. slavery, the decline of the American Indian populations).


Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Provides scholarship and reduced fees: Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes


  • photo by FJ Ventre


  • Live footage/interview from Crestdale Middle School, Matthews by a journalist researching why Mr. Pettee does this work


1) Julia Mastropaolo | Arts Education Coordinator,
United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
410 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 170 Raleigh, NC 27603
(p) 919.839.1498 ext. 210 (f) 919-839.6002

2) Ava J. Hughes, Arts Education Director
(864) 278-9693
Chapman Cultural Arts Center
200 E. Saint John Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306-5124

3)Shana Adams, Director, Creative Arts in Public & Private Schools/Community (CAPS)
Durham Arts Council, Inc.
Phone: 919.560.2718 I Fax: 919.560.2725 I Web:

Recent letters of recommendation for Mr. Pettee's programs


Cancellation Policy

Artist will make every effort to reschedule program if necessary. If it is impossible to reschedule, and the program must be cancelled, 50% of fee is due, if the program is cancelled more than 60 days before the date of engagement. If cancelled within 60 days of the date of engagement, 100% of the fee is due. Cancellation fees are due no later than the originally scheduled date of engagement.