Peter Blood and Annie Patterson have played a central role in helping to create a quiet revolution of group singing in the U.S. in recent years. They have spent decades honing their skills as songleaders in schools, camps, churches, conferences, folk song clubs and festivals. Groups in all these settings have treasured their uncanny ability to choose songs that are fun and inspiring, to teach these songs to groups of all ages, and to get them engaged in spirited group singing.
They used this wealth of songleading experience to create a completely unique song collection entitled Rise Up Singing. Their book contains a wonderful mix of 1200 songs from Beatles to Broadway, from spirituals to carols, and from kids songs to songs of peace and justice. A true underground best-seller, the collection has sold over a million copies since its publication in 1988 with a minimum of publicity, promotion or marketing. Pete Seeger (who in Japan would be known as a "Living National Treasure") has said that their songbook is making "a qualitative difference in music in America."
As many schools in America have cut back on their music programs, hundreds of community groups have sprung up getting together regularly for monthly sings using the Blood-Pattersons' songbook. Churches, schools, camps and social change groups use the books to build community, have fun and teach values around peace and a better world. In the decade since it has been published, the songbook has taken on a central role in the folk music community through out North America.
They are currently working on the creation of a new songbook, Rise Again, with words & guitar chords to 1200 more songs.
Annie & Peter have performed hundreds of singalong concerts together since 1981 using Rise Up Singing across North America and abroad (in England, Hawaii, and New Zealand). They accompany their songs with guitar, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, fiddle, djimbe and pennywhistle. Email annie if you are interested in booking a concert. They are members of American Federation of Musicians Local 1000, the Traveling Musician's Union.
ANNIE is a music educator and professional singer. She has performed as a singer-songwriter at coffeehouses, clubs and folk festivals. She has been a jazz vocalist and performed for twenty years with the swing bands, Big Nite Out, Girls from Mars, and The O-tones, performing widely at folk festivals, swing dances, swing camps, weddings and clubs and is on three swing recordings by these bands.
Annie is producer and chief vocalist for the series of teaching discs used to learn the tunes in Rise Up Singing. She plays the acoustic guitar, old-timey banjo, the djimbe and mandolin.
Annie got her BFA in illustration from Carnegie Mellon University, and is an alumni of Moore College of art's teacher certification program. She has worked as an art teacher, graphic artist and retreat leader.
PETER has been leading group singing for over thirty years, accompanying himself on guitar, autoharp, fiddle and the djimbe (West African drum).
Peter developed a number of singalong resources over the years culminating in Rise Up Singing (published in 1988 by Sing Out Publications.) As Sing Out's Publications Director from 1988-92, Peter served as managing editor for four other songbooks and is the editor of Pete Seeger's widely acclaimed autobiography/song collection entitled Where Have All the Flowers Gone.
He has also worked as a religion teacher, social change organizer, health administrator, marriage & family therapist, a retreat and workshop leader and nursing instructor (at UMass Amherst from 2006-12). He has a website on Quakerism called inwardlight.org.
ANNIE & PETER currently live in Amherst, Massachusetts. They are active members of the Religious Society of Friends (Mt Toby Friends Meeting in Leverett MA). They consider their performing and songleading to be a form of music ministry and social activism.
UPCOMING EVENTS & WORKSHOPS with Annie & Peter. Sun, Feb. 16 - Amherst MA. PETE SEEGER CELEBRATION SINGALONG. 7pm (doors open at 6) at the First Congregational Church, 165 Main St. Free. Bring copies of Rise Up Singing if you have one. Songleaders will include Charlie King, Lorre Wyatt, Sarah Pirtle & many others. For more information contact Alan Sax or Annie Patterson.
See also website for 2 swing bands Annie sings with:
GIRLS FROM MARS and The O-TONES
Shared Song Communal Memory NY Times article that talks about Annie & Peter, the origins of
Rise Up Singing & ways it's being used in singalong around the
with Peter and Annie. Hear us talk about sing-alongs and the origins
of Rise Up Singing with live performances of several favorite songs