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A Harmonious Family

Posted: February 9, 2008 10:26 p.m.
Updated: April 11, 2008 2:02 a.m.

Cate Pearce

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Although the Pearce family is made up of dad Doub, mom Traci and siblings Wil, Molly and Cate, there is another member of the clan that the Pearces have grown up with over the years: music.

From a young age, the brother and two sisters have been exposed to playing music and practicing instruments; a skill that was passed down to them from their parents, who have been musical performers since their childhood.
But as independent as each Pearce may be, together the Canyon Country family combines their musical talents and love for God to form The Pearce Family Bluegrass Band, a local performance group that has grown to be easily recognized by the Santa Clarita Valley's bluegrass lovers.

The Beginnings
The band informally began when the kids would accompany their parents when they performed at local coffee shops.
"We officially decided to become the Pearce Family Bluegrass Band four years ago," Doub Pearce said, after the family developed an interest in bluegrass.
Immediately after the formation in 2004, the family set to work on their first CD. Currently, the band has recorded and self-produced two CDs, thanks to Doub Pearce's mixing abilities.
They anticipate releasing their third CD at the end of June.

The Members
While the entire family shares a common interest in bluegrass and music, the story of how each Pearce realized their passion is different.
Traci Pearce was raised around music especially because growing up, her family of 10 performed in a pop group.
Just like his wife, Doub Pearce grew up with music. A bass player at heart, he moved from Florida to Los Angeles at a young age to pursue his blossoming passion for music.
When he met Traci Pearce through an advertisement requesting a bass player, Doub Pearce had become an experienced musician, touring and playing with all types of bands.
Soon the couple began raising their three youngsters in an environment of music by giving the gift of instruments for birthdays and Christmas holidays.
"The kids have been raised around music," Doub Pearce said.
Wil Pearce, the eldest of the kids, said he began as a drummer, but turned to the guitar after breaking his thumb.
As a teenager, the 19-year-old, who is currently on his third year at The Master's College, ventured into playing the mandolin and dobro, an acoustic steel guitar with an aluminum resonator typically used to perform country music.
Although Wil Pearce plays four instruments and teaches lessons while taking on his full load at school, he serves as the lead and rhythm guitar and mandolin players in the family band.
As for how far he will take his music career, Wil Pearce is still looking to the future.
However, music will always be part of his life, noting as he said, "I will always play whether it's professional or not."
Molly Pearce, 17, started out with piano lessons at age 6. Years later at 13, Molly Pearce, currently a high school senior with plans to go to The Master's College, started playing the 5-string banjo. When the band started about four years ago, she picked up the upright bass.
She now plays the 5-string banjo and upright bass for the band, in between schooling and teaching lessons.
About the future of her musical talents, Molly Pearce said she's become more serious about practicing.
Her visit to a recent music convention with the rest of the family served as a way to meet "amazing" musicians, while understanding the true purpose of her talent.
Until the convention, Molly Pearce was focused on doing mission work. During her sophomore year in high school, she traveled with her brother to Africa to perform charity work.
While she still loves missions, the convention and her growing passion for music opened up another door.
"God has gifted me in music," she said.
While watching musicians like John Mayer perform, Molly Pearce said something changed in her.
Now recognizing her gift given by God, Molly Pearce admits that she's been practicing a lot more.
Youngest daughter Cate Pearce, 15, began playing the piano like her older sister.
But at the age of 13, she received a guitar for her birthday. As the guitar grew on her more, she began to learn chords and melodies. At the same time, she picked up the harmonica.
"It's my way of relaxing," she said.
Now she plays the rhythm guitar in the band, accompanying her dad on the 5-string banjo and upright bass and mom on the Autoharp and rhythm guitar.
All three Pearce women also contribute vocals to the music.

Family Values
When performing, the Pearce family said they have an appeal with other families and individuals.
"We've had so many honest people come up and share their lives with us," Wil Pearce said.
As parents, Traci and Doub Pearce said they feel fortunate to be able to share their passion of music with their kids.
"It's real incredible for kids their age to be willing to go on stage with their crusty old parents," Doub Pearce joked.
Depending on the venue, The Pearce Family Bluegrass Band will play instrumental bluegrass tunes at their concerts, songs with a Christian theme or a combination of both.
Over the years, the Pearce clan has traveled across the western United States, making stops to perform at church conferences and other events.
"We do everything from leading their worship services to performing concerts," Doub Pearce said.
With every performance, the Pearce family draws inspiration from their faith in God.
"We have to give glory to God in every song we write because he's the inspiration," Traci Pearce said. "His generosity has blessed us with the talents that we have."
But at the same time, the family maintains that they don't want to come off as a "preachy" kind of family, as the father explained.
"When we play, we're a real regular old family and we want people to be able to see us that way," Doub Pearce said.

Touring & Performing
Although touring can be difficult because it requires coordinating the schedule of three busy students and the parents, the Pearce family hopes to continue with The Pearce Family Bluegrass Band as long as they can.
Doub Pearce said every year, the family agrees to commit the year to the band because it takes so much effort for the band to rehearse, record and play live shows.
Plus they don't want the family to feel trapped in the band.
Regardless, Doub Pearce hopes the band will always continue because it has become something so important to him and the rest of the family.
"I hope we're doing this 30 years from now," he said.


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