Singer, Songwriter, Song Leader

“Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.” – Virgil

Patricia Pettinga has been making folk, blues, original and inspirational music for many years. Whatever the style, setting or audience, she engages listeners with wit, wisdom and warmth . Find a more extensive bio here.

“Patricia excels on many fronts—as a singer and instrumentalist; as both song-writer and interpreter. Whether it’s a soulful blues or a witty ditty…it is her blend of enthusiasm and talent that make Patricia Pettinga the engaging entertainer that she is.”
–  Joel Mabus

Add husband Bill Willging’s guitar bass lines, rhythms, melodic leads and pithy quips to the mix, and you’ve got a delightful duo experience.

“Enchanting duo…they play together with a rare perfection and ease.  These two guitar players, both quite talented on their own, have figured out a way to put one and one together and make more than two.”
– Shari Kane

Concerts & More

In solo and duo performances, Patricia and Bill present a wide variety of styles on a broad range of topics, from serious social commentary to silly whimsy. Their interpretations and thoughtful instrumental arrangements — sometimes re-arrangements — shed new light on popular tunes and old folk songs. Over all, the sound is both comfortably familiar and refreshingly unique.

In addition to these shows, they also offer programs, workshops and group-sings.

Programs

  • Through ElderSong Patricia presents interactive programs that include humor, sentiment and stories geared to the interests of older adults. In addition to programs for general audiences of this type, in which Bill sometimes joins her, Patricia specializes in presentations that effectively engage persons with memory loss.
  •  Patricia and Bill present Women: Folk & Blues, which focuses on select female folk and blues artists and their contributions to American culture and the folk tradition. It combines live performance with snippets of biography and history. The program extends from “Mother of the Blues” Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, born in the 1880’s, to Rosalie Sorrells, who passed away in 2017. The full 4-hour program — including a PowerPoint presentation — has been presented twice for WMU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and received rave reviews. Shorter versions are available, including Women: Folk & Blues concerts. And, songs from this program are included in many solo and duo performances.
  • With KidStuff Patricia shares songs about nature, love and life that engage and appeal to elementary school age children.

Workshops

  • In What’s in a Song? Patricia demystifies the songwriting process, revealing elements of form (verse, chorus, bridge), rhyme, rhythm, melody, tone and mood. Tailored for age (child to adult) and experience, the workshop includes the writing of at least one verse of an original song, empowering and encouraging attendees to continue writing.
  • In String-chronicity Patricia and Bill cover methods of blending two guitars for a clean, solid, accompaniment sound. Subjects include how to use a capo (with a key chart), bass lines, lead lines and complementary/supportive rhythms.

Group-Sings

Often with help from Bill and other partners, Patricia develops and leads Sing-along Sessions for groups of various size and composition on general or specific topics. Her community sing leader credits include the Great Lakes Acoustic Music Association’s (GLAMA) monthly Community Sings at the Kalamazoo Public Library since 2014, GLAMA’s Cooper’s Glen Music Festival sing-along workshop since 2012, and the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music sing in 2017.