WPU Alumna’s band, Chatham Rabbits, airs on PBS in its own documentary

Jun 24, 2022

Chatham Rabbits, a roots band with deep William Peace University (WPU) ties, was featured in its own PBS documentary this May. 

Starting full-time in 2019, Chatham Rabbits features Austin McCombie and WPU alumna Sarah Osborne McCombie ’15. This North Carolinian duo melds bluegrass acoustics with traditional folk sounds.

Now, the couple can be seen in their very own television series. In early 2021, PBS reached out to the band about creating a documentary-style show to tell their story as they work to make it in the music world. Filming started in August 2021 and lasted five months.   

“I enjoyed filming as an extrovert but it was definitely draining at times,” Sarah said. “We give so much on stage and normally you can relax after a show but in this case, the camera followed you everywhere.”

While the process was tiring at times, the McCombie’s were excited to see the project come to fruition. In May, the show aired each Thursday and now can be watched anytime here

“There were so many moments we didn’t realize they had captured, from fan interaction to little, funny mishaps. We are so proud of us for managing it and completing it — it was so much work,” Sarah said. “It also gave friends and family more of an appreciation of what we do for a living. A concert doesn’t last more than two hours but there’s so much that leads up to the point from rehearsal to even creating the music.”

Sarah recalls how WPU has had an impact on how her songwriting, even to this day. An English major, her writing skills blossomed in her classes with Dr. Wade Newhouse, Theatre Program Director and English Professor.

She found her way to WPU through her mom, Peace College alumna Nancy E. Osborne ’86. Sarah grew up going to Peace reunions with her mom and being surrounded by the tight-knit Peace culture. She was drawn to the close community and small campus.

While Sarah’s freshman year was comprised of an all-women student body, the end of the year brought an announcement. WPU would shift to co-ed. 

“It made me an even better and stronger person to go through those changes,” Sarah said. “And what really made my experience at Peace incredible was, that no matter the changes, the quality of my education and my professors were just incredible.”

Sarah loved her professors — she appreciated how understanding they were of her hectic college schedule. Along with being a full-time student, Sarah was a banjo player and vocalist for the band The South Carolina Broadcasters. Professors were flexible to help her class schedule work around the band’s schedule.

“My professors allowed me to be in the band and have a college experience,” Sarah said. “Some of my professors even came to shows. They were so supportive of my music career.”

It was while playing at a concert during college that Sarah first ran into her husband, Austin, in the crowd. They soon fell for each other and later started Chatham Rabbits. Now, the couple has created four albums together. 

Recently, the couple supported WPU by performing at WPU’s Day of Giving in 2021. You can next catch Chatham Rabbits in Raleigh on December 4

Keep an eye out for more of their story in 2023 PEACE Magazine.

Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 

 

Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.

Visitors

Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.

Counselors

Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.

Alumni

Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.

Donate

Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.

Parents

Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Commencement
Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students

Readmission

If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 

Veteran/Military

Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.

About

WPU has a long history as one of the city’s oldest universities. Find out more about our institution in the heart of downtown Raleigh. 

2023 Student Showcase
Staff Pumpkin Painting

History

Through 160 years, William Peace University has evolved to meet the changing needs of the students we serve.

Leadership

William Peace University is a small, private institution located in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Work at WPU

Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work!

DEI Staff
Design Rendering of WPU

Contact Us

Contact the University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn about DEI at WPU.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Learn about WPU core tenets. 

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU

Athletics

Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.

Academics

WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 

Admissions

Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.