To some musicians, fame comes early. Then there’s the rest of your career. Sierra Hull '11, who was called to the Grand Old Opry stage as an 11-year-old to play the mandolin by international star Alison Krauss, is figuring out hers.
Hull began playing the mandolin at age 8 in her native state of Tennessee where her parents immersed her in bluegrass music. Hull became a well-known singer and mandolin player across the country as a teen, playing the White House, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. In 2008 she signed with Rounder Records for her album, Secrets, produced by Krauss.
Her Berklee life started in 2009 when she was named a Presidential Scholar, the first bluegrass musician to win the prestigious award.
Now Hull has four albums and many nominations to the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. She’s moving forward to create her own voice, her own sounds. Banjo master Béla Fleck, who produced Hull’s latest album, Weighted Mind, describes her as “living in the border area where new ideas mix to create hybrids, and sometimes brand-new directions.” She writes her own music as well as collaborating with others. Although bluegrass is at the core of Hull’s music, she also moves past the genre into a realm of her own. “The moment you start to be yourself, there’s an honesty about that that people connect with,” she has said. Hull’s future creative path shines before her.